Dogs are considered man’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still animals. For reasons, we may never fully understand, even the most seemingly docile dogs may suddenly lash out and bite someone. A dog that chooses to press its attack can inflict serious wounds, while larger breeds can cause catastrophic injuries with just one bite.
When a dog attacks a person, the dog’s owner may be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by their dog’s attack. If you are wondering whether you need a dog bite lawyer, know that an experienced dog bite attorney can make the process of pursuing a dog bite claim much smoother and more successful.
Hurt? Call Bert! If you need an attorney and law firm to help you with your dog bite case in Albuquerque, choose Parnall Law.
At Parnall Law, we are committed to providing you with the personal attention and quality legal representation you deserve. We have the experience and legal knowledge you need to navigate a dog bite case after a dog bite leaves you or your child with injuries, or after a fatal dog attack on a family member.
We believe in our ability to get you the results that you deserve, so we commit to your satisfaction by providing a client-satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with the way we handle your dog bite case within the first 30 days of you retaining our firm, you can take your file; with no fees or costs due and no questions asked.
Pursuing the compensation that you need for your treatment and recovery from your injuries can turn into a complicated task. In some cases, the dog owner may try to dodge liability, in which case we can use legal means to stand up for your rights.
In other cases, the dog owner may be a close friend or family member. It’s important you know that in almost all dog bite cases, it is the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance that will cover your losses – and not your friend or family member directly. You can expect our attorneys to negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
We’ll work hard to build a strong, persuasive legal case to prove your damages so that you can rest assured. We will seek the financial compensation you need to help pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses; to provide you some measure of justice for the pain and suffering or lost quality of life you have had to endure.
If you or a family member have suffered dog bite injuries inflicted by someone else’s dog, you deserve to seek compensation for your damages. Contact Parnall Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Dog Bite Injuries
Injuries that commonly result from dog bites and dog attacks include:
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Skin, tendon, ligament, muscle, and nerve damage
- Severed arteries and veins – Dogs may naturally attack the neck or throat area, leading to the severing of important arteries or veins and causing life-threatening bleeding, especially if the dog continues to press its attack.
- Permanent scarring
- Broken bones – Some breeds of dogs have enough bite force to crush or snap a person’s bones.
- Infection and disease – Dogs have numerous kinds of viruses, bacteria, and parasites living in their mouths.If a dog bite manages to break the victim’s skin, the dog’s saliva can get into the wound and cause infections and disease, including staph infections, rabies, or tetanus.
- Emotional/mental issues, including anxiety, depression, PSTD, or the onset of cynophobia (fear of dogs)
Even smaller and medium-sized dogs can inflict fatal injuries through dog bites, especially for small children. Dogs can reach vital areas like the head, face, and neck, and small children may lack the strength to fight off an attacking dog.
Dog Bite Laws in Albuquerque
In Albuquerque, dog owners are required to have their animals vaccinated and micro chipped. When dogs are taken for a walk, owners must keep them on a leash no longer than eight feet, held by a person physically able to control the dog.
Under New Mexico law, it is illegal for a person to own a dog declared dangerous or potentially dangerous or known to attack people, unless the dog is registered and the owner keeps the dog confined to the owner’s property, or muzzled and on a short leash under the owner’s control at all times.Failure to do so can be charged as a misdemeanor (or fourth-degree felony for a second or subsequent offense). If a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog causes injury or death to another person, the owner may be charged with a third-degree felony.
New Mexico also follows the “one bite” rule. This means that before an owner can be held liable for a dog bite, it must be proven that the owner had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that their dog had been aggressive towards people or likely could be aggressive towards people.Typically, this is proven by showing that the dog had a prior incident of biting someone.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Dog Bite Cases?
Depending on the circumstances of the attack, a dog bite injury may be covered under the homeowners’ insurance policy held by the dog’s owner. In particular, dog bites that occur on the owner’s property are frequently covered by homeowners’ insurance. However, even bites in public areas may be covered under the liability portion of the homeowners’ policy.
Some dog owners might elect to purchase animal insurance, which expressly provides compensation for liabilities incurred if an owner’s animal attacks and causes injury to another person.
Even if a dog owner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for your injuries and other losses, you are still entitled to bring a claim against the owner to obtain a settlement or judgment for your damages.
At Parnall Law, we will thoroughly investigate the dog owner’s insurance coverage by requesting copies of their homeowners’, renter’s, or animal insurance. If necessary, we can obtain information about the dog owner’s insurance coverage through discovery by filing suit for your injuries and damages.
Dog Bite Compensation
If a dog bite has injured you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, other medical procedures, doctor’s office visits, prescriptions, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of your injuries
- Lost wages for time missed from work while recovering from dog bite injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries disable you from returning to your job or performing any work, leading you to suffer a reduction in your ability to earn income
- Loss of quality of life, caused by disfigurement, disabilities, or the inability to enjoy activities
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional anguish and distress caused by the attack and injuries
- Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse for the loss of your companionship and society
- Property damage, such as the cost to replace torn or ruined clothing
If the circumstances of the dog bite or dog attack are found to be especially egregious – such as if the owner willfully kept a dangerous dog in violation of the dangerous dog laws or ordered their dog to attack you – you may also be entitled to seek an award of punitive damages. These are not intended to compensate you for any specific loss, but instead it punishes the dog’s owner and discourages other owners from engaging in similar conduct.
Our Albuquerque Dog Bite Lawyers Will Defend Your Rights
Having a dedicated, knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can significantly improve your case and the financial compensation you receive. At Parnall Law, our Albuquerque dog bite lawyers can help you with your case by:
- Investigating your dog bite or attack to recover evidence we can use to build your case
- Working with experts to establish your injuries and economic and non-economic damages
- Identifying sources of compensation, such as the dog owner’s insurance policies and other assets
- Aggressively negotiating with the insurance companies or defense attorneys to secure a settlement that provides you with full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages
- Preparing to take your case to trial if we believe it represents the best option for getting you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite or dog attack committed by another person’s dog, you need experienced legal representation to seek the financial compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages.
Learn more about your legal rights and options and how an Albuquerque dog bite attorney from Parnall Law can help you maximize your financial recovery in your dog bite case. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by calling 505-332-BERT (2378) or visiting our website at www.HurtCallBert.com.