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In the state of Nevada, dog owners are not automatically held liable for damages and injuries their dogs may cause. There are no specific laws that determine when an owner is responsible for a dog bite. However, many cases of dog bite responsibility are determined by the dog’s previous record of aggression. Typically, liability in dog bite cases is decided by the factor of comparative negligence. This can be confusing and frustrating for victims of a dog bite. Read on to learn more about Nevada’s dog bite laws and what you should do if you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog.

Determining Liability in Dog Bite Cases

In Nevada, as well as in other states, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when a dog owner may be held liable for damages caused by their pet. Many factors must be considered in order to determine liability. These include:

  • The severity of the victim’s injuries;
  • Whether the victim was trespassing at the time of the attack;
  • Whether the victim provoked the dog;
  • The dog’s past history of aggression;
  • The precautions are taken by the owner to prevent dog bite attack.

Comparative Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

Dog Bite Laws

Comparative negligence is a legal concept applied in cases of personal injury where multiple parties share fault, aiming to apportion liability based on each party’s degree of responsibility. This principle serves as a fair mechanism for assessing how much each party contributed to the injury or harm suffered by the victim. For instance, consider a situation where an individual is bitten by a dog while trespassing on private property; in such cases, the legal system evaluates the fault of both the dog owner and the trespassing victim.

In this context, if the court determines that the victim holds 50% responsibility for their own injuries due to trespassing, comparative negligence​ becomes relevant. Consequently, the victim would be eligible to recover only 50% of the damages resulting from the dog attack. This nuanced approach acknowledges that, even when the victim shares some responsibility, they should still receive compensation in proportion to the fault assigned to the other party. Comparative negligence represents a legal effort to ensure a just and equitable resolution in personal injury cases, particularly when multiple factors contribute to the occurrence of an accident.

Owner Responsibility: Controlling and Restraining Dogs

Pet owners bear a legal and ethical duty to manage their dogs to ensure both the safety of their canines and the broader community. This responsibility is grounded in acknowledging that dogs, irrespective of breed or size, can present risks to individuals and other animals if not properly supervised. Being a responsible owner entails adhering to regulations such as leash laws, secure fencing, and effective training to prevent dogs from wandering freely and causing potential harm. Beyond safeguarding others, conscientious ownership helps mitigate legal repercussions for the owner, with penalties ranging from fines to more severe consequences awaiting those who neglect these responsibilities, thereby highlighting the significance of responsible dog ownership in various jurisdictions.

Furthermore, responsible dog ownership transcends mere legal compliance, encompassing considerations for the dog’s well-being. Effective control and restraint contribute to the overall welfare of the canine by averting engagement in hazardous behaviors and exposure to potentially harmful situations. Owners are tasked with comprehending their dog’s behavior, addressing aggression or anxiety issues through training and socialization, and providing a secure and regulated environment for their pets.

This dual emphasis on public safety and animal welfare underscores the multifaceted nature of owner responsibility in controlling and restraining dogs, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to dog ownership that prioritizes community safety and the animal’s well-being.

The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim in Nevada

In Nevada, the legal timeframe, known as the Statute of Limitations, for filing a dog bite claim is vital for individuals who have suffered harm due to an animal attack. This dog bite statute sets a specific period within which an injured person must take legal action against the individual responsible for the dangerous behavior of their animal. Particularly concerning breeds with a propensity for aggression, people must understand that the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims, encompassing incidents involving harmful animals, is limited to two years in Nevada. Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe may forfeit the injured person’s right to seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial consequences resulting from the animal attack.

Given the potential risks associated with dangerous breeds and the harm they can inflict, individuals who have suffered injuries in such circumstances must be proactive in seeking legal assistance. Waiting beyond the stipulated two-year period could lead to the dismissal of the case, hindering the injured party’s ability to recover damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other losses incurred. Taking swift action, including consulting dog bite lawyers or personal injury attorneys, is paramount for anyone seeking compensation for injuries sustained due to a dog bite in Nevada. This timely response aligns with the legal duty of dog owners to control their animals. It ensures that instances of harm are addressed promptly within the legal framework, promoting the safety of both people and animals.

Exceptions to Owner Dog Bite Liability Statutes

In Nevada, instances exist where dog owners may not bear liability for dog bite incidents, depending on specific circumstances outlined in state regulations. Notably, suppose the injured party was trespassing on private property or engaged in an unlawful act during the dog bite. In that case, the owner might argue that the dog was provoked or defending its territory, potentially reducing their liability. Additionally, suppose the injured person willingly interacted with a known aggressive or dangerous dog, assuming the risk of being bitten. In that case, the owner may assert that the injured party accepted the potential danger, thus limiting liability. These exceptions introduce complexity to dog bite cases, necessitating a thorough examination of the accident’s surrounding circumstances.

Furthermore, exemptions from liability may apply if the dog bite occurred while the canine was performing law enforcement duties or defending against a threat to human safety. Law enforcement agencies and their canines often benefit from specific legal protections recognizing their roles in maintaining public safety. Understanding these exceptions is vital for dog owners and dog bite victims, as they can significantly influence the legal outcome of a case and impact the extent of compensation available to the injured party. Clear communication and careful consideration of the incident’s details are crucial steps in navigating the legal complexities that can arise in dog bite cases in Nevada.

