Dogs are often called man’s best friend. They provide companionship, encourage exercise and compassion, and sometimes even serve their owners as physical or emotional support dogs. However, dogs are also occasionally unpredictable and dangerous. It can be easy to forget that they are still animals with the potential for strong natural tendencies such as biting when they feel threatened or are afraid.
This fact doesn’t mean that dog bites are okay or that owners aren’t responsible for their dog’s behavior. Dog bites cause severe injuries. In 2018 alone, almost 27,000 people needed reconstructive surgery because dogs bit them. A dog bite-related hospital stay averaged $18,200 as of 2010, about 50 percent higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
If a dog bit you or your child, you might be wondering where you can turn and what your rights are. A compassionate New Mexico dog bite lawyer can help you seek monetary recovery for damages.
How New Mexico Deals with Dog Bites
A specific dog bite law does not govern dog bites that occur in New Mexico. This state has assumed the “one bite rule.” Under this rule, a dog owner is only legally responsible if they knew that their dog had a violent tendency. If a bite victim can’t prove that they knew this fact, they won’t succeed in a dog bite claim. Here is what else you should know about New Mexico’s dog bite rules:
If the victim knew the dog tended towards violence but nevertheless provoked the animal, the victim might not have a valid claim for compensation
Even if a dog had no known history of violent behavior, the owner could be legally responsible if their negligence put others in a risky position
Sometimes Owner’s Aren’t Liable in New Mexico
New Mexico doesn’t have a statute on dog bites and liability. It relies on the “uniform jury instruction,” which provides that the dog owner is liable for damages directly caused by the dog. This, however, only applies if the owner knew, or should have known, that the dog was dangerous or had a tendency or natural inclination to be vicious. The owner of such a dog isn’t liable to the injured individual if the victim was aware that:
The dog had vicious tendencies
Had deliberately excited the dog or voluntarily and unnecessarily put themselves in the dog’s path
If you or your child were bit by a dog, it’s critical that you meet with a skilled New Mexico dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. They can assess the situation to determine if someone is liable for your injuries and, if so, what you can do about it.
Contact Salam & Associates for a Free Consultation
After sustaining a severe dog bite, you need an advocate on your side who isn’t afraid to stand up to dog owners or insurance companies. You will find that advocate in an experienced New Mexico dog bite lawyer from our firm. We take your injuries seriously, even if others don’t.
At Salam & Associates, our dog bite attorneys are licensed to practice in several jurisdictions, including New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, and D.C. Call us at 866-640-8998, contact us online via our website, or send an email to [email protected] to receive your free dog bite case review.