Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in New Mexico
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A NEW MEXICO DOG BITE LAWYER FOR FREE
After suffering an injury from a dog bite, the most important thing for a victim to do is focus on their health, safety, and well-being. However, sometimes the burdens of the legal process get in the way and make this recovery a lot harder. Do yourself a favor and don’t fight for compensation alone. Our experienced attorneys may help you seek the recovery you may be entitled to. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have extensive experience dealing with dog bite claims and may be able to help you too.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dog bite, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our New Mexico dog bite attorneys today.
What should I do after a dog attack?
The following are three easy steps you can take if a dog has bitten you and you want to put yourself in the best position possible to seek the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to:
1. Seek Medical Attention
If a dog has bitten you, the first step you should take is to seek medical treatment for your injuries.
2. Document the Scene and Your Injuries
If possible, try to photograph the scene where the dog bite took place and take photos of your injuries while they are fresh. This documentation may serve as important evidence later on.
3. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
Contacting an experienced New Mexico dog bite attorney is the best way to make sure your interests are protected. Our team of experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may offer you a 100% free initial case consultation to see if we can help.
Read More: New Mexico Dog Bite Attorney
Types of Dog Bite Lawsuits
Just like dog breeds themselves, dog bite lawsuits come in many shapes and colors. The following are some common types of dog bite cases that may lead to a future lawsuit:
Non-Aggressive Dog Accidents
Dog bites can occur from non-aggressive dogs that unintentionally attack humans. Sometimes dogs can become excited and may jump on or bite a person even though it is not their intention to hurt you. Other times, the injured party may provoke a non-aggressive dog.
Dangerous Dog Breeds
Some dogs, depending on their upbringing or their breed, can be more inherently dangerous than others. Some breeds have a higher tendency to attack humans. In this case, an owner may be liable for not taking the proper precautions to safeguard other people from their dog who they know or should know is potentially more dangerous.
Dog Attacks on Young Children
Dog bites to children can be particularly dangerous because children are so vulnerable. Children who have been attacked and bitten by a dog not only experience physical injuries, but they often experience emotional trauma resulting from the incident.
Here are three common reasons why dogs bite:
Most often, a dog decides to bite a human because they were provoked. Animals have an inherent instinct to protect themselves. If they misinterpret your actions as dangerous, they may be provoked to bite.
Abuse and Neglect
While it is true that some dogs may be more dangerous than others, it is also true that nurture can play a much larger role than nature. If a dog owner mistreats their dog with physical abuse, their dog may be more likely to view the world as a cruel place. Thus, this dog is more likely to harm those who come into contact with it.
The Dog Is Sick
Dogs can’t express when they are sick or in pain. If a dog is sick, it may try to tell you by lashing out aggressively, or rather they may simply want to be left alone and bite you to keep you away from them.
Dog bite injuries range from mild to severe. The following is a list of the types of injuries that may occur:
- Facial injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries such as corneal scratches
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
Dog Owner Responsibility
Some states may hold a dog owner responsible regardless of what happened by showing that the dog owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous. This is known as strict liability. New Mexico law allows for recovery under a strict liability theory.
As a dog owner, you have a few responsibilities to make sure others are safe around your dog. If you have reason to know or should know that your dog is dangerous, you have a heightened responsibility to protect other people from your dog. For example, if you know your dog gets aggressive when they see the mailman, you shouldn’t let them outside off leash when you know the mailman is coming.
Dog bite victims can also sue for damages under a traditional theory of negligence by showing that a dog owner owed a duty of care to you and then subsequently breached that duty through their actions. For example, this could be not keeping their dog on a proper leash, not keeping their dog properly fenced in, or allowing their dog in areas that have specifically banned dogs. New Mexico law allows each municipality to regulate its leash laws. In Albuquerque, for example, all domesticated animals are required to be restricted by some type of enclosure or be on a leash no longer than 8ft long.
Read More: New Mexico Premises Liability Lawyers
Who is liable?
If you are bitten by a dog, you can potentially sue the owner of the dog that bit you or the person who was in charge of the dog at the time, depending on how the incident occurred. Essentially, whoever was negligent is the person that can be sued.
If you were partly responsible for the attack, it may impact the amount of compensation you can recover. If you provoked the dog, were trespassing on someone else’s land, or did something else to cause the incident, you may not be able to sue for your injuries.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim
Though each case is unique, below are a few of the most common steps you initiating a file a dog bite claim in New Mexico:
1. Call an Attorney
Before speaking with the liable party or their insurance, speak to a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite claims. Having an experienced attorney looking out for your best interests can make a huge difference when seeking compensation for your claim.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
2. Establish Fault Through an Investigation
To succeed in your claim, you must establish that your injuries were the result of the dog owner’s negligence or that strict liability applies. Your attorney may investigate what happened and why. All you need to do is to worry about yourself and your physical and emotional recovery.
3. Negotiate with the Other Party or Their Insurer
Your attorney may represent you in negotiations with the at-fault party or their insurance company. Though the opposing party will usually try to minimize the amount of compensation you receive, an experienced attorney may emphasize the strengths of your case and reach a satisfactory agreement to avoid the expense of trial. If you and the dog owner can’t agree on a settlement amount, your case may proceed to trial, where your lawyer may represent you in front of a judge and jury.
Dog Bite Compensation
If a dog has bitten you, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are easily calculated because they compensate you for bills and other quantifiable expenses. Economic damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Other incidentals
Non-economic damages are typically calculated by multiplying your medical bills by a number anywhere between one and five. The multiplier used depends on the severity of your dog bite. Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
Statute of Limitations
If you’re considering filing a dog bite claim, it’s important to understand your state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The statute of limitations is the law in your state that establishes a time limit on your ability to bring a particular type of claim. The standard time limit for personal injury claims is between two to three years, but this can vary. Under New Mexico law, a victim of an accident has three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation against the responsible party. Failure to file a claim within this time limit may result in your claim being dismissed, which will prevent you from recovering damages from the responsible party.
Why hire a NEW MEXICO Dog Bite Lawyer?
Having an attorney is in your best interest. Dog bite injuries are very common, but the legal process to recover compensation can be challenging. If you choose to represent yourself, there is very little chance you will get the compensation you are seeking.
Zinda Law Group has an experienced group of New Mexico attorneys that may fight tirelessly to make sure you are being treated fairly. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.