Dog Bite Attorneys Serving Las Vegas and All of Nevada
The Las Vegas dog bite lawyers at Burg Simpson understand how distressing and damaging these attacks can be. Our firm brings more than four decades of experience into every dog bite claim we take. We are here to listen to your story and provide actionable information about your legal options.
There are nearly 90 million pet dogs in the United States. Around 70 percent of American households have at least one dog. While many are well-behaved and friendly, trusted animal companions can turn on strangers and familiar faces alike. Unsurprisingly, a dog bite occurs roughly every 75 seconds, resulting in an average of 4.5 million bites each year.
Our team of skilled and award-winning litigators has a proven track record of securing fair compensation for victims of serious injury. We understand how to investigate dog bites, identify the liable party, and assist victims in receiving compensation for all related economic, physical, and psychological damages.
To schedule your FREE and confidential consultation with a Las Vegas dog bite attorney, call us at 702-668-2070 today. Burg Simpson welcomes clients from North Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.
What Are the Most Dangerous Dog Breeds?
While it’s important to understand that a dog’s temperament and behavior are often influenced more by how they’re raised and treated than their breed, certain breeds are statistically more likely to be involved in bite incidents.
Lists claiming to contain “the most dangerous dog breeds” vary considerably and often contain at least some amount of editorializing. This makes it hard to determine—factually—which dog breeds are more dangerous than others. However, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the breeds most often involved in severe attacks are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Huskies. During this study, pit bulls and rottweilers combined accounted for 50 percent of all dog-bite fatalities.
Interestingly, “pit bull” is the description of a class of dogs, not an actual breed. Four breeds of dog fall into this category: the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully.
The most popular breed of dog in Las Vegas is the English Bulldog. The most popular breed in Nevada is the American Pit Bull Terrier.
A Closer Look at Ten Dangerous Dog Breeds
- Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls are a class of medium-sized dogs, often weighing between 30 to 85 pounds. They are muscular and strong and known for their powerful jaws. Tragically, their jaw strength and determination can make their bites particularly severe.
- Rottweilers. Rottweilers are a large breed, typically weighing between 80 to 135 pounds. They are known for their strength and protective nature, and their size and power can make their bites particularly harmful.
- German Shepherds. German Shepherds are also a large breed of dog, usually weighing between 50 to 90 pounds. Shepherds are protective and can become extremely aggressive if they perceive a threat, real or imagined.
- Huskies. Siberian Huskies are a medium-to-large breed, with a typical weight range of 35 to 60 pounds. They are strong, athletic, and energetic dogs, which can lead to serious injury when they attack.
- American Bulldogs. American Bulldogs are a large breed, typically weighing between 60 to 120 pounds. They are powerful, athletic dogs with an incredibly strong bite. They can become very territorial and aggressive when not properly trained.
- Bullmastiffs. Bullmastiffs are a giant breed, often weighing between 100 to 130 pounds. They are a guarding breed known for their strength and determination; their weight and height make their bites particularly dangerous.
- Labrador Retrievers. Labradors are a medium to large breed, usually weighing between 55 to 80 pounds. While generally amiable, their size, strength, and sometimes unpredictable behavior can lead to serious injuries when they attack.
- Boxers. Boxers are medium to large dogs, typically weighing between 50 to 80 pounds. They are energetic, muscular, and protective of their families. Without proper training and socialization, they can become overly protective.
- Doberman Pinschers. Dobermans are a large breed, usually weighing between 60 to 100 pounds. They can be protective and have a very strong bite, making training and socialization vital to prevent potential aggression.
- Alaskan Malamutes. Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs, typically weighing between 75 to 85 pounds. Originally bred for hauling heavy freight, their size and strength can make them very dangerous when they are not adequately trained.
The behavior of a dog is significantly influenced by its upbringing, training, and treatment. Irresponsible ownership can make any breed dangerous, while responsible ownership can help ensure that even a dog from an “aggressive breed” becomes a safe and loving family member. But remember, even trusted and loving family dogs can become unexpectedly aggressive. Teaching children how to respect and behave around dogs can help to minimize these risks.
Of course, even cautious children and respectful adults can be attacked by an uncontrolled animal. When that happens, having a skilled dog bite attorney on your side is essential for preserving your rights and securing full compensation. The Las Vegas dog bite lawyers at Burg Simpson are ready to review your claim FREE of cost and obligation to help you determine if you have cause to file a lawsuit.
