Denver Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites and attacks can result in severe injuries with lasting effects or even death. If you suffered injuries from a dog bite, talk to our Denver dog bite attorney about how we can help you recover for your injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than four million Americans suffer dog bites each year. An estimated 800,000 require medical treatment. Colorado law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries their pets inflict on people. Dog bites may require tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care. You may have long term or permanent effects from your injuries. At Front Range Injury Attorneys our Denver dog bite attorneys can help you recover for your injuries and financial losses.
Why Choose Front Range Injury Attorneys?
At Front Range Injury Attorneys we care about helping our clients throughout their cases. We believe clients are best served when our personal injury attorneys participate in their cases from start to finish. We help our clients get the best treatment for their injuries. By building up your case from the beginning, we build a strong case to get the best results.
How we can help you
Watch this video to see managing attorney Adam Kielich discuss dog bite cases and how our Denver law firm can help you recover for your losses.
Contact our office to discuss your Colorado personal injury case. We offer free case reviews for injury and accident cases across the state.
Tell us about your case
Why you need a Colorado dog bite lawyer
The last thing you want to do after a severe personal injury is juggle the pain of your injury with the pain of dealing with an insurance company. You have medical treatment, pain and suffering and difficulty performing your normal activities. Dealing with an insurance company on top of that only makes a bad situation worse. A knowledgeable Colorado dog bite lawyer can take the burden of dealing with the insurance company and potentially a personal injury lawsuit off your shoulders. Our dog bite lawyers will advise you through the process and handle the legal issues to maximize your compensation.
Insurance companies often deny or refuse to deal with dog bite claims when you do not hire a lawyer. They will blame you for the attack and assume you will not file a lawsuit to challenge them. By hiring a dog bite lawyer early in your case, your lawyer can start working on your case right away and ensure your case moves towards the best possible outcome.
Which dogs bite?
A serious dog bite can occur from any dog regardless of size, breed, temperament, or history. Dogs of any breed or size can be loving and friendly pets, but under new or uncomfortable settings a dog may feel threatened and bite. Even small dogs can bite and cause serious injuries, especially to hands or to small children. A dog owner is responsible for preventing injury to other people regardless of breed.
Statistically, some dog breeds are more often involved in serious dog bites. According to one study, dog bites kill 33 Americans each year. Of those fatal bites, pit bulls accounted for over 65%, although they represent less than 10% of the dog population. Rottweilers were next, accounting for just over 10% of fatal bites. The remaining fatal bites primarily involved German Shepherds, mixed breed, American bulldog, mastiff and husky. (Source) The statistical probability of certain breeds causing a severe dog bite does not mean a small dog or “friendly” breed cannot cause a serious injury.
Colorado dog owner laws
Colorado law generally leaves dog containment to municipal rules but establishes uniform law across the state for dog bite liability. In Denver and surrounding cities, dogs in most public places must be within the control of an adult and restrained with a leash. At home, a dog must remain secured in a building or behind a fence.
Liability rules for dog bites may seem simple on the surface, but quickly become complicated under the facts of your injury. The insurance company for the dog owner will look for every opportunity to minimize or avoid liability. Our dog bite attorneys in Denver will fight to hold the dog owner accountable for your injuries.
Is the dog owner liable for my injuries and damages?
Colorado adopted both a strict liability rule and a negligence rule for dog bite injuries. Which rule applies in your case depends upon the type of injury you suffered and the circumstances involving the bite. In a strict liability claim the dog owner is absolutely liable for injuries regardless of whether the dog owner tried to avoid injury. In a negligence claim, the victim must prove the owner failed to act reasonably to avoid injury.
Strict liability applies if:
- The bite resulted in serious bodily injuries; and
- The victim was on public property, or
- Lawfully on private property.
Serious bodily injuries include:
- Injuries causing broken or fractured bones
- Injuries resulting in permanent disfigurement
- Injuries involving substantial risk of death
- Injuries resulting in permanent loss or reduced function of a body part
If the dog bite did not produce serious bodily injuries on this list, then the claim falls under a negligence rule. The victim must prove the owner failed to use reasonable care to restrain the dog and avoid injury. These claims are treated as premises liability claims, which add additional complicated legal rules. Generally an owner will still be liable for injuries unless the victim entered or remained on the property as a trespasser.
