Proving Dog Bite Liability in Nevada

wound on hand being cleanedUnlike a majority of the states, Nevada does not have a specific statute addressing dog bite liability. Instead, personal injury cases involving dog bites proceed under the state’s negligence laws and precedents that have been established through specific case decisions. Additionally, local ordinances may also be used to establish negligence per se, or strict liability, for dog bite cases.

Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

When a dog attacks, a victim may be seriously injured or they might die. When a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas files a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit for his or her client, the client’s burden of proof will be by a preponderance of the evidence standard, which requires that it is more likely than not that the owner’s actions were negligent.

The Nevada Supreme Court has held that dog bite matters must follow the state’s liability principles contained in the general tort law. This means that a plaintiff will need to be able to prove that the dog owner was negligent and that his or her negligence led to the dog’s attack and resulting injury or death.

Local Ordinances and Negligence Per Se

Although the state does not have its own specific dog bite statutes, local ordinances can be used to prove negligence per se, which is strict liability for dog bites. This makes the cases easier to prove. Clark County has a leash law in place that can be used to establish negligence per se in dog bite cases. A personal injury attorney in Las Vegas may plead a violation of the statute in the formal civil complaint in order to make proving the owner’s negligence easier.

It is important to understand that the leash law prohibits dogs being off the leash in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, but there are areas of the county that are rural in which the leash law does not apply. Similarly, dogs at dog parks and other designated areas in Clark County are also allowed to be off of the leash.

Dog bites may leave people suffering from permanent scars and disabling injuries. They sometimes also result in the wrongful death of victims. Understanding how to prove the dog owner’s liability is important for people so that they might recover damages that are sufficient to pay for their losses.