Owning a dog comes with the responsibility of ensuring they do not harm other people. When dog bites occur on someone’s property and cause personal injury, dog owners will want to understand how their home insurance policy plays into the litigation process. Read on for some basic information on this process.
Nevada’s Dog Bite Laws
Nevada state law follows the doctrine known as “one-bite rule” with regards to dog bite attacks in the state. This law states that the dog owner is liable for any personal injury caused by their dog only if they had reason to believe the dog was dangerous. In many cases, a dog is viewed as dangerous in the eyes of the law if it has previously bitten or been involved in an attack with another person. In other words, once a dog has bitten someone, the owner is liable for any future damages caused by subsequent attacks.
Like many other states, Nevada defines some terms that specify how the one-bite rule should be applied. For instance, it can only be applied in cases where the dog bite victim was not trespassing and was not provoking the dog. In addition, the dog owner must not have intended for the dog to attack the individual.
Nevada’s one-bite rule is often compared to other states who implement a form of “strict liability” when it comes to dog bite cases. In strict liability states, the dog owner is liable on the first bite, provided the victim was not trespassing and was not provoking the dog. One-bite rule states are therefore more lenient when it comes to dog attack cases compared to strict liability states.
Homeowners Insurance and Dog Bites
When purchasing a home insurance policy, homeowners are typically purchasing two different types of insurance coverage. The first type, property coverage, insures homeowners against the risk of bad weather or some other event that causes physical damage to the property.
The second type of coverage often included in a home insurance policy is liability coverage. This type of coverage insures homeowners against any financial burden in the event someone suffers personal injury on their property, including dog bites. This type of coverage helps cover any legal fees and compensation payouts ordered by the courts if the owner of the policy is found liable for damages incurred.
The Role of Negligence
If a homeowner is taken to court by a dog bite victim, the court will look at the actions of all parties involved in the incident. In Nevada, victims may recover compensation for damages as long as they are 50% or less liable for the incident. If they are found to be over halfway responsible, they become ineligible for compensation.
As an example, let’s say your dog bites someone on your property. You invited the person over, but they were provoking your dog by teasing it even though you instructed them to stop. The court finds the dog bite victim was 70% at fault for the incident. Therefore, they are not eligible to recover compensation from you for their injuries.
Professional Legal Counsel in Las Vegas
For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have been helping dog owners and dog bite victims in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada as they navigate the complex legal processes surrounding litigation. Contact H&P Law today for insight you can trust.