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Nevada Dog Bite Laws


While dogs are considered man’s best friend, it is not uncommon for our canine companions to attack someone, whether it is a person they are familiar with or a stranger.

While many states have dog bit statutes, Nevada is not one of them. However, a dog owner may face civil liability for a personal injury lawsuit in this state if his/her pet bites someone and the animal has shown a “previous history of aggression” that the owner is – or should have been – aware of.

An owner can be held liable for his/her dog’s actions in Nevada if one or more of the following statements are true:

  • The dog has bitten someone before – Known as the “one-bite rule,” if the dog has previously bitten another person prior to a more recent attack, then the dog owner can be liable for damages. On the other hand, Nevada owners are not automatically liable if their pet bites someone and it is the first time such an attack has happened.
  • The dog is labeled as a “dangerous” or “vicious” dog by animal control officials – A “dangerous” dog is one that behaved menacingly toward people twice in 18 months, without provocation by pain/torment, and when the animal was either “at large” or otherwise off the leash. If a dog is labeled “dangerous,” the owner must obtain a permit from the Animal Regulation Officer to continue owning the animal, ensure the pet is in a secure area within the owner’s property, ensure the dog wears a leash and muzzle when outside the property, and other conditions. A “vicious” dog is one that either continues to behave in a menacing nature after being classified as “dangerous” or caused a serious injury or death to another person. It is against the law to own and keep a vicious dog in Nevada.
  • The owner was negligent – Even if a dog has never bitten anyone before, an owner can still be held liable if they failed to take reasonable precautions prior to the attack. For example, allowing a new dog to play with a small child unsupervised can be considered negligent.
  • The owner violated local or state animal control laws – According to Nevada’s “negligence per se” laws, a dog owner is automatically considered negligent if their dog bites another person while the owner violates a local or state animal control law. For example, multiple cities and towns in Clark County, such as Las Vegas and Henderson, have an ordinance that requires dogs to be securely kept in the owner’s property. If a dog wanders the streets and bites someone, then the owner could be held liable because he/she violated this law.

If you are being accused of a dog bite attack in Las Vegas, contact The Draskovich Law Group today at (702) 381-6590 for a free initial consultation.