Under both strict liability and negligence, a dog owner may avoid liability for bite injuries when:
- The dog attacked a trespasser on private property
- The dog owner posted visible warning signs and the bite occurred on the owner’s land
- An attack occurred because the victim knowingly provoked the dog
- The dog was in use by police or military for official duties
- The victim was a veterinarian, groomer, humane agency staff, trainer, or dog show judge performing job duties
- The dog was working, hunting, herding, farming, or other jobs on the owner’s property
Is Colorado a one bite state?
Colorado is no longer a one bite state. Prior to 2005, Colorado was a one bite state. That meant a dog bite victim could only hold the owner liable for bite injuries if the dog owner had prior knowledge or suspicions that the dog may act aggressively and cause serious injury. Effectively, the owner could deny the dog had violent tendencies until it bit somebody. The owner could avoid liability for one bite. This is sometimes known as the one free bite rule.
In 2005 the Colorado legislature enacted a new dog bite statute replacing the one free bite rule. The current law is blends strict liability and negligence as the standard for liability.
Common injuries from dog bites
Dog bites can cause a wide range of injuries due to the combination of mechanisms involved in an attack. The teeth create puncture wounds but can also slash or rip. The jaws compress causing crushing or breaking. The dog may shake its head as it bites causing jerking or twisting. The dog’s mouth may transmit diseases or bacteria. Along with an attack, the dog may scratch or jump on the victim causing additional injuries. Common injuries from dog bites include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Torn connective tissue causing short or long term loss of use
- Face and head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage resulting in loss of use or loss of sensation
- Disease and infection
- Emotional trauma
These and other injuries can result in significant pain, loss of normal function and disfigurement. You may require substantial treatment including surgery to heal from a dog attack. Our Denver dog bite attorneys can help you obtain medical care and pursue recovery for your injuries.
What should I do if I'm bitten by a dog?
If possible you should obtain the dog owner’s information and contact information for any witnesses to the attack. If the attack occurred in public or by a person you do not know, this may be your only opportunity to find the responsible party.
Second, seek medical attention for the bite. You should seek medical attention even if you think the bite did not cause a serious injury. A medical professional can evaluate your injuries and recommend treatment. An injury that may not seem severe right away may develop serious symptoms with time.
Third, file a police report of the incident so an officer can document the event and talk to any witnesses. The police department may talk to the dog owner and help you obtain information necessary to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Fourth, contact Front Range Injury Attorneys for a free case review. Our dog bite lawyers can evaluate your situation and discuss how we can help you get medical care and compensation for your injuries.
Contact Front Range Injury Attorneys today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite in Denver, contact a skilled lawyer to discuss your next steps. Resolving dog bite claims can be challenging and the insurance company will take every opportunity to make the process as difficult for you as possible. Our Denver dog bite attorneys will take away the stress of dealing with the insurance company and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our law office for a free case review.
Frequently asked questions
As a dog owner, you are generally responsible for controlling your pet and preventing your dog from causing other people injury. If your dog bit somebody, you may be liable for their injuries, medical bills and other damages.
If you have homeowner's insurance or rental insurance, your policy may pay for the claim and defend you from a personal injury lawsuit for a dog bite. You should contact your insurance company and report the injury.
Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-124 covers dog bites. This statute states the dog's owner may be held responsible for injuries if the bite was lawfully on the owner's public or private property and the bite resulted in serious bodily injury or death.
Yes, Colorado law requires reporting all animal bites to humans or pets.
Denver, Colorado has ten dog parks operated within the city, under the Denver Parks & Recreation department. The department developed rules and regulations that govern those parks and their use. According to those rules, dog owners are responsible for injuries to other dogs or people. It is challenging to hold the city accountable for injuries within a dog park.
Denver's current list of dog parks include:
- Berkeley Dog Park
- Barnum Dog Park
- Little Boxcar Dog Park
- Donny Lawson Dog Park
- Kennedy Dog Park
- Josephine Dog Park
- Fuller Dog Park
- Green Valley Ranch East Dog Park
- Central Park Dog Park
- Greenway Park Dog Park
- Carla Madison Dog Park
- Railyard Dog Park
- Lowry Dog Park
- Parkfield Dog Park