Many people have dogs as pets. They’re great companions and bring owners a lot of joy. However, when dog owners are irresponsible, their dog may bite and harm innocent people. A dog bite is a terrifying experience and can cause serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, one of our Albuquerque dog bite lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve.
The lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will defend those who were attacked and hurt because dog owners acted negligently. Owners have a responsibility to make sure their dog is secure and can be held liable when they don’t. Our attorneys will investigate your case and fight for you to get compensation for your injuries.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
While owners may feel their dog is safe, there are some situations that could possibly lead to a dog lashing out. Dogs that feel threatened or scared are more likely to bite. The CDC lists the following actions you shouldn’t take when you’re around a dog:
- Make loud noises
- Go near an unfamiliar dog
- Approach a dog when it’s sleeping
- Get in a dog’s space when it’s eating or caring for puppies
- Don’t try to pet a dog if it hasn’t seen or sniffed you first. Before that, you should always ask the owner if you can approach the dog in the first place.
While these reasons can lead to a dog bite, owners have the responsibility of securing their dog and keeping others around them safe. When they fail to do this and a dog bites someone, the owner may feel defensive or claim the bite isn’t that bad.
It can put someone in a difficult position if a dog harmed them, but they know the owners. However, it’s imperative to prioritize your health and wellbeing. The dog bite wasn’t your fault and the full costs of the accident shouldn’t fall solely on your shoulders. Your dog bite may take extensive medical care to heal. Let’s take a look at the dangerous outcomes of dog bites.
The Severity of Dog Bites
A dog attack can result in a number of injuries. When a dog bites, their teeth can puncture or tear skin, crush bones, and also harm soft tissues underneath the skin. If a dog bites down, it may start to jerk its head back and forth, which can cause severe lacerations.
One of the main concerns about a dog bite is infection. People can get the following diseases from a bite:
- Capnocytophaga bacteria
After a dog bite, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of the wounds may require a cast or stitches, and the doctor will be able to give you a treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.
Seeking medical treatment in a timely fashion will help prevent your injuries from getting worse, but it also can help your case because you’ll have a record that you needed to see a doctor after the dog bite.
Your lawyer will use copies of your medical records as well as other evidence to build your case. We’re also well-versed in the laws about dog bites in Albuquerque and how they’ll apply to your claim. One important law in Albuquerque is Angel’s Law.
What Is Angel’s Law?
Under Angel’s Law, owners who do not maintain control of their dogs on their property are liable if the dog causes harm. Dangerous dogs threaten the safety of Albuquerque inhabitants and can cause severe harm to those who cannot protect themselves.
It’s important to understand the definitions within the law and how the city will act. For a potentially dangerous dog, a person can report the animal. There will be an investigation of the property where the dog lives. If they determine the dog is dangerous, the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department will give the dog owner a written notice. After the notice is delivered, the dog could be impounded if the dog is a risk to the public.
If a dog is determined to be dangerous, there are different responses for how the Department will act. If the dog caused mortal injuries, the Department will obtain a warrant to seize the dog. The owner has 10 calendar days to request a hearing. If the attack caused great bodily harm, the dog will also be seized. The Hearing Officer will rule if the dog will remain the Department’s property or if it can be returned to its owner.
When a dog is considered dangerous, it cannot:
- Go to dog parks or be off the property without a leash
- Be on a property without a secure fence or secure facility
- Be in a vehicle where they can get out and attack another person or animal
- The owner of a dangerous dog needs to have an insurance policy with a minimum of $500,000 for injury to any person or property.
There are many more requirements for owners of dangerous dogs under Angel’s Law and our lawyers will be able to discover if the owner of the dog that attacked you or your loved one failed to meet any of the requirements.
Seek Help from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm
We understand how deciding to bring a claim forward can be a difficult decision. But when someone else’s negligence leads to your injuries, you should seek compensation so you can afford the care you need as well as pay off medical expenses and recover your lost wages if you’ve had to miss work. We’ll do everything we can, so you have financial peace of mind. It’s important to start your case as soon as possible so we can recover evidence and speak to eyewitnesses. Give our office a call today.