Knowing that your child has been the victim of an aggressive dog attack is extremely troubling. You naturally want your child to make a full recovery, but you also want the negligent dog owner to be held responsible for their actions. Understanding the laws and rules surrounding animal attacks is crucial to take the right legal steps. Here are a few things to consider.
New Mexico lacks a specific statute regarding dog bites, but there are rules in place that give victims recourse. The scienter cause of action states that dog owners can be held liable if they knew or should have reasonably known that their dogs were aggressive and had the potential to attack. A dog owner can also be accused of negligence, which means they lacked sufficient control over the animal.
In many cases, you can pursue pain and suffering for the trauma your child experienced. Dog attacks can be very traumatic and may cause psychological consequences for many years to come. Your attorney can help you understand the types of damages to pursue during your case.
You should seek out immediate medical attention, even if injuries appear minor. You should also contact the dog owner to determine whether the pet is up to date on its shots. Dog bites carry a risk of rabies, and immediate treatment is needed to prevent serious health effects. Be sure to retain a copy of the medical records in case you file a lawsuit.
Dog bites can’t always be prevented, but your child can take certain steps to protect themselves. Make sure they understand not to approach unknown animals, especially if they’re alone. If your child encounters a person walking their dog, they should ask before attempting to pet it. Children should also avoid dogs behind fences, who may act aggressively if feeling threatened.
Along with the many other practice areas we cover, Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C. also has experience with dog bite law. We’ll make sure you have the right legal support to seek justice for your child. We’ll also determine the appropriate damages to help your child achieve a full recovery. Schedule a consultation with us in Albuquerque by calling 505-343-1776 or contact us for more information.