Dog Bite Lawyers in Las Vegas
Everyone has heard dogs referred to as “man’s best friend.” Whether a person agrees with that particular assessment or not, it’s impossible not to acknowledge the connection that humans have with canines. Unfortunately, this connection isn’t a perfect one. Over 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year in America. There are times when pets attack their owners, but in many cases, victims are harmed by animals they don’t own or have never met. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in such an attack, you might be entitled to financial compensation. A dog bite lawyer in Law Vegas may be able to help.
At Bernstein & Poisson, our personal injury attorneys have worked hard over the years to hold negligent dog owners accountable. In many instances, it’s not really the animal’s fault. Neglecting an animal, training it to be vicious, allowing it to roam unleashed, and other reckless behaviors all increase the risk of a dog becoming violent. This has become a particular problem in Clark County — where animal control responds to nearly 1,000 dog bite calls yearly — even when not including Las Vegas and Henderson. If you or someone you love has become the victim of an attack, there may be legal remedies available. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Are Dog Bite Victims Entitled to Compensation?
Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys get asked a lot of questions during a free case evaluation. One of the most relevant, however, is whether a victim is entitled to compensation. In most cases where the negligence of an individual leads to injuries, this question is a relatively simple one to answer. Personal injury claims rely on proving liability, and this could be as straightforward as showing that someone failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, things aren’t so clear-cut in Las Vegas dog bite cases. That’s because Nevada recognizes the one-bite rule.
This means that an owner must have been aware of their pet’s violent tendencies in order to be held liable in most cases. For instance, perhaps they witnessed their animal attack someone in the past. Maybe animal control classified their pet as a “dangerous dog” after fielding repeat calls. This requirement creates what many people see as an unfair burden on victims of dog bites. Fortunately, there are ways around this rule. For instance, some local ordinances create strict liability for dog owners — meaning they can be held financially accountable even on a dog’s first bite. There are also some unique circumstances that could create liability for the owner.
For instance, a dog bite may occur because the owner fails to abide by pet ownership statutes. This could happen if there are leash laws in an area and a person walks their dog without a tether. This is a clear act of negligence and a violation of their duty of care to others. This means that a dog bite lawsuit can move forward even without evidence of prior vicious acts by the animal. The important thing to remember is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to whether a dog bite case will lead to compensation. This is why you should reach out to Bernstein & Poisson today for a free consultation.
What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Victims of dog bites suffer injuries that are widely varying in nature. In fact, an injured victim doesn’t necessarily have to be bitten by a dog in order to be eligible for financial compensation. An overexcited and unleashed animal could knock someone’s toddler down while simply trying to be friendly. This means every Las Vegas dog bite attorney will see clients who have suffered a variety of different injuries. However, the most common include:
- Facial injuries (common in children)
- Lacerations and bruising
- Broken bones from being knocked down
- Extremity amputation (e.g., fingers, etc.)
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Crush injuries caused by extreme bite force
- Wounds that lead to wrongful death
Dog bite incidents are as varied as any other type of personal injury case. Regardless of the harm you’ve suffered — even if it’s only emotional distress — you may be able to file a dog bite lawsuit based on your injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney after seeking medical treatment. At Bernstein & Poisson, we offer free case evaluations and work on a contingency-fee basis. This means you won’t pay a dime unless our Las Vegas dog bite injury attorneys are able to recover damages on your behalf. Contact our law firm today to learn how we can help.
What Are Potential Damages When a Dog Bites Someone?
Dog bites can result in serious injuries, and if you’re eligible to recover compensation, you may wonder how much you’ll be able to receive. There is no single answer to this question. Potential financial recovery depends entirely on your physical injuries and other losses. However, any potential damages will typically fall into three categories — not including attorney fees you may be entitled to. Not every animal attack victim will be eligible for all of these, but the following are potential damages that a dog’s owner may have to pay:
- Special damages: These are economic damages meant to compensate victims for monetary loss. Any lost income, medical bills, property damage, shots for disease control, or other expenses fall into this category.
- General damages: These are non-economic damages meant to compensate victims for other losses. General damages can cover pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and other losses that cannot easily be quantified.
- Punitive damages: If it’s proven that a dog’s owner was particularly egregious in their actions — such as when they willfully caused substantial bodily harm or were extremely reckless — a court may award additional damages meant to punish the defendant.
Whether you have a Las Vegas dog bite attorney will not dictate whether you’re entitled to these damages. However, failure to seek legal representation could reduce your ability to recover damages that cover all your losses. That’s because statistics consistently show that personal injury victims with attorneys receive higher settlements and court awards than their pro se (i.e., people representing themselves) counterparts. This is one of the many reasons you should contact an attorney experienced in dog bites immediately after you seek medical attention. This single decision will likely be one of the most important you ever make.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Dog Attacks in Nevada?
In instances where dog bite liability exists, it’s important to act quickly to seek compensation. That’s because there is a deadline for filing a claim. Nevada law creates a statute of limitations of two years for dog bite attacks. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time, you will most likely lose your right to financial recovery. This means lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and other losses will all fall squarely on your shoulders. And without the threat of a dog bite claim as motivation, the owner’s insurance company is unlikely to offer a fair settlement. By now, you’re probably saying, “It’s fine. I’ve got two whole years.”
While it’s true that two years may seem like a long time, the truth is that it can go by in a flash if you’ve suffered dog bite injuries. Time can sneak right past you when you’re as burdened as you might be after suffering substantial bodily harm. And even if there is plenty of time to file a case, waiting can actually prove detrimental to your dog bite claim. This is because personal injury cases become more difficult to prove over time. Witnesses move. Phone numbers change. Memories fade. Evidence gets lost. Every second you spend not contacting a dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas is a moment that reduces your chance at compensation.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Las Vegas Today
The victim of an animal attack will have a lot on their plate. In addition to worrying about medical bills and lost wages while out of work, they’re often left wondering how to hold negligent owners accountable. Even if you haven’t suffered significant dog bite injuries of a physical nature, the emotional trauma of an attack can last a lifetime. Nevada law may seem like it doesn’t take damages of any kind seriously — particularly because of the state’s one-bite laws. However, it’s important to realize that you might be entitled to compensation even if a dog has never shown any violent tendencies. Las Vegas personal injury attorneys may be able to help prove your case.At Bernstein & Poisson, our team of legal professionals has seen the damage that a dangerous dog can do. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen victims of dog bite cases wonder how they’re going to deal with the burdensome consequences of their injuries. After all, it’s not as if the police are going to visit a negligent pet owner’s property and tell them, “Here’s the hospital bill; make sure you pay it.” Fortunately, there are other legal remedies available. The best approach to your case will depend on the underlying circumstances, so schedule a free consultation with Bernstein & Poisson today. Contact us by calling (702) 707-5934. Our dog bite lawyers in Las Vegas are ready to assist.
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