Suffering a dog bite can be very traumatic. When it happens, you witness the violent nature that can lurk within “man’s best friend.” Dog bites often happen due to the dog owner’s disregard for your safety and local animal control laws. A dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas could help you prove the dog owner’s negligence. To pursue compensation for your painful injuries, you should take the following steps to protect your health and strengthen your legal position.

 

1. Find Out Who Owns the Dog

If the owner of the dog is present, collect that person’s contact information. The dog owner may not be willing to provide much information and may offer excuses about the dog’s behavior. Regardless of the person’s level of cooperation, make note of the dog owner’s address and any other information that you can identify.

In some cases, the owner of a dog that bites you may not be readily apparent. You may have been walking in your neighborhood and had a loose dog rush toward you and attack. Ask any people in the area if they recognize the dog and which house it came from. You or a friend could knock on that house’s door and inquire about the owner.

However, a seriously injured person might not have the ability in the immediate aftermath of the attack to locate the dog owner. That situation could call for contacting a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas. A law office could send an investigator to track down who is responsible for the dog.

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2. Obtain Veterinary Contact Information

Knowing who owns the dog is critical for accessing veterinary records. The victim of a dog attack needs to know if the animal has a current rabies vaccination record. Rabies is a serious viral disease transmitted by animal bites. Ask the dog’s owner for the name, telephone number, and location of the dog’s veterinarian. Your medical care provider and law enforcement will use this information to check on vaccination records.

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3. Get Medical Treatment

Dog bites frequently result in painful puncture wounds, tearing of flesh, and even crushed bones, especially in the hands. A relatively minor attack might make you think that you can tend the wound yourself. Keep in mind though that your desire to pursue a personal injury claim will benefit from an official medical evaluation.

You want medical records that confirm that the wounds are consistent with a dog attack. A visit to a physician is also appropriate because bite wounds are prone to bacterial infections that can cause serious complications.

Dog attacks often inflict wounds that will prompt you to seek medical care without hesitation. Be sure to follow the physician’s orders about treatments so that you can put yourself on track for a good recovery. Should your case involve disputes with an insurer, an insurance adjuster might argue that your failure to follow medical advice justifies reducing your compensation. Representation from a Las Vegas injury lawyer may provide additional protection from tactics meant to deflect liability for your damages.

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4. Take Pictures

Any lawyer’s advice concerning personal injury in Las Vegas will always include taking pictures. Camera phones make this very easy to do, and photographic evidence very often can settle questions of fact that may otherwise rely on a witness’s memory.

After a dog attack, take pictures of:

  • The dog
  • Your injuries
  • Location where the attack occurred
  • Broken fences
  • Open gates

These pictures can reveal that a dog did not have a leash or that a fence was in disrepair and clearly unable to restrain an animal. Additionally, if you are not able to speak with the dog’s owner, take a picture of the home or building where you think that the animal is housed. A dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas could follow up on this information and collect additional evidence.

5. Report the Dog Attack to the Police

Informing the police about a dog attack is entirely appropriate. In fact, you should do so because the police report will strengthen your legal position. The local police department will likely refer you to its animal control department. Law enforcement may follow up on the report and investigate the dog’s owner. This could uncover evidence that will assist in your injury case.

6. Ask About the Dog at Area Animal Control Agencies

If you were able to speak with the dog’s owner at the time of the attack, that person might have insisted that the dog was friendly and had no history of aggression. The dog owner may know that the absence of any history of attack for the animal could reduce the chance of being held liable. However, that person might also be telling you an outright lie.

An animal could very well have been reported for an attack or menacing behavior previously. You should ask all of the nearby animal control agencies to see if any reports about the dog are on record. If you are too hurt to deal with this part of the investigation, search online for a dog bite lawyer near me. A law firm can assist with tracking down this information.

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7. Keep Records of All Medical Bills and Financial Losses

Insurance claims and lawsuits require documentation about the financial damages suffered by a victim. You should store all records about your medical appointments, treatments, and lost income in one place. A dog bite lawyer Las Vegas can use this documentation to pursue every dollar of value attributable to your injury.

 

How to Prove Negligence for a Dog Bite

Nevada state law does not directly address dog bites, but victims, in general, have a legal right to compensation if the responsible party is shown to have acted negligently. However, the state does have laws about dangerous or vicious dogs. If a Las Vegas injury lawyer finds evidence that a dog falls into either of those categories, you could be well on your way to proving liability.

Within Las Vegas and more broadly Clark County, proving negligence gets a little easier because of local laws about keeping dogs on leashes in public and containing animals adequately with fences or kennels. Violations of any one of these local statutes can greatly increase your chance of collecting a settlement.

For example, a dog owner who did not put a lock on a gate or repair a broken fence can be accused of acting negligently if a loose dog attacks someone. In cases of dogs attacking small children, negligence is sometimes seen as the result of leaving a dog unsupervised around young children.

 

Sources of Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

A dog’s owner will face financial liability for your damages if negligence can be proven. A homeowner’s insurance policy often includes coverage for victims of dog attacks. In the absence of insurance coverage, personal injury law would support seeking a judgment against a dog owner’s personal assets.

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Talk to a Las Vegas Injury Lawyer

A dog bite case can become complex. Dog owners have more than financial concerns to motivate them to battle your claim. They usually have strong emotional attachments to their dogs and want to avoid having them labeled dangerous or vicious. Both factors can inspire strong resistance to your need for compensation.

Darren J. Lach, Esq. is the dog bite lawyer that you are looking for. He will challenge any tactics meant to deny you compensation. Contact Lach Injury Law for a free consultation today.

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