A dog bite can cause severe injuries, permanent scarring and disfigurement, mental anguish, and in the most tragic cases, death. It’s a traumatic experience that can have a lasting impact on the victim’s life. Even if the physical scars heal, the emotional scars can last a lifetime. It’s important to understand state laws and statutes surrounding an incident like this. If the dog owner was somehow responsible for causing your injury, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
Denver dog bite injury attorneys have experience and resources to assist you with your legal case to ensure you receive the justice you rightfully deserve. Below, we’ll discuss Colorado’s dog bite laws in detail.
Colorado Dog Bite Laws
According to Colorado statute 13-21-124, you could potentially hold the dog owner liable for the injury you suffered if:
- You were lawfully on private or public property; and
- The bite caused severe bodily injury or fatality.
Premises liability is a broad category that includes various situations where someone gets hurt on another person’s property due to their actions. There are premises liability lawyers in Denver that can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover the monetary award you need for your losses. To pursue this after a dog causes your injuries, you must use one of the following legal bases:
Strict liability only applies to situations where the victim sustained a dog bite. Under the statute above, the injury must be severe or fatal and occur on public or private property. It does not matter if the owner knew or should have known that their dog was aggressive or would bite someone.
Negligence refers to one party’s failure to act in a way that avoids harm to another. If a dog hurts you but doesn’t actually bite you, you wouldn’t be allowed to use strict liability as the basis of your legal case. You also must show evidence that the at-fault party’s actions directly led to your injury.
For example, some large dogs are strong enough to knock a person to the ground and cause a concussion, broken bones, or cuts and wounds. If the dog wasn’t on a leash and charged at you, the owner would be negligent in this situation.
How to Handle a Dog Bite Injury
The most important thing to remember is that you should begin the legal process immediately after the incident. The longer you wait, the harder it might be to locate crucial evidence and find witnesses that can testify to what happened to you in court. Your premises liability attorney in Denver will need to investigate your case to determine if the dog owner is liable and find a way to prove it.
Step 1: Don’t let the dog get away. Call animal control if it’s a stray and keep it confined to an area where it can’t run. If the owner is around, tell them what happened and write down their name and contact information.
Step 2: Take photos at the scene of the attack. That should include a picture of the dog, your visible injuries, and any property damage that occurred during the incident. You should also obtain details about the dog’s history from the owner, such as its breed, recent vaccinations, and if there’s a history of violence.
Step 3: File a report. You can notify animal control to ensure it doesn’t hurt anyone else. If you’re in a public place, such as a restaurant, tell the manager and ask to complete an incident report. You might be able to file a claim with the business owner’s insurance company.
Step 4: Go to the doctor. It’s crucial that you don’t wait for days or weeks before seeking initial medical care. Insurance companies look at gaps in treatment as evidence that the injury never happened or it’s not serious enough to require medical intervention.
Step 5: File a claim or lawsuit. Various factors determine who you can seek compensation from after a dog bite. For example, if it happened at a friend’s house, you could file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance. If you were attacked on someone’s public property, you could file a claim with the property or business owner’s liability insurance. You could also sue the dog owner directly if their carelessness led to your injuries.
Step 6: Hire a premises liability attorney in Denver. Individuals who retain someone’s legal services typically receive higher compensation than those who choose to pursue their case alone.
Dog bite claims typically fall under the area of injury law known as premises liability. Premises liability lawyers in Denver will fight hard for the justice and compensation you deserve. Your attorney will be able to inform you of all your rights and legal options when you schedule a consultation to discuss your case in detail with them. Remember that time is limited to take legal action, so contact a dog bite attorney right away for help.