We all love dogs.  From long walks in the park to funny internet videos, dogs provide us with entertainment, companionship, love, and protection.  Unfortunately, even the most well-trained dog can cause harm if it is provoked to bite or attack.  Additionally, not all dogs are well-trained—and not all dog owners are responsible.

The laws vary from state to state, so if you are injured by a dog or other owned animal in the State of New Mexico, you should contact Roadrunner Law Firm to analyze your legal claim.

Have You Been Injured by a Dog?

Many homeowners insurance policies will cover an animal attack that occurs on the insured’s property.  Whenever you are dealing with these kinds of insurance coverage issues, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.  There are local city ordinances as well as Uniform Jury Instructions that affect these cases.  For example, NMRA 1978, UJI 13-506 explains the liability that a dog owner has if his dog has bitten someone.  Further, the local leash laws in your jurisdiction have an effect on the case.  For example, in Bernalillo County, a dog must be on a leash no more than six feet long when on public property.  However, there are exceptions and factual circumstances to consider in these type of cases.  There are also prior published cases that examine the liability and proof necessary in these situations, Smith v. Village of Ruidoso, 1999-NMCA-151, 128 NM 470.

Dog Bite Liability

If a dog owner  knew or had reason to know their dog was dangerous, for example if the dog attacked someone in the past, your case may be stronger.   New Mexico has numerous laws and ordinances in effect that also hold dog owners strictly liable for damages stemming from dog attacks.  For example, NMSA 1978, § 77-1-2, a New Mexico law regarding dog attacks, says that if a dog kills or injures livestock, the owner of that dog is strictly liable for all damages and the dog must be destroyed.  Similarly, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, lawmakers created Angel’s Law, which holds dog owners responsible for the acts of their aggressive animals who attack people, including children.

Contact Roadrunner Law Firm today!

Roadrunner Law Firm has handled hundreds of personal injury cases, including dog bite and animal attack cases.  We understand the issues that can arise when pursuing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage for a dog bite injury.  Our experienced legal team also knows when—and why—to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog.  There are many investigative angles that must be pursued in these kinds of cases, such as: checking the dog’s attack history, looking into the dog’s file with local animal welfare authorities, checking breed restrictions in leases and mortgages, and tracking down veterinary records.  Only an experienced attorney such as Heather Hansen or Eva Blazejewski understand the legwork that is required to pursue these kinds of claims.