Dog Bites

Dogs are cute. We own dogs. We love our dogs. Our dogs are our best friend.

However, this is not the case for everyone and serious problems may arise from a dog bite.

According to CDC studies, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year. Many victims are children. Approximately, 800,000 of those result in medical care. That means dogs may bite approximately 1 out of 73 people. So you need to understand your rights and understand who faces responsibility for your injuries.

At Michael Hua Injury Law, we are well versed in the statutes that protect the rights of dog bite victims. You should act quick after a dog/animal bite or attack to protect and learn of every right you have. An immediate investigation may establish who is at fault and whether insurance coverage is available.

Dog owners are usually held liable for dog bite injuries when their dog has bitten someone before, their dog has been classified as dangerous or vicious by animal control, a dog owner was negligent, or the owner violated a law regarding dog ownership.

If a dog bites someone who trespassed onto private property though, a dog owner might not be held liable. If a dog was provoked, the dog owner might not be held liable. If a dog owner asks someone to stay away from their dog because the dog was excited or nursing injuries and that person was bitten, the dog owner might not be liable.

Michael Hua Injury Law Case Dog Bites


There are several different ways that states impose liability for a dog bite. There are “strict liability” states, meaning that if a dog bites a person that the owner is automatically liable on the grounds of strict liability. Another common type of “knowledge” states, sometimes called “one bite” states, where the owner will only be liable if they knew or should have known that the dog had a vicious propensity or proclivity to cause harm. There is also a minority of states who follow a negligent approach, which reviews whether the owner’s actions were reckless, careless, or otherwise a breach of a duty that caused foreseeable harm to another person. Some states use a combination of these rules.

Liability in a Nevada Dog Bite Case

Nevada follows a hybrid rule of the “one bite” rule, but also has a negligent and knowledge component.

Generally, dog owners in Nevada are not automatically liable for a dog bite or animal attack if their dog has never bitten someone before or engaged in the activity that caused injury (i.e., knocking people down, scratching). An owner must have knowledge of the dog’s prior bite or propensity to cause harm to another.

However, Nevada law also has some exceptions to this knowledge requirement. For instance, if a dog is labeled as a “dangerous dog,” an owner could be liable for a dog bite or animal attack even if it was the first time the dog has hurt someone. A dog may be classified as a “dangerous dog” where the dog has “behaved menacingly” towards a person or people twice within 18 months, without being provoked, and while the dog was off-leash. A “vicious dog” is a dog that has already been classified as a dangerous dog but has caused substantial bodily harm or death to a person.

Further, even if there is no knowledge, the dog has not been labeled as either a “dangerous dog” or as a “vicious dog,” an owner can still be liable if the owner was negligent in causing the animal attack or dog bite. An example of this is leaving a dog with a young child while the dog is eating, and the young child reaching into the bowl and gets bitten by a dog. In this example, a dog owner may be deemed negligent.

Finally, a dog owner could also be automatically negligent under the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine allows the violation of a statute meant to protect a certain class of persons from a certain class of harms to automatically hold the violator liable (and negligent). Negligence per se for dog bites occurs where local municipal law requires a dog owner to keep a dog secured at all times, such as in a fenced yard, in a cage, on a leash, chain, or other devices. If the dog escapes and bites a person, it could result in liability.

As you can appreciate, there are several different ways to establish liability against a dog owner in Nevada. These types of cases are very fact-dependent and really depend on particular circumstances. This is why it is important to have an experienced dog bite lawyer to represent you, like our Las Vegas dog bite lawyer at Michael Hua Injury Law. Even if you were just visiting Las Vegas, NV when you were bitten or attacked, you will likely need a lawyer from Las Vegas and not your home state. Call to learn how we can help you today.

Compensation for a Dog Bite Case in Nevada

Being bitten by a dog or another animal is a traumatic experience, especially for a young child. But anyone can be emotionally shaken after being bitten by a dog or another animal. But not only can this cause emotional harm, but dog bites can also cause serious physical harm. In fact, most dog bites require immediate medical attention and treatment. They often result in damage to tissue such as blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and other muscles or structures. Dog bites to the face are particularly damaging, and frequently leave serious injury that is permanent.Victims who are attacked by a dog or another animal in Nevada are entitled to “damages” under the law. Damages are the relief that a party to a lawsuit may obtain. In personal injury cases, the damages are typically monetary compensation. The types of damages that a victim may obtain for a Las Vegas dog bite include the following:

  • Medical bills – both past bills to be reimbursed, and future medical expenses like surgeries, physical therapy, or medication
  • Lost wages – from being unable to work due to the incident, disability, appointments, or other causes related to the animal attack
  • Pain and suffering – this includes past pain and suffering from the date of the incident until the date of payment, and future pain and suffering measured from the date of payment for the rest of the victim’s life as estimated by an actuary table
  • Loss of consortium from a spouse
  • Wrongful death damages, including funeral costs and burial expenses
  • Loss of society and relationship with children or other dependents
  • Punitive damages – in exceptional and rare cases, but cases involving gross negligence or a wanton disregard for others
  • Any other damages that our dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas, NV could obtain for you

Most of these damages will be tax free under Nevada and federal law. However, you may have to pay taxes on lost wages that are not related to the physical injury itself. You will also almost always be required to pay taxes on punitive damages both to Nevada and the IRS. This situation is the most common for taxes. There are very few other instances where you may have to pay taxes, as most personal injury settlements, verdicts, or awards are not taxed under the law. When in doubt, ask our experienced dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas, or consult with your accountant or CPA.

What should you do if you are bitten by a dog?

Punctures and cuts are typical wounds from dog bite injuries. This may result in bleeding, bruising, and soreness. Wounds should be immediately cleaned and treated to prevent infection. Larger bites may tear through ligaments and even nerves and often require stitches. You should immediately go to the hospital to obtain a tetanus shot and get checked out in case the dog had rabies or some other disease.

If you fail to properly treat wounds resulting from a dog bite, your wound may evolve into serious bacterial infections or permanent tissue damage. Some dog bites require amputations from certain complications. Some complications can be fatal. This is extremely rare though.

Victims of a dog bite may suffer prolonged emotional trauma after a dog bite. We’ve seen this trigger an increased general fear in dogs in both children and adults. Children and adults may isolate and experience anxiety or depression from a dog bite. Victims may also suffer from permanent scarring, issues related to self-image, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to prevent needing a dog bite lawyer?

Responsible pet ownership is key in preventing injuries. Dog owners must provide humane care, custody, and control over their dogs. Dog owners generally should spay, neuter, provide training, socialize, give a proper diet, and provide vet care to their dogs. Dog owners should not allow a pet to become a threat or nuisance.

Common factors that have been statistically analyzed by the National Canine Research Council to relate to dog bites are:

  • The lack of an intervening able-bodied person
  • Victim’s lack of relationship with the dog
  • The dog owner’s failing to neuter/spay the dog
  • The victims poor physical condition to manage dog interactions
  • Mismanagement, abuse, and neglect of a dog (surprisingly, this is actually the lowest factor from this list).

There is no single factor. Dog bites are complex and revolve around a number of facts and circumstances.

Call Michael Hua Injury Law to fight your dog bite

Dog bites are traumatizing for people in all stages of life. Dog bites may result in exorbitant medical bills and cause serious physical and emotional injuries for an extended period of time.

Contact an attorney immediately to learn about your options after a dog or animal attack and potential recovery and justice for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, pain, suffering, and the loss to enjoyment of life.

In addition to dog bites, we are experienced in other practice areas. Fill out our free evaluation form at no risk to learn how we may help.