If you are concerned about what happens if your dog bites a guest, salesperson, or trespasser, it is important that you understand your responsibilities and rights. In some circumstances, you could be held liable if a dog on your property bites someone else, even if you are not the dog’s owner. If you have questions, you can contact us at (505) 889-3463 for a free consultation.
New Mexico Premises Liability Laws
Premises liability refers to the laws that establish property owners’ responsibilities and fiscal responsibility if someone is injured due to their negligence. In New Mexico, property owners owe certain duties to visitors on their property, including:
- Keeping the property in a safe condition, or
- Warn visitors about unsafe conditions
Guests have a reasonable expectation that they will not be injured when they are lawfully on someone else’s property. If a dog is on the property, the property owner can take safeguards to prevent injury, such as:
- Putting up signs warning about the dog’s presence
- Keeping potentially dangerous dogs in a secured area
- Maintaining control over the dog on their property
- Warning guests that the dog has bitten before
However, just because someone is injured on your property does not automatically mean that they will receive compensation. The injured person will have to show that you were negligent and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent their injury. If you provided adequate warnings about the dog, a court may find that you were not at fault.
Trespassers on Your Property
While New Mexico law does not create different standards for different types of guests like invitees or licensees, it does distinguish between someone who is lawfully on the property and someone who is not. Trespassers who are injured on the property will generally not have a claim against the property owner.
Possible Compensation in a Dog Bite Injury Case
If a person is bitten by a dog, they may be able to make a claim to recover compensation for the ways they were harmed, which may include:
- Medical expenses – The injured person may incur medical bills for emergency services, surgery, or follow-up care.
- Lost wages – If the injured person lost wages because of the dog bite, they may be able to recover compensation for their lost wages, as well as any lost employment benefits.
- Pain and suffering – Dog bite victims may also be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering and mental distress.
If a visitor is injured on your property, they may be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Your insurance can potentially offset the costs that the injured person suffers. If the injured person had expenses that exceed the amount of your insurance, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against you for the difference.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Injury Lawyer for Assistance with Your Claim
If you were bitten by a dog or would like to better understand your rights, the Fine Law Firm is here to help. We can review the circumstances surrounding your case. Contact us today at (505) 889-3463 for your free consultation.