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Offices Located In
406 N. Grant St.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1020 Lomas Blvd., NW
Las Cruces, New Mexico
1591 E. Lohman
Hobbs, New Mexico
1515 W. Calle Sur St., Suite 101
Our New Mexico offices are in MST and our Texas offices are in CST.
Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
More than 4.7 million people were bitten by dogs in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003; 52(26):605-610. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is published by the CDC.
Approximately 1,008 dog bites occurred each day in 2001. This means almost 42 people were bitten by dogs each hour.. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52(26):605-610. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is published by the CDC.
Children and elderly people were almost always the victims of life-threatening and fatal attacks by animals who had shown no previous signs of dangerous behavior.Clifton, Merritt. Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006.
On an ordinary summer day in July 2005, the members of the Gee family had their lives changed forever when their mother died from injuries sustained from an animal attack that took place as she walked her small dog through her mobile home park. Mary Gee lived in the Green Acres Mobile Home Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On a warm, ordinary summer day Ms. Gee decided to take her small dog for a walk through her mobile home community like she had many times before. As she walked her pet, a large, unrestrained German Shepard approached Ms. Gee. The aggressive German Shepard began a confrontation with the elderly Ms. Gee and eventually knocked her down to the ground. As a result of the fall Ms. Gee suffered a broken hip that required emergency surgery the next day. Unfortunately, Mrs. Gee did not survive recovery and passed away two days after the large dog caused her to fall.
Fadduol, Cluff & Hardy, P.C. brought claims on behalf of the Gee family against the Mobile Home Park owners and managers for their failure to use ordinary care in the management of the Green Acres Community. The defendants owed Mrs. Gee a duty to act reasonably, to enforce their own regulations, and to use ordinary care to make common areas of Green Acres safe for Ms. Gee's normal use. The defendants breached those duties by allowing the large, unrestrained dog to roam the streets where many elderly residents, like Mrs. Gee, walked, even after the defendants had received multiple complaints about the German Shepard's behavior. The injuries suffered by Mrs. Gee were the natural and probable result of Defendants' failure to enforce its own regulations regarding the keeping of animals at Green Acres, and the defendants' failure to keep the common areas of Green Acres safe.
Before trial the Defendant's offered only $50,000 to settle all claims because they were so sure they would succeed at trial. The law offices of Fadduol, Cluff & Hardy, however, believed in Ms. Gee's case and rejected the defendants' offer of settlement. After a full jury trial, Fadduol, Cluff & Hardy won the fight for the family of Ms. Mary Gee, and the jury verdict totaled $567,744.54.
Liability for bodily injuries and wrongful death caused by animals is not limited to bites alone. Animals may cause injuries in a variety of ways such as: loose cattle on a highway, large dogs running over people, attacks by wild animals that have been captured, etc. Animal attacks are often traumatic and can leave victims with both emotional and physical disabilities. It is important for you to protect yourself and your loved ones and to take the appropriate steps to protect your interests.
Your ability to recover is governed by state and local laws and ordinances. These laws and ordinances can often be complex and difficult to research. Thus, when evaluating a claim for injuries or death caused by animals there are many issues that need to be researched. The following are just a few of the topics that need to be researched:
- Who is the animal owner?
- Who was in control of the animal?
- Has the animal ever caused injury to another person before?
- Where was the animal kept?
- What was the status (trespasser, invitee, licensee) of the injured person?
- What were the circumstances surrounding the attack?
- Where did the attack occur?
- Who owned the property where the attack occurred?
- What state laws apply regarding animal attacks?
- Are there any applicable city ordinances?
- Will home owner's insurance provide coverage?
- Did the business or residential area have a pet policy?
- Is your state a "free range" state?
As you can see, many questions need to be answered to determine the liability of an animal owner or possessor. Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases involving animals can require extensive investigation.
The law offices of Fadduol, Cluff & Hardy, P.C. has helped many victims recover for injuries and wrongful death resulting from some kind of animal. Should you or someone you love suffer injuries or death as a result of an incident involving an animal, remember we are standing by ready to serve help you.
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