Everything You Need To Know About Dog Bite Accidents and Personal Injury Law

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 11/21/22 •  4 min read
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Dog Bite Accidents and Personal Injury Law

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Dogs are the most popular pet in America, with almost half of American households owning at least one dog. However, with the joy and companionship of animals comes the danger of lunging and biting. 

If a dog has bitten you, it’s imperative you find an experienced dog bite lawyer to help you decide whether your injury could result in a lawsuit. In most cases, dog bites result from negligence, and you can take legal action. 

All sizes of dogs bite, and dog bites can result in significant injuries or lifelong issues. Emotional distress, trauma, and medical bills are all possible effects of a single dog attack. Here is your guide to dog bite accidents, personal injury law, and what to do next. 

Is a Dog Bite Injury Personal Injury Law?

A dog bite injury is considered personal injury law. Personal injury law is anything detrimental to a person’s body, reputation, or emotions. This differs from property rights, which would focus more on someone’s property or belongings. 

Because dog bites affect your body in the short and long term, they are considered part of personal injury law. Larger dogs can leave permanent scars and cause severe physical and emotional trauma. Even if you don’t want to sue, it’s always good to talk to a lawyer after a personal injury. 

Personal injury law is mainly based on proving another person’s negligence. Negligence is the failure of someone to behave with an ordinary level of care and prudence in a specific situation. With dogs, negligence can be proven by the dog owners’ position, the dog’s viciousness, or proof of former attacks. 

Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite? 

Legally, responsibility for a dog bite falls on the dog’s owner. Although state laws vary regarding what the owner should do if a dog bites, all 50 states have statutes that make the dog owner responsible. 

No matter the situation, the dog owner is responsible for their dog, especially if the dog bites a human. However, it’s a different story if the dog bites another dog. Unless you prove that the owner was negligent, it will be difficult to sue for property rights in this case. 

How Many Times Can a Dog Bite Before It Gets Put Down?

In some states (Nevada included), there is a “one-bite law.” If a dog has shown no signs of aggression, the first time it bites a human is not held against the dog or the owners. However, after a second bite, the dog is labeled as a “dangerous” or “vicious” dog. 

Once a dog is labeled “vicious,” state law requires that the owners keep the dog on a leash at all times, even in their yard. Some states require liability insurance for dog owners, and others require the dog to be put down. 

In general, the limit for a dog is three bites before it gets put down. However, this assumes that all the bites were adequately reported and the owners did not obtain liability insurance or properly leash their dogs. If negligence can be proven, the dog may be put down sooner. 

How To File a Dog Bite Claim

If you’ve been bitten by a dog and want to file a claim, you should talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer. Having this conversation will help you understand how likely you are to win a case and what to do moving forward. 

Once you’ve had this conversation, you can decide what to do next. Many people settle out of court once threatened with a dog bite claim. Reporting the dog to the proper authorities is crucial to prevent another incident. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’ve been bitten by a neighbor’s pet or a dog on a leash, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Dog bite accidents are part of personal injury law. If a dog is labeled vicious, you will likely have enough evidence to make a claim and ensure that it never happens again. 

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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