Dog-Bite Victims and the “One Bite Rule”

Although dog bites are not specifically addressed in Nevada law, a number of different provisions can be used to pursue claims in cases where a dog has caused injury due to the negligence of its owner. Adam Kutner, an attorney in the Las Vegas area, has had significant experience in this field of law and has handled many cases for dog bite victims in Nevada. Understanding the basic principles that govern dog bite cases in the state can help victims protect their legal rights when pursuing compensation for their injury claims.

The One Bite Rule

Because Nevada has no specific rule governing the disposition of dog bite cases, most legal experts consider the “One Bite Rule” to be in effect within the state. This rule states that owners cannot be held liable for negligence unless one of the following conditions has been met:

• The dog has previously bitten or injured someone
• The dog has behaved as if it wanted to bite someone but was restrained from doing so
• The dog has shown a general propensity for aggressive behavior prior to the bite

Even if a dog has not previously bitten or injured anyone, the fact that the animal has shown signs of aggression in the past can be used in court to show that the owner should have known of the dog’s propensity for dangerous behavior. If the victim can prove that the dog had a history of unprovoked attacks, it is likely that the owner will be found liable for the attack and will be financially responsible for any resulting injuries.

Safe at Home

In most cases, trespassers or uninvited visitors are not protected even under the One Bite Rule. This rule generally only applies when the dog is not on the owner’s property. Dogs in cages, pens and in vehicles are generally considered to have been restrained properly. As a result, owners are typically not liable for injuries sustained by individuals who approach a properly restrained dog.

Vicious Dogs

If a dog injures or kills a person without provocation, the dog will usually be categorized as vicious. It is illegal to own a vicious dog in Nevada. Owners of these animals will generally be held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by a vicious dog The courts will also generally order that vicious dogs be euthanized in the interest of public safety. A dog can also be declared vicious by the courts if it has attacked or killed another dog without provocation.

Avoiding Dog Bites and Assessing Liability

Teasing or provoking a dog can incite it to bite and may undermine any claims against the owner. Trespassing is also grounds for dismissal of a personal injury claim in some cases. However, in cases where the attack was unprovoked and occurred off the owner’s property, the victim is usually entitled to compensation from the insurance company that covers the owner, the owner of the dog, or both. This applies in cases of first-time dog bites as well as in situations in which the dog has bitten or shown signs of wanting to bite in the past.

Adam Kutner and other qualified personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas can provide the expertise and experience necessary to ensure that the rights of dog-bite victims are protected and that they receive the maximum compensation allowable for any injuries or damages sustained in these dangerous attacks.

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