What Are The Dog Bite Laws in Colorado?
Dog Bite Laws in Colorado
Do you know how a dog bite claim or lawsuit is handled in the state of Colorado? Although many dog bites do not result in serious bodily harm, they can result in infection, disfigurement, temporary or permanent disability, or even death. If you have suffered a dog bite, you may not realize the extent of injury or damages you sustained – which can include, beyond disfiguring facial injuries, permanent nerve damage. You may be wondering if you have sufficient grounds to bring a claim against a dog owner and you should promptly consult an injury lawyer. Representing yourself is a mistake.
Dangerous Dog Owner Liability
Dog owners in Colorado have a responsibility to properly care for and train their animals and a duty to the public to watch out for the safety of others as it relates to interacting with their dog(s). This means a pet owner has an obligation to properly socialize their dog, become observant and correct aggressive behavior, and to restrain it when necessary to avoid a potentially harmful interaction with another. Failure to carry out any of these duties can potentially result in an attack which leads to a serious bodily injury. Colorado dog owners should:
- Keep dogs on a leash when not at home or on your own property
- Treat any signs of aggression as soon as they appear
- Keep your dog in good health and keep vaccinations current
- Erect a secure fence around your yard to keep your dog away from strangers
- Post “beware of dog” signs prominently, especially if your dog has shown signs of aggression toward others or territorial behavior
Colorado Dog Bite Laws
As a Colorado dog owner, under the rule of strict liability you may be held liable for injury to another – even if you weren’t aware your dog was capable of biting someone – if this results in serious bodily injury. The Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-124 imposes strict liability on dog owners for any injury caused by that dog. The person filing the claim does not need to prove that the dog owner knew the dog had the potential or propensity to cause harm to another. The statute defines “serious bodily injury” as a “bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.”
Regarding Colorado dog bite law, House Bill 04-1279 concerning liability relative to the behavior of dogs defines “bodily injury” as any physical injury that results in severe bruising, muscle tears, or skin lacerations requiring professional medical treatment or any physical injury that requires corrective or cosmetic surgery. The term “dog” includes any domesticated animal related to the fox, wolf, coyote, or jackal, and “dog owner” means a person, firm, corporation or organization owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, having financial or property interest in, or having control or custody of a dog.
At Whalen Hersh we have represented thousands of clients over the years and have successfully recovered over $25 million in settlements, judgments and verdicts for our clients. We are very familiar with Colorado dog bite laws and have the experience to properly represent you in a dog bite injury claim. If you have received an injury as a result of a dog bite, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is filed after this deadline, your case will be thrown out. Missing this deadline means you lose the right to receive any court-ordered compensation for your injury. Dog owners have homeowner insurance or rental coverage to protect you in situations where something like this happens – an unexpected dog attack or injury. These claims are usually pursued against their insurance companies for injuries and damages you sustain by their animal.
Whalen Hersh attorneys exclusively represent clients against large insurance companies and corporations in personal injury matters and have the court room experience that is crucial to properly represent you. When you need a skilled, sympathetic, capable dog bite lawyer with a proven track record of success who will fight for your best interests, contact us today. You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666 today to learn more. Our offices are conveniently located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112.