Dogs are supposed to be people’s best friend, but they also can be a source of great pain and suffering when they choose to bite. Dog attacks and bites are one of the most common reasons victims file personal injury lawsuits in New Mexico.
There is not a specific statute for dog bites in the state, but there are some basic grounds for liability.
New Mexico law recognizes what is known as the “one-bite” rule. In a nutshell, if it is the first time a dog has aggressively attacked or bitten someone, the owner cannot be held liable. The rule suggests claimants are required to prove a pattern of hostile and threatening behavior from the dog before they can successfully pursue damages.
However, the one-bite rule is not exclusive in determining whether a personal injury attorney in Albuquerque can pursue damages for a client. Negligence and prior knowledge of a dog’s aggressive behavior are two reasons a victim can follow through with their claim. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Cameron & Russell will evaluate your case to determine the likelihood of success before making a recommendation to proceed.
When trying to sidestep the one-bite rule, there are several considerations our team makes during the initial investigation.
Any of these signs can bolster a personal injury lawsuit for injuries sustained during an animal attack or dog-biting incident.
One of the most popular defenses against animal attacks and dog bites in New Mexico is provocation. If a pet owner can prove the victim knew or should have known the animal had a poor temperament and was likely to bite, yet still put themselves in harm’s way by interacting with the animal, they can escape liability.
Another way dog owners can avoid liability is if they can prove the victim was trespassing on their property when the attack occurred. In New Mexico, there is no personal injury protection for individuals who are on another person’s property uninvited.
Dog bites and animal attacks can cause serious injuries with the potential for causing chronic pain and suffering. Smaller dogs tend to be limited in the amount of damage they can inflict, with stitches being the most common treatment. Larger dogs, especially breeds with locking jaws like Pitbulls and Rottweilers, can cause serious and even fatal injuries. Their teeth are bigger, the dogs themselves are physically stronger, and they can bite multiple times during an attack.
Aside from the immediate injuries caused by a dog bite or animal attack, victims also may need to receive rabies shots. If the animal that attacks the victim is unknown to them and they are unable to obtain vaccination records from the owner promptly, victims will want to start preventative treatment for rabies. Medical professionals recommend immediately starting a rabies vaccination protocol to offer the best protection.
Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron are the faces behind Cameron & Russell. We go the extra mile for our clients to pursue personal injury claims and provide criminal defense. We approach every case with a fresh eye to detail and the determination to represent our clients to the fullest extent the law allows. We passionately defend clients facing criminal charges, and relentlessly seek out fair compensation for personal injury claims. No matter your situation, we promise to tirelessly represent your legal needs.
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