Are There Dog Breed Restrictions in Nevada?
There is no breed-specific legislation (BSL) in Nevada. In fact, local authorities are prohibited from enacting laws that declare a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on its breed. However, a dog owner might be held liable for a bite if:
- They owned or were responsible for controlling the dog
- They were negligent in controlling the dog or failed to use reasonable care to prevent the dog from injuring others
- This negligence allowed the attack which caused serious injury
Nevada does not have a “one-bite rule” that automatically shields owners whose dogs have not bitten others before. In our state, a dog’s previous behavior can be considered evidence of whether the owner should have known the animal posed a danger. In some cases, harboring a vicious or dangerous animal can be a criminal offense (see Nevada Revised Statute § 202.500).
The Most Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can vary greatly depending on the breed, the extent and duration of violence inflicted by the animal, and the age and health of the victim. However, one in five dog bite victims requires medical attention for catastrophic injuries including:
Punctures and Lacerations
Dogs’ teeth are designed to grip, tear, and hold. When a dog bites, their teeth can cause deep puncture wounds and lacerations. The severity of these injuries can vary, with some bites requiring stitches or even plastic surgery. The risk of infection is high with these wounds as well, and significant scarring or disfigurement is also a possibility.
In more severe attacks, or when smaller victims are involved, dogs can cause fractures. Depending on the location and extent of the fracture, surgical intervention may be necessary. These injuries often lead to extended periods of physical rehabilitation, and there may be long-term effects on mobility or function.
Severe dog bites can result in disfigurement, especially when they occur on visible areas such as the face. This can lead to emotional distress and may require plastic surgery to correct. In some cases, disfigurement can result in a loss of functional ability as well.
A dog bite can damage nerves, particularly if the bite is deep or if the victim is bitten on their extremities. Nerve damage can result in loss of sensation, impaired movement, or chronic pain, and in some cases may be irreversible.
Soft Tissue and Muscle Damage
Dogs have strong jaws that can cause significant damage to the soft tissues and muscles beneath the skin. This damage can lead to chronic pain, loss of function, or require surgical repair. In some cases, severe muscle damage can result in long-term disability.
Dog mouths host a variety of bacteria, which can be introduced into a person’s body during a bite. Immediate and thorough cleaning of the wound is essential to minimize infection risk. Still, some people may develop serious infections, such as cellulitis or sepsis—a systemic infection that can be life-threatening.
The psychological effects of a dog bite can be as impactful as the physical ones. Victims might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, developing symptoms such as recurrent, intrusive memories of the event, nightmares, and a heightened state of anxiety. A fear of dogs may also develop, which can be particularly limiting given the prevalence of dogs in our society. Professional mental health support, including therapy or counseling, may be necessary to help the victim cope with and overcome these emotional wounds.
Dog Bite Injuries and Children
Children are, unfortunately, at a higher risk of being bitten by dogs than adults. Their small size, natural curiosity, and lack of understanding about how to interact safely with dogs can make them particularly vulnerable. The potential severity and impact of dog bites on children can be both physical and psychological, which can have far-reaching effects such as:
The Physical Impacts of Dog Bites on Children
Due to their shorter stature, children are more likely to suffer dog bite injuries to the upper body, including the face, neck, and head. These areas are particularly susceptible to severe injuries such as deep puncture wounds, lacerations, fractures, and nerve damage. Such injuries can lead to long-term or even permanent disfigurement and disability.
It’s also worth noting that, because their bodies are still growing, injuries that might be less severe in adults can have profound impacts on a child’s development.
The Psychological Impacts of Dog Bites on Children
The psychological impact of a dog bite can be as devastating for a child as physical injuries. Like adults, childhood victims of dog attacks may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including nightmares, fear, and anxiety.
In addition, for children, dog bites often result in a deep-seated fear of dogs (known as cynophobia), which can persist into adulthood and affect the child’s ability to interact with animals in a normal and healthy manner forever. This can limit where they feel comfortable living, shopping, and working, and can reduce their ability to interact fully with their friends and family.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the greatest risk for dog bite injury, but children of all ages can be harmed by a violent animal. If your child has suffered an injury from a dog bite, Burg Simpson is here to help. Call our Las Vegas dog injury attorneys for a FREE consultation to learn about your rights and options today.
