Navigating New Mexico Law on Dog Bites: Legal Advice for Victims

Dog bites can be traumatic experiences, leading to physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens from medical treatments. In New Mexico, understanding the law on dog bites is crucial for victims seeking to navigate their rights and the compensation they may be entitled to. The experienced dog bite attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth G. Egan are here to help with the information you need to know about New Mexico law on dog bites and how victims can advocate for their rights.

Understanding New Mexico Dog Bite Laws

New Mexico law on dog bites does not include a specific statute that covers this incident, meaning the law is primarily guided by case law. Unlike other states with a “one-bite rule” or strict liability laws, New Mexico follows the principles of negligence. This means that to claim compensation, the victim must prove that the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had the propensity to bite or was dangerous and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the dog from biting.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

If you have been the victim of a dog bite, there are a few things you should do: 

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Dog bites can lead to serious infections, and immediate medical care is essential.
  • Report the Incident: Report the dog bite to local animal control or law enforcement. This creates an official record of the event, which can be crucial for your case.
  • Document Everything: Take photos of your injuries, the location where the incident occurred, and the dog, if possible. Keep all medical records and receipts related to your treatment.
  • Gather Witness Information: If anyone witnessed the attack, get their contact information. Witness statements can bolster your claim.

When to Take Legal Action for a Dog Bite

Victims of dog bites in New Mexico can pursue compensation for their injuries through a personal injury claim against the dog owner. Compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Given the need to prove negligence, the following are key considerations:

  • Owner’s Knowledge: Demonstrating that the owner knew of the dog’s aggressive tendencies or prior incidents of biting can be a pivotal aspect of your case.
  • Premises Liability: If the bite occurred on the owner’s property, premises liability could also be a factor, especially if the owner failed to secure the dog or warn visitors of the danger.
  • Comparative Negligence: New Mexico’s law on dog bites may reduce compensation if the victim is found partially at fault for the incident, such as by provoking.

Finding a New Mexico Dog Bite Attorney

Given the complexities of New Mexico law on dog bites, seeking legal advice from experienced personal injury lawyers or dog bite attorneys is essential. The right attorney can help navigate the legal process, gather necessary evidence, and advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Dog bites can have lasting impacts, but victims in New Mexico are not without recourse. By understanding your rights, taking immediate steps to document the incident, and seeking professional legal advice, you can navigate the complexities of the law and advocate for the compensation you need to recover.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a dog bite in New Mexico, the team at The Law Offices of Kenneth G. Egan is here to help. Request a free consultation today!