Who is Liable After a Dog Bite?
In Nevada, a dog’s owner is not automatically considered liable for a dog bite. There are, however, ways to prove liability that both dog owners and the public should be aware of, since Nevada law can make someone other than a dog’s owner liable for a dog’s actions. Though the law varies from one city to another, here are some general facts everyone living in the area should know.
The One Bite Rule
Though it has received much criticism, Nevada maintains a one-bite rule that can free a dog’s owner from liability if the dog has never bitten anyone before. This leaves the burden of proof on the dog bite victim, who must show either that the owner’s dog has bitten someone previously or that the owner had reason to believe the dog might bite even if unprovoked. Proving this can be difficult, which is why consulting a dog bite attorney as soon as possible after the incident is a smart move.
Negligence Per Se
Under negligence per se, a dog bite victim may be able to hold someone other than the dog’s owner liable for the bite. This doctrine provides that anyone who acts negligently while caring for or in control of the animal may be held liable instead. If, for example, Bob’s sister takes his dog for a walk and then lets the dog off leash, she may be held liable for any ensuing dog bites rather than Bob himself. Again, a dog bite attorney can help you determine who is liable for your injury and file a claim against them.
Know the Local Law
Local law may trump state regulations, so always make sure you understand your liability as a dog owner where you live in Nevada. If you’ve been bitten, seek legal counsel immediately to learn what recourse is available to you. If the dog’s owner refuses to pay for your medical bills related to the bite, you may be able to pursue legal action against him or someone else. Consulting a dog bite attorney in Las Vegas to protect your rights is always wise, even if you are able to resolve the issue later outside of court.