- October 9 2023
- | Personal Injury
The “One Bite Rule” is a legal doctrine that, in some jurisdictions, allows a dog owner to escape liability for a dog bite if it’s the first time their dog has bitten someone, and they had no prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
However, Nevada follows a strict liability rule when it comes to dog bite cases. Under Nevada law, a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused by their dog’s bite, regardless of whether the dog had shown aggressive behavior in the past or whether the owner was aware of any such behavior. The owner is generally responsible for any damages resulting from the dog bite, unless the injured person was trespassing or provoking the dog at the time of the attack.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A VALID PERSONAL INJURY CASE AFTER A DOG BITE?
Determining whether you have a valid personal injury case after a dog bite involves assessing several key factors. Here are the steps to help you evaluate the strength of your potential case:
- Injury Severity: The severity of your injuries is a crucial factor. If you suffered significant injuries, such as deep wounds, scarring, nerve damage, infections, or fractures, your case is generally stronger than if your injuries were minor.
- Liability: Determine who is liable for the dog bite. In most cases, it’s the dog owner’s responsibility. If you were legally on the property or in a public place when bitten, you likely have a stronger case.
- Provable Negligence or Liability: Establish whether the dog owner was negligent or in violation of local laws or ordinances. For example, if the owner knew the dog had a history of aggressive behavior or violated leash laws, it can strengthen your case.
- Evidence: Collect and preserve evidence related to the incident, such as photographs of your injuries, the scene of the attack, and the dog involved. Obtain witness statements if possible.
- Medical Records: Gather and keep records of all medical treatment, including bills, diagnoses, and treatment plans. This helps demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the associated costs.
- Other Documentation: Maintain a record of your personal experiences and losses due to the dog bite, such as missed work, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other damages you’ve incurred.
- Witnesses: Identify and contact any potential witnesses to the dog bite incident. Witness statements can corroborate your version of events.
- Insurance Coverage: Determine if the dog owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that may cover your injuries. Insurance can play a significant role in recovering compensation.
I’VE DECIDED TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM. NOW WHAT?
- Start by researching and identifying attorneys with experience in personal injury or dog bite cases. You can use online resources, ask for recommendations from friends or family, or contact your local bar association for referrals.
- Contact the attorneys you’ve identified and schedule initial consultations. MMany personal injury attorneys, including those specializing as a personal injury attorney in Washoe County, offer free initial consultations. During these meetings, discuss the specifics of your case, the attorney’s experience, fees, and your expectations.
- Ask potential attorneys about their experience handling dog bite cases. Inquire about their track record, successful outcomes, and their familiarity with the relevant laws in your state.
- Ask the attorney for references from previous clients who had similar cases. Speaking with former clients can give you insight into the attorney’s abilities and how they handle cases.
- Pay attention to how well the attorney communicates with you during the consultation. Effective communication is crucial throughout the legal process.
Remember that it’s important to act promptly, as there may be statutes of limitations in your state that limit the time within which you can file a lawsuit. Consulting with an attorney early can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION IN A DOG BITE CASE?
If you opt to pursue an injury claim, you should know that you have the opportunity to seek compensation for all relevant medical expenses, which includes any copayments or deductibles you initially paid. In the event of a successful case resolution or settlement, you can allocate a portion of the funds to pay your medical providers.
What about emotional distress?
Insurance companies typically do not provide compensation to victims for non-economic losses such as emotional distress. However, at Leverty & Associates, we believe that no victim should be forced to accept less than what they rightfully deserve.
A serious dog bite injury could potentially disrupt the everyday rhythm of your life. Doing ordinary chores or going to work may suddenly feel like a chore. And if you become physically limited, you may find yourself withdrawing in other ways, as well. This withdrawal often causes depression. You might also experience anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The symptoms of these conditions inhibit recovery and make it even harder to make it through a day.
Your compensation should take into account both economic and emotional distress and be sufficient to cover immediate and future expenses related to your accident-induced injuries, encompassing costs for ongoing treatment, therapy, or long-term care, should the need arise.
When you need answers about your personal injury case, be sure to look for someone with experience and knowledge in personal injury cases. Our lawyers at Leverty & Associates Law include a Nevada Justice Association-certified Personal Injury Specialist.
Our work does not end until we obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
Do I Have a Case If I Only Have Minor Injuries?
Emotional distress, anxiety, and trauma can result from even minor dog bites. If you have experienced these emotional effects, it’s worth discussing them with an attorney. Victims should always see a doctor. Only a medical professional can properly evaluate your medical condition. Likewise, victims should always see a personal injury lawyer. Only an attorney can determine your legal options.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Personal Injury Lawyers in Nevada?
At Leverty & Associates, our personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. That means we will take a small percentage of a judgment or settlement as payment for our professional services.
Insurers want to protect their bottom line. Our attorneys want to protect your rights.
Contact us today so we can get to work for you and get you the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations. Call us in Reno: (775) 322-6636 or Las Vegas: (702) 507-0201.
About Leverty & Associates Law Firm
The attorneys at Leverty & Associates focus on insurance bad faith and personal injury cases. They are committed to achieving the best outcomes possible for clients who have been injured or wronged by the negligence and bad actions of others. Lead attorney Patrick Leverty possesses exceptional legal expertise handling personal injury claims. Leverty & Associates offers free consultations and contingency fee agreements. Visit www.LevertyLaw.com or contact them in Reno at (775) 322-6636 or Las Vegas at (702) 507-0201.