las vegas dog bite attorney

Dog Bites and Attacks in Las Vegas & Nevada

For many people, dogs are beloved companions who add immeasurably to the quality of life. But for anyone who has been attacked or bitten by a dog, proximity to the animal may be a source of severe anxiety. Most dogs are loving and affectionate; but a dog’s behavior reflects the care and training that their owners provide for them. A dog that is treated with love will usually have positive feelings toward humans in general; a dog that has been mistreated, neglected, or abused may harbor fear or anger toward the human race that makes it dangerous.

Having a pet that is safe around others is every dog owner’s responsibility. Anyone who decides to get a dog needs to realize that in addition to good breeding, obedience training, socializations, firmness, and love are needed to raise a gentle and trustworthy dog. When owners fail in this responsibility, they may be open to a liability claim if the dog bites someone.

Damages from Dog Bites

A dog owner or a property owner where a dog lives may be held liable for injuries the dog causes. Dog bites may not only cause physical injuries, some requiring surgical repair, but psychological ones as well, including, phobias, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dog bites are the number one reason for property insurance claims. If you’ve been bitten by a dog and seriously injured, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney to learn about your right to recover compensation for your damages.

Responsible Dog Ownership

To avoid liability for negligence, anyone who chooses to own dog has a responsibility for the safety of others by being a responsible pet owner. These are some important steps to take to ensure that the dog will not bite or attack people:

  • Provide obedience training
  • Treat the dog with kindness; never hit a dog as a training device.
  • Socialize the dog to be accepting of people of all ages, races, and genders.
  • Avoid tethering a dog, which can make it vicious.
  • Supervise the dog closely when children are around.
  • Keep the dog safely confined to the house or yard.
  • Be especially alert if strangers to the dog, including the postman, a service technician, or a visitor unfamiliar to the dog are expected.

This requires devoting a significant amount of time and effort to training and socializing the dog, along with supervising it, keeping it leashed when taking it out of the house for exercise, and confining it in a safe area whenever necessary to protect people who enter the property lawfully.

But any dog has the potential to bite, given the right circumstances. A dog instinctively protects its family and territory, and you can’t expect a dog to distinguish between a criminal and a mail carrier, unless it has been socialized to accept the postal employee. To avoid harm to a stranger who needs to come to the home, the owner’s best option is usually to confine the dog. And because children may be rough on animals, they should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how gentle it usually is.

Dogs Bred to Be Vicious

Some dogs are not properly trained and may themselves be victims of abuse. Others are victims of unconscionable breeding practices aimed at producing a vicious animal to be exploited as a fighter. Some breeds, especially pit bull terriers and Rottweilers, may have been selectively bred in such a way that they are inherently dangerous and a threat to people and other animals. It is a crime in Nevada to own or sell a vicious dog, as defined by state statute.

Dog Attack Statistics

Dog bites are far from uncommon, as these statistics show:

  • Approximately 65 million dogs live in the United States.
  • Roughly 5 million people suffer dogs bites every year.
  • Of these, 800,000 of the people bitten require medical treatment.
  • Between 15 and 20 dog bite fatalities happen in the U.S. every year
  • Half of those bitten are children.
  • Mail carriers suffer a disproportionate number of bites: 5879 postal workers were bitten in by dogs in 2012 while delivering mail.
  • Eighty-eight percent of dog bite fatalities are caused by pit bulls, followed by Rottweilers.
  • Over a third of the liability claims received by homeowners’ insurance companies are dog bite claims, the Insurance Information Institute (ILL) reports.
  • Dog bite victims across the nation nationwide suffer between one and two billion dollars in financial damages each year.
  • State Farm, an insurance company that writes homeowners’ policies, paid out more than $136 million dollars in a one year on close to 4,500 dog bite claims.

If You’ve Been Bitten…

  • Inform the dog’s owner of the bite.
  • Get contact information for any witnesses.
  • See a doctor; get the medical treatment you need to prevent infection and scarring.
  • Call Animal Service to report the bite. If the dog does not have a current rabies shot, it will need to be quarantined.
  • Next, make an appointment to speak with Las Vegas Attorney Eric Woods to learn what options are available to you to be compensated for your damages.

Dog Bites and Homeowners’ Insurance

In many cases, you will be making your claim to the property insurance carrier that covers the dog’s owner, or if the dog belongs to a tenant, the owner’s policy. An adjuster will usually contact you within a short time after you’re bitten and may offer a low settlement in exchange for a general release. If your injuries are serious, this is a bad idea, and you should never sign anything or give a recorded statement unless you’ve consulted an attorney who has told you to do so.

Your Right to a Recovery

If you or a family member have been bitten by a dog and have sustained serious injuries as a result of owner negligence, Eric Woods can help by filing a civil claim against the owner. Eric has succeeded helping seriously injured animal attack victims deal with dog bite injuries for more than thirty years. Whether the victim is a child playing in the neighborhood or walking to school, a bicyclist or pedestrian traveling by a residence, a postal worker or tradesperson, or a visitor in the home, he can often help recover compensation for medical expenses, the cost of therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Eric focuses his law practice exclusively on personal injury cases, and he has a well-documented track of holding dog owners accountable for the damage done by of their pets.

Call the Las Vegas law office of Eric H. Woods today to learn what rights you have after being bitten or attacked by a dog.