While dogs can be great companions, they can also be dangerous if they bite someone. Fortunately, victims of a dog bite may be able to recover compensation for their injuries from the dog’s owner under New Mexico’s laws.
New Mexico’s Dog Bite Laws
New Mexico is one of the few states that do not have a dog bite liability statute. Instead, the laws on a dog owner’s liability for an individual’s injuries from a dog bite are established in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases in our state. Here are two ways that victims can hold a dog owner responsible for compensating them for their injuries:
- Strict liability. A dog’s owner will face strict liability if they knew or should have known that their dog was vicious or had a tendency to be vicious. Showing that the dog bit someone in the past can establish the dog’s dangerous tendencies. However, it is not necessary that the dog bit someone if it can be shown that they were aggressive in the past.
- Negligence. A negligence claim can be brought against the dog owner or someone caring for the dog whether or not they knew of the dog’s viciousness. A victim must prove that the negligent party failed to adequately control or restrain the dog to prevent them from causing injuries.
Deadline to File a Lawsuit in a Dog Bite Case
An injured person must file a lawsuit against the dog owner and any other negligent parties within the deadline to do so under New Mexico law. This is referred to as the statute of limitations.
The time period to file a civil complaint is three years from the date of the dog bite. If a lawsuit is filed later, the court would most likely dismiss the victim’s case, and they would not recover any damages.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in New Mexico
Were you or a family member injured by a dog? Our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to explain your options and negotiate your settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you are entitled to in your settlement. To get started, start a live chat or call our Roswell law office to schedule your free consultation today.