Legal Question in Personal Injury in New Mexico

Thank you for this service. In Dec 2011 my daughter was walking our dog (on a leash) in santa Fe, NM when he jumped up on a fellow who was passing by. The startled fellow stopped and chatted a minute with my apologizing daughter then suddenly grabbed his side claiming that the dog had bitten him. He raised his shirt and jacket and my daughter saw a scratch, without broken skin, on his side. My daughter described it to me as the way it looks when one scratches with a fingernail on dry skin and it leaves a whitish mark. The fellow insisted that she follow him to his home where they could exchange information as he was going to go to a clinic and get it checked, just to be sure. My daughter did go to his apartment and give my name and phone #. (My daughter was visiting from out of state). When my daughter returned to our home she told me about the incident and said she didn't know if the dog had bitten or scratched with his nails. In mid March of 2012 I received a call from this fellow asking to meet me with the costs of his incurred expenses. I told him that I would not meet with him, but would look over anything he mailed to me, and gave him my business address. I asked, "with all due respect, how has it aken 3 months for you to contact me?" He had many "reasons" for the delay. It was another 3 months, June of 2012 when he sent a bill and lengthy letter. I proposed that I would reimburse for all out of pocket expenses, and now he wants "pain & suffering" compensation and has threatened to bring in an attorney. If I agree to the out of pocket expenses and $120 in lost wages will I be in the clear legally?

Asked on 6/26/12, 8:32 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Aspinwall Charles S. Aspinwall, J.D., LLC

Contact your homeowner's insurance company and let them handle it; You lack the experience to negotiate with this person, or to obtain the proper release should you need one. We recommend no more direct contact of any kind. No attorney will take a case of the type you describe for the money involved. You are being scammed. He can succeed only if you let him.

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Answered on 6/26/12, 1:06 pm

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