The very first time a dog bites someone, the owner may be responsible for damages if their actions were negligent. More about that later. When a dog bites someone, the bite must be reported to local animal control authorities. If the same dog acts menacingly toward people more than once in eighteen months without provocation, it will be classified as a dangerous dog.
Dogs that are reported for biting someone will be temporarily quarantined to check for rabies.
Las Vegas is in Clark County where there is a leash law that requires all dogs to be on a leash when they are not constrained on their owner’s property. If your dog is violating this ordinance when it bites someone, it is considered negligence per se. In other words, you will be legally liable for the bite.
If your dog is not violating the local ordinance when it bites someone, more defenses are available. The party who was bit will then have to show that you were negligent in some other way. This means showing that you were careless or didn’t take reasonable precautions to protect them.
If the owner’s negligence is demonstrated, the wronged party must then show that the negligence caused them to be bitten, partially or wholly.
The owner can offer a defense that claims that the person who was bit acted in a way that led to the dog bite. Such claims are best made with the help of a Las Vegas injury lawyer. For example, teasing a dog or harassing it can provoke it to defend itself or its ‘people.’ This defense doesn’t work well when young children are injured because it requires the owner to show that the person who provoked the attack knew or should have known the dog would react by biting.
Since children, especially young children, can’t be expected to understand that teasing a dog may make it attack, owners should be extra cautious to protect children. This includes making it difficult for a child to gain access to a fenced yard containing the dog.
Dog bite claims can range from wrongful death, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and even punitive damages in special circumstances.