Dog bites can result in severe injuries, and unfortunately, some can even cause deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, there are about 4.7 million dog bites every year, resulting in countless injuries and about 16 deaths on average.
As dog lovers, we can usually handle getting a quick nip from a dog without getting too angry about it. But it’s a different story when your life is in danger and you need medical attention to survive.
If you’ve been bitten by someone’s dog, you’re not alone. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages as well. The Law Office of Brian K Branch has been helping clients in New Mexico get compensation for their dog bites for years, and this reputable firm is waiting to help you do the same.
What are the laws on dog bites?
New Mexico is known as a “one bite” state. This means that before a dog owner can be held liable for their dog biting someone, there has to be at least one other recorded incident where the dog bit a person.
This is the basic rule, but it isn’t exclusively used to decide every single dog bite claim or lawsuit. There are a few ways that a dog owner can be considered liable for their dog’s actions.
For instance, the courts may take into consideration the breed of the dog. If a breed is known to have the potential for being dangerous, like a pit bull or a rottweiler, it may be argued that the owner should have known that these breeds can be dangerous and therefore done something to prevent the bite.
If the dog had been trained to hunt, fight, or worked as a police K-9, it could be determined that the owner knew of the dog’s capabilities and failed to prevent the bite from happening.
If the owner in any way had some way of knowing that the dog had the potential to harm someone, but didn’t do anything to prevent it, then they could be found guilty. This is known as the “scienter cause of action.”
If it can’t be proven that the dog owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s capability to be dangerous, they can still be held liable under negligence. An example of negligence could be a dog running out of someone’s front yard because they left the gate open, and attacking a young child – while the owner doesn’t even come outside to help.
Do you need help getting compensation for a dog bite?
Get in touch with the Law Office of Brian K Branch today. We can tell you if you have grounds for a claim, and we can help you pursue justice in an efficient manner.
The Law Office of Brian K Branch
715 Marquette Ave. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
Toll Free: 888.972.1212