Dog Bite


According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States.  Nearly 1 in 5 bites become infected and the same percentage require medical attention.  In 2015, the Agency for Health and Research and Quality determined that the average cost of a dog bite related hospital stay was $18,200 and this cost is rising every year.  The average cost per day for a dog bite related hospital stay was 2.5 times that of the average injury related hospital stay ($5,500 per day vs. $2,200).  If you or a loved one is injured by a dog bite consult with a doctor as soon as practicable after the incident.  It is possible the dog bite may not be severe but let the doctor make that determination.  If bitten by a dog, the victim should inquire from the dog owner if the dog has been vaccinated.  This information is not only important for the victim but also for the treating doctor.  In addition, the victim should get the contact information of the owner of the dog and if there are any witnesses to the incident get their contact information also.  When time permits, take photos of the injuries caused by the attack.  Finally, contact Animal Control and report the attack.  Animal control will conduct an investigation of the incident.Nevada has no statute that governs dog bites.  As a result, Nevada is considered a “one bite state.”  The “one bite rule” states that the owner of the dog, and others, can be held liable for damages caused by the dog upon a showing that the (a)  dog had a propensity to do something harmful (biting, scratching, knocking people down), (b) the owner of the dog knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities, and that (c) the dog’s dangerous propensities to act caused injury or damage to a person or property.  Injuries inflicted by dogs can be catastrophic, particularly where the victim is a young child.  The small stature of a child commonly results in facial injuries caused by the dog.  Many times the treatment for these injuries requires immediate reconstructive surgery with additional surgical procedures in the future.  Doctors use techniques like skin grafting and micro surgical repair which may require numerous follow up procedures.  Scar diminished treatment through dermabrasion (sanding of the skin) and pressure scar modification are common follow up procedures as well.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has determined the most common diagnosis for dog bite-related hospitalization to include:

  • 2% Skin and subcutaneous tissue infections;
  • 1% open wounds of the extremities; and
  • 5% open wounds of the head, neck, and trunk.

Other diagnosis include fracture of an upper limb, infective arthritis and osteomyelitis, septicemia, crushing injury or internal injury and fracture of lower limb.  In addition to the physical injuries, most dog bite victims suffer from some psychological trauma.  It is not uncommon for the victim to suffer PTSD.  The victim may also suffer from fear of reliving the event through another attack. With respect to the latter, the victim’s trauma may occur doing the most innocuous tasks like walking down the street or driveway, walking through the park or even visiting a dog owners home.

It is imperative that you hire a law firm with attorneys that have experience litigating a dog bite claim.  Your attorney should understand the various ways a dog bite can affect an individual as such knowledge will be important when discussing treatment and possible rehabilitation options.  Dog bite damage is often permanent.  Such consequences change lives and should be carefully assessed to ensure that a dog bite injury victim is properly compensated.  You only get one chance at recovering for your losses.  If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, please contact an experienced Las Vegas Dog Bite-Injury Lawyer to discuss your case for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation.  Here at The Hayes Law Firm we promise that you will meet with a seasoned Dog Bite-Injury Attorney.  We accept Dog Bite-Injury cases from all over the state of Nevada.