What are the Dog Bite Laws in Nevada? 

If you are bitten by someone else’s dog in Nevada, you may be able to recover under one of various legal concepts. If the owner of the offending dog was negligent, you may recover. Negligence means simply the failure to exercise the ordinary care which one would exercise in a similar situation.

What are the Basis for Compensation?

Recovery may be possible under the “negligence per se” concept. In a “negligence per se” case the owner of the dog has violated a law related to their dog. Most often, the owner violated a leash law.

What are the Leash Laws?

If the community requires that dogs in public places be on a leash – which is commonly the case – and a dog escapes from someone’s yard into the street and bites someone, the dog owner will likely have to pay the injury claim that results. There are other dog related laws violation of which can result in imposition of liability.

What are the dog bite laws for the State of Nevada?

Nevada is in the minority of states in the U.S. that do not have laws or statutes that specifically address dog bites. This makes it a “One Bite” state. However, counties and cities have their own codes with different rules.

What is a “One Bite” law?

The “One Bite” concept, or “One Free Bite” as it is also called, means that the dog’s owner in many cases is only liable if the dog bites someone and the dog owner had some reason to believe that the dog would bite. It is called the “One Free Bite” because basically the dog gets one free bite before it provides its owner with reason to believe it would bite.

This focuses on the owner’s knowledge that the dog would bite – or that the owner should have known for whatever reason, be it the dog’s character or recent circumstances that would make it prone to biting.

How do you get legal compensation in a “One Bite” state? 

Many dogs that bite causing injury do in fact have a history which is documented with the local animal control. Local animal control agencies keep detailed records. If you are bitten by a dog, you can usually find out if that dog had been picked up in the past by animal control and why. Often, there already was a history of the dog biting someone else.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover dog bites?

Most injuries from dog bites are covered by homeowner’s insurance.

How do leash laws affect a dog bite case?

In Nevada, leash laws mean that all dogs, even if the dog is in its own yard, must be on a leash unless they are confined within a fenced yard or house. If a dog is not on a leash and attacks or bites someone the dog owner could be held liable for negligence.

Does posting a “Beware of Dog” sign offset any of the owner’s liability if the dog bites someone?

Possibly. The sign can be a good way to let others know that there is a dog on the premises but if the dog bites someone other factors may be used to determine if the owner was liable.

Where should a dog bite be reported?

A dog bite should be reported to the local police and/or the local animal control agency.

If a dog is attacking a person or pet and someone steps in and is bitten, who is responsible?

The dog’s owner could be held responsible for the injury.

What is a “Dangerous Dog”?

A dangerous dog is a dog that behaves in a way that is menacing and in such a manner that a reasonable person would feel led to defend himself against substantial bodily harm when the dog is:

  • Off the premises of its owner, or
  • Not confined in a pen, cage, or vehicle

This behavior must be unprovoked and take place/be noted on two separate occasions within an 18-month period.

What is a “Vicious Dog”?

A vicious dog is a dog that:

  • Kills a human being or inflicts substantial bodily harm to a human, or
  • Continues to behave in the manner of a “Dangerous Dog” after the dog’s owner has been notified by law enforcement that it is dangerous, or
  • Is used by its owner in the commission of a crime.

A dog is not deemed vicious because it acts in a defensive nature against someone committing a crime, or against someone who provoked it, or simply because of its breed.

Is it necessary to get an attorney for a dog bite claim?

A dog bite case can be very complex. It is always smart to consult with an attorney about your specific dog bite case to determine if legal representation is needed. Call (702) 737-0000 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation today.