Under New Mexico’s dog bite laws, you could be entitled to compensation if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite or a more serious dog attack. However, it would be best if you took immediate actions to protect your health and build a winning case against the dog owner and any other negligent parties. Here are seven steps you should take right away.
1. Get Prompt Medical Care
You should be examined by a physician within 48 hours of being bitten by a dog—even if you do not believe the bite is serious. This will protect against the bite becoming infected or the risk of an unknown injury becoming more serious before you experience symptoms. You also will avoid disputes with the dog owner’s insurance company about whether their insured’s dog bit you or the seriousness of your injuries.
2. Report the Dog Bite
If you suffered an injury, you should contact the police to report that you were bit by a dog and obtain a copy of the police report. You should also report the attack to your local animal control agency. This will help you prove that you suffered a dog bite and which dog attacked you.
3. Identify the Owner and Exchange Contact Information
If possible, you need to identify the dog’s owner and determine the dog’s vaccination status. This could avoid the need for you to get painful rabies shots. You should also exchange contact information with the owner and whoever had control of the dog at the time you were bit. You will need this information to file a claim with their insurance companies.
4. Obtain Witness Information
If any eyewitnesses saw the dog attack you, you should obtain their contact information. Their statements can help you prove how you were injured.
5. Take Pictures
Take pictures with your cell phone camera of the scene where you were attacked, the dog, and your injuries. Ask a bystander to do this for you if you are too hurt to do this yourself.
6. Preserve Your Clothes
It would help if you kept your clothes and shoes in the same condition they were in after you were bitten by the dog. Keep them in a sealed plastic bag or box. This can be compelling evidence to show the jury if your case goes to a jury trial.
7. Hire an Attorney
Retain a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the dog attack. An attorney can help you determine the insurance companies liability to compensate you, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and negotiate your settlement with the insurance adjuster. If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Did you suffer injuries in a dog attack in Roswell? Was your child or other family member bitten? Call our Roswell office or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight with the insurance company so that you receive all the damages you deserve for your injuries.