What Types of Damages Can I Seek in a Dog Bite Case?
In Nevada, victims of dog bites can pursue compensation for a variety of damages related to the incident, including:
- Economic Damages. Tangible, out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the dog bite are known as economic or special damages. They include medical expenses such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, and ongoing physical therapy. Economic damages also cover loss of earnings if you had to take time off work or your future earning capacity has been diminished due to the injury.
- Non-Economic Damages. Intangible losses that don’t have a specific dollar value but greatly affect your life are known as non-economic or general damages. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and, in severe cases, trauma related to disfigurement or disability.
- Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are awarded in some cases to punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct. In Nevada, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless, fraudulent, or malicious. In dog bite cases, this might apply if the dog owner knew their dog was dangerous and took no steps to prevent the dog from harming others.
Understanding the worth of your claim is not always easy. Insurance companies may make quick attempts at settlement. They know if you accept an offer, you cannot file a lawsuit. They also know if they can prevent you from filing suit, they can exercise much more control over the amount of compensation you are awarded. Before you accept an insurance offer, speak with our Las Vegas dog bite lawyer for FREE and learn what your case is really worth.
Who Pays for Dog Bites in Nevada?
Dogs that attack often belong to a neighbor, friend, or someone you know well. However, it’s important to remember that pursuing a claim for a dog bite is not about placing blame or creating conflict. It’s about ensuring you receive the medical care and support you need to heal and move forward.
Depending on the circumstances, dog bite damages may be paid by:
- Homeowners or Renters Insurance. These policies typically include liability coverage for dog bite injuries. This means the insurance company—not the dog’s owner—will generally be responsible for covering your medical costs, lost wages, and other related expenses.
- Dog Owner’s Personal Liability. There are instances where insurance might not cover the entire extent of the damages or where the dog owner does not have insurance. In such cases, the dog owner may be personally responsible for covering these costs. However, it’s important to remember that this is a legal matter and not a personal one. Our attorneys handle these matters with the utmost sensitivity, ensuring that your relationship with the dog owner remains as unaffected as possible.
It’s understandable to have reservations about pursuing a claim, especially when it might involve someone you have a personal relationship with. However, remember that your recovery and well-being are the priorities. The team at Burg Simpson is here to help you navigate this process, making it as straightforward and stress-free as possible. We will handle the legalities, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
How Long Do I Have to Call a Dog Bite Lawyer?
While not a hard-and-fast rule, the statute of limitations applies in most cases, though there are some exceptions. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations in Nevada is:
Two Years for Adults
Adult dog bite victims typically have two years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, while two years might seem like plenty of time, it’s essential to act quickly. Gathering evidence, such as medical records and witness statements, may be easier when completed closer to the time of the incident.
Until the Age of 18 for Children
If a child is bitten by a dog, the two-year statute of limitations does not start until the child’s 18th birthday This means that a lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the child up to two years after they turn 18, providing more time to pursue legal action. However, it’s often beneficial to consult with a lawyer sooner rather than later to ensure the preservation of crucial evidence.
Remember, while the law provides a window of time to file a claim, this doesn’t mean you should wait. The Las Vegas dog bite attorneys at Burg Simpson, overseen by award-winning litigator Jack F. DeGree, are ready to assess your damages, provide information about your options, and guide you toward the best course of action.
Our Las Vegas Dog Bite Lawyers Are Here to Help!
Dog bite cases can be complex. Because each one has its own set of circumstances, they must be carefully reviewed to determine liability and the next best steps. It sounds like such a simple thing: you were attacked by a dog and now you deserve compensation. But changes in the law—and the details of the circumstances surrounding the incident—can make such an event much more complex than you think.
If you have been bitten by a dog, our experienced Las Vegas dog bite lawyers welcome the opportunity to listen to your experiences, discuss the dog bite claims process, and help you determine if legal action might be helpful in your situation.
Good Lawyers. Changing Lives.®
To schedule your complimentary case review, call Burg Simpson at 702-668-2070 or contact us online today. Located in Las Vegas, our dog bite attorneys assist people dealing with the consequences of animal attacks in Spring Valley, Henderson, Paradise, and all nearby areas of Nevada.