Were You Bitten by a Service Animal?

Millions of Americans use service animals to help them get around and perform daily tasks. Those who are blind, hard of hearing, or live with a different disability often have service animals, in particular dogs. In Las Vegas, we see countless people on the sidewalk or in the casinos with their service animals.

Sometimes, these animals bite. And innocent people need a trip to the emergency room for stitches, antibiotics, and a rabies vaccine. You should also schedule a consultation with a Nevada dog bite lawyer at Ladah Law to review the surrounding class=”alignnone” style=”border-radius: 50px; padding: 0 10px; float: right;. We have obtained meaningful compensation for many dog bite victims, and we are eager to hear your story.

Service dog laying on its belly.


What are Service Animals?

Service animals are trained to help someone with a disability. For example, a dog on a leash might help a blind person navigate around town. Most service animals are dogs who have received extensive training, sometimes by a professional trainer. These dogs often wear a vest stating “Service Animal” or something similar.

Can People Bring a Service Dog Inside?

Yes. Generally, most businesses prohibit pets from coming inside, but Nevada Revised Statutes § 651.075 makes it illegal for a place of public accommodation to:

  • Refuse to admit or serve a disabled person because they have a service animal
  • Refuse to admit or serve someone who is training a service animal
  • Charge an additional fee or deposit for someone to come inside with a service animal
  • Require proof that the animal is a service animal or animal in training

Service animals are different from emotional support animals, which only help comfort someone who does not have a disability. Nevada does not require public accommodations to allow emotional support animals.

You Cannot Interfere with a Service Animal

NRS § 426.790 prohibits anyone from interfering with a service animal or animal in training. This prohibition extends to your own dogs. So your dog cannot interfere with a service dog or otherwise obstruct, intimidate, or jeopardize its safety.

Consequently, you should restrain your own dog or child whenever you see a service animal. You could end up paying damages to a disabled person for interfering.

Needless to say, the law also prohibits beating or killing the service animal. In fact, those are felonies.

When Service Animals Attack

Although a disabled person has a right to use a service animal, the animal does not have the right to sink its teeth into you. Many people are bitten or attacked by service animals, including service dogs. Although these animals are trained to be comfortable in public, including crowded spaces, some of them might nonetheless bite or scratch a person.

For example, you might be in a crowded restaurant when you back up your chair, and the leg hits a service dog. The animal instinctively bites you. You have suffered an injury, and you should meet with an experienced attorney to review whether you can make a claim.

Nevada has a comparative negligence law which could come into play. If you accidentally bump or step on a service animal, you are somewhat negligent, which reduces the compensation you can receive. You can still seek money so long as you are not more than 50% to blame.

You cannot torment or harass the animal, which would likely prohibit you from receiving any compensation.

Compensation for a Dog Bite

You can receive compensation in some situations when an animal bites you. Recoverable damages include the cost of medical care, any lost income, scarring, and pain and suffering. Emotional trauma also qualifies for compensation. A Nevada dog bite lawyer will analyze the facts to determine if you can sue.

Some states have specific dog bite statutes that provide clear rights to victims. Nevada is different: there is no law specific to dog bites. Instead, we will look at many factors, including how the owner restrained the animal and whether the dog had bitten someone before.

Punitive Damages and Fraudulent Service Animals

Nevada law criminalizes using a service animal by the non-disabled. Further, it is illegal to fraudulently misrepresent that an animal is a service animal or one in training.

Accident victims can seek punitive damages when the defendant acts with malice, fraud, or oppression. Fraudulently claiming an animal is a service animal could qualify. For example, someone might lie and say their dog is a service dog in order to get him inside a restaurant, whereupon the animal bites you when you get up to go to the bathroom. Your attorney could argue this fraud requires that the dog owner pay you punitive damages.

Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyer

Ladah Law Firm has represented many people attacked by dogs. Call us today, (702) 252-0055, to learn more.