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Securing compensation for injuries resulting from dog bite incidents involves a nuanced legal process designed to offer financial relief to those affected by canine attacks. Typically, individuals seeking compensation initiate a personal injury claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance or directly against the owner in cases where insurance coverage is absent. The sought-after compensation is comprehensive, covering an array of damages such as medical expenses incurred for emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, medication, and any requisite rehabilitation or therapy.

Furthermore, the compensation sought may encompass non-economic damages or long-term effects of dog bites, including the intangible toll of pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a diminished quality of life arising from a dog bite. In instances where injuries lead to lasting consequences, like scarring, permanent disability, spinal cord injuries, infections or rabies, the compensation may factor in ongoing medical care, loss of earning capacity, and other prospective expenses.

Legal professionals play a pivotal role in assessing the extent of damages, negotiating with insurance entities, and representing the injured party in court to secure equitable compensation. The overarching objective is to provide a holistic remedy addressing not only immediate expenses but also the enduring physical, emotional, and financial ramifications of dog bite injuries.

Reporting and Documenting Dog Bites

Seeking advice and promptly reporting dog bite incidents is crucial for addressing concerns related to public safety, legal accountability, and the overall understanding of canine-related incidents. When someone falls victim to a dog bite, it is essential to report the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement or the animal control agency responsible for the area where the accident occurred. This step ensures that professionals, including animal control officers and law enforcement personnel, can assess the situation, gather pertinent information, and take necessary action to minimize potential risks associated with the involved dog.

Documentation of dog bites is vital for immediate medical care and long-term considerations. In the immediate aftermath, comprehensive documentation is crucial evidence for healthcare providers treating the victim. This evidence should include photographic evidence of injuries, details about the incident’s circumstances, and identifying information about the dog and its owner.

Furthermore, reporting and documenting dog bites is pivotal for legal purposes, creating a record of the incident that proves invaluable if the victim decides to pursue legal action for compensation or if law enforcement agency must address a potentially dangerous animal. A systematic and thorough approach to reporting and documenting dog bites is foundational for safeguarding individuals, ensuring dog owners’ accountability, and establishing the groundwork for appropriate legal and regulatory responses.

Legal Representation in Dog Bite Cases

Securing legal representation is paramount for dog bite victims facing the aftermath of a canine attack. Such incidents can bring about significant physical and emotional distress, coupled with substantial medical costs. An adept attorney specializing in dog bite cases is crucial in navigating the intricate legal landscape associated with these situations. Their expertise aids victims in comprehending their rights, evaluating the dog owner’s liability, and determining the most fitting course of action. This becomes particularly pivotal during negotiations with insurance companies, where a nuanced understanding of personal injury laws is essential for advocating fair compensation.

Additionally, a proficient dog bite attorney guides victims through the entire legal process, encompassing evidence collection, case building, and potential courtroom representation. Their role extends to establishing the dog owner’s negligence, illustrating the extent of injuries, and presenting compelling arguments to support the claim for damages.

This legal support proves invaluable, especially in cases marked by disputed liability or attempts by the dog owner’s insurance company to minimize compensation. The attorney’s proficiency in personal injury law ensures the safeguarding of the victim’s rights, offering the best possible chance for a just and equitable settlement that addresses the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of the dog bite incident.

What Victims Should Know About Pursuing Damages After a Dog Bite Attack

Following a dog bite incident resulting in injury, immediate attention to medical needs is paramount. Prioritizing your health and well-being addresses the physical aftermath of an attack and lays the groundwork for potential legal actions. Once necessary medical treatment has been sought, a pivotal next step is seeking advice from an experienced personal injury attorney, particularly one familiar with the nuances of Nevada’s legal framework.

A seasoned personal injury attorney serves as a vital advocate in maneuvering through the intricacies of the legal system post dog bite incident. Their role extends beyond safeguarding your rights, encompassing assistance in gathering crucial evidence to bolster your claim. In Las Vegas, where local laws may introduce specific considerations, finding the right dog bite injury attorney is crucial to adeptly navigate these complexities to build a robust case against the responsible party.

By relying on their expertise, you increase the likelihood of obtaining fair compensation for incurred damages, such as medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other losses from a dog bite. In essence, consulting with a skilled attorney facilitates legal navigation and acts proactively to protect your rights and secure a just resolution in the aftermath of a dog bite injury.

Don’t wait too long to take action! The sooner you contact an attorney, the better chance you have of recovering damages for your injuries.


Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional injuries that require extensive medical treatment and can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. If you or someone close to you has been attacked by a dog, it is important to understand your legal rights and options under Nevada law. An experienced Las Vegas dog bite injury attorney can help guide you through this process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait too long to take action! Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.

Mace J. Yampolsky is a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has represented clients in a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death matters, including dog bite cases. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a dog, contact Mace today for a free consultation to discuss your case.