Posted on October 9, 2019 in Personal Injury
Dogs are a very popular pet in Nevada and throughout the United States – but not all dog owners handle their animals responsibly, and not all dogs are friendly. Thousands of people sustain serious injuries as a result of dog bites and dog attacks each year. If a dog bites you, you may have the option to claim compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a Las Vegas dog bite attorney – as long as the circumstances of your case meet certain requirements.
How Does Nevada Treat Dog Bite Cases?
Unlike many other states, Nevada does not have specific statutes on dog bites. Instead, the courts will view your case based on precedent. This means that the way that your judge will treat your case will depend on what other courts have decided about other dog bite cases in the past.
Nevada’s governing case on dog bites is Harry v. Smith, which states that Nevada courts will judge dog bite basis on a negligence basis. In order for you to hold the dog owner accountable for your injuries and to receive compensation, you will need to prove the following factors in your lawsuit.
- First, you need to prove that the owner owed you a duty of care – i.e., to use reasonable care to prevent the injury, such as to control his or her dog or to warn you of the danger that the dog could pose to you.
- Second, you need to prove that the owner failed to use reasonable care to prevent his or her dog from causing injury to you. You can do this in a number of ways, such as proving that the dog has a history of aggression and the owner failed to act on it. Some areas of Nevada enforce laws that require dog owners to restrain their animals, such as walking them on a leash at all times or enclosing their dogs in a fenced yard. If you suffer an injury as a result of a breach of these laws, you could prove a breach of care and satisfy this element.
- Third, you need to prove that you suffered your injury as a result of the lack of reasonable care. You can accomplish this by producing various pieces of evidence like surveillance footage, witness testimony, and medical records.
- And fourth, you need to prove that you suffered damages as a result of the injury, such as medical expenses and emotional distress. Your attorney can help you determine which damages you are eligible for.
Damages in Dog Bite Lawsuits
You can claim both economic and non-economic damages in a dog bite lawsuit. Economic damages refer to the tangible losses you suffered as a result of the attack, such as medical expenses, lost wages during recovery, and property damages. Non-economic damages refer to the losses you cannot calculate, such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may award you punitive damages to punish the negligent actions of the dog owner. Nevada permits the recovery of these damages in situations where the dog owner acted in a particularly negligent or reckless way.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Lawsuit?
In the state of Nevada, you have to adhere to the statute of limitations before you file a lawsuit against someone for a dog bite. If you do not file your case within this deadline, the court will not hear your case. For dog bite lawsuits, you have two years from the date of the injury to file your claim.
The aftermath of a dog attack can be financially, emotionally, and physically devastating. If you believe that you are eligible for compensation based on the facts of your case, contact a Nevada dog bite attorney as soon as possible. He or she will discuss the facts of your case with you and advise you of your legal options, helping you file your lawsuit in civil court and craft a compelling case in your favor.