Dog owners have certain responsibilities, including making sure that their dog is secured and does not harm others. If you were injured because of your neighbor’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a claim against them for your medical expenses, physical therapy, counseling, lost wages for time you lost from work during your recovery and medical treatment, and your pain and suffering. There are a few steps you can take to protect your safety and your legal rights. The Fine Law Firm is also here to help. Contact us today at (505) 889-3463 if you have any questions.
Get the Dog Owner’s Information
If you do not already have your neighbor’s information, such as their name and phone number, ask for it. Also, ask for vaccination records for the dog. Knowing whether the dog is up to date on their vaccinations can help your doctors determine the type of treatment you need.
Get Medical Treatment
At the top of your list should be seeking prompt medical treatment for the injuries you have suffered. Dog bites often lead to infection, but medical attention may be able to reduce this risk or at least provide you with prompt medical care if the wound does become infected. Keep all of your medical records and follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment. This paperwork will also lay the foundation for your compensation claim.
If you can, take pictures of the dog, the scene of the attack, and your injuries. If there is some condition that could have contributed to the attack (like a hole under a fence or a broken fence), take a picture of that, too. Keep the clothing and shoes you were wearing on the day of the attack. If anyone witnessed the attack, get their contact information.
When you are able, try to talk to other neighbors to find out if the dog had a history of biting or attacking others. New Mexico follows a “one-bite” rule which generally only holds property owners responsible for injuries if the owner had notice their dog would bite. If other neighbors have been attacked before or witnessed the dog’s aggressive behavior, this could be important evidence in your case.
Call Animal Control
Report the incident to your local animal control. Taking this step can ensure that there is a written record of the attack and can also alert the local community to the threat the animal represents. This could also help you find out if the dog has an existing record of being vicious.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Injury Lawyer for Assistance with Your Claim
Sometimes filing a claim for compensation after a dog bite is not an easy process. Your neighbor may fail to take responsibility or their insurance company could be playing hard ball. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you level the playing field and fight for your fair compensation. The Fine Law Firm is here to assist you with every aspect of your claim. Contact us today at (505) 889-3463 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer.