People generally agree that sustaining a dog bite is unpleasant. Obviously, most people also try to avoid dogs that bite. There is less consensus, however, when it comes to proving fault and receiving compensation in the case of a dog bite injury.
Laws regarding dog bites differ depending on the state. In some locations, statewide dog bite statutes do not exist.
Recovering damages in Nevada
Nevada does not have a strict liability statute that governs dog bites. After a dog bite occurs, the victim must prove that the negligence of the dog owner led to the injury. Proving negligence may allow the plaintiff to recover damages for the injury from the bite.
Proving negligence and fault
The injured person can attempt to prove that the owner knew, or should have known, that the dog had “vicious propensities” and so was predisposed to attack or bite. Certain factors can help to prove that the owner was negligent and therefore at fault.
Relevant factors can include a history of violence, such as frequent snapping, or other aggressive behaviors. The dog’s size and breed can also apply, as can a tendency to fight with other animals.
It is possible that the owner ignored prior complaints about the dog’s aggressiveness. This information could show that he or she was aware of the danger that the dog posed.
Finally, the person owning the dog may have posted warning signs on the premises about the dog. Such action could establish that the owner had knowledge of the dog’s violent nature.
Seeking medical attention
If the victim receives a bite that is deep or serious, he or she should pursue treatment. Experiencing extreme pain, loss of function or uncontrollable bleeding all indicate a serious bite. A person should also seek care if he or she develops a fever or if the wound becomes painfully swollen or red.
If the victim of a deep bite has not received a tetanus shot in more than five years, he or she needs to visit a healthcare provider. The same recommendation applies if someone does not know the dog’s vaccination status regarding rabies.