Denver Dog Bite Lawyers
Owning a dog can bring enjoyment and companionship, as well as responsibilities. Among these is dog owners’ responsibility to prevent their dogs from hurting, attacking or biting others. When dog owners fail to live up to this responsibility, they can be liable for the harm their dogs inflict on others.
At the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C., our attorneys have decades of experience helping dog bite survivors advocate their rights, hold negligent dog owners liable and seek the recoveries they deserve. Let us review your potential case, tell you more about your legal options and explain how we can help you in the journey towards recovery.
Call (720) 463-1516 or Email Us for a Free Case Review
We respond to all calls and emails within 30 minutes between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET. During evenings and holidays, we respond to inquiries within 24 hours.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
Following a dog bite or attack, it can be extremely important to:
- Call 911 if potentially life-threatening injuries have been sustained – If the injuries are not severe, seeking medical attention ASAP is still important to treating and documenting the injuries caused by the dog(s).
- Take pictures of the injuries – This includes any bruising, gashes, bite marks, etc. For the purposes of perspective and clarity, it can be helpful to include a “reference” object in the photos (like a ruler), indicating the size or extent of some injuries.
- Take pictures of the site where the bite or attack occurred – Be sure to snap photos of features like gates, signage regarding dogs and any features that may have been marred by the attack (like, for example, a bloody sidewalk).
- Contact a lawyer – An attorney can go over the details of the incident, determine if you have a claim and, if so, point out how to proceed.
Does Colorado Have Laws Regarding Dog Bites?
Yes. The specific law that applies will depend on the severity of the injuries a victim has sustained.
In the event of a serious bodily injury, Colorado dog bite law1 imposes “strict liability” on the dog owner. Specifically, the law explains that dog bite victims
Shall be entitled to bring a civil action to recover economic damages against the dog owner regardless of the viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or dangerous propensities.
This means that, when dog bites or attacks cause severe or deadly injuries, whether or not the dog was known to be vicious or dangerous prior to the attack will have no bearing on a victim’s right to seek recovery from that owner.
In the event of less serious injury, the “One Bite Rule” generally applies. According to this rule, a dog owner may be liable for the injuries caused by a dog IF the victim can prove that:
- The dog has bitten at least one person before.
- The owner was aware (or should have been aware) of the previous incident and the dog’s tendency toward viciousness.
Here, it’s also important to note that municipalities throughout Colorado may have additional regulations that dog owners have to comply with, like leash laws.
Are There Circumstances When Dog Bite Victims Will Not Be Entitled to Compensation?
Yes. Under Colorado dog bite law, victims are usually not eligible for financial recovery if or when:
- The victim:
- Trespassed or disregarded a warning sign (like “Beware of Dog”)
- Antagonized or provoked the dog
- Was performing some service on the dog, like grooming
- Was judging a dog show.
- The dog was:
- Conducting military or police work
- Working as a farm, ranch, hunting, herding or predator control dog on the owner’s property (or on property under the owner’s control).
What Type of Compensation Can Come from Dog Bite Claims?
Typically, dog bite victims are able to seek economic damages related to their injuries. This can include (and may not be exclusive to) damages for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost earnings and/or lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering (arising from physical injuries).
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Case?
Colorado law provides two years from the date of the dog bite or attack to file a claim for compensation. Missing this two-year timeframe (or statute of limitations) can render claims time-barred, meaning they can be dismissed and victims can lose the opportunity to seek financial recovery.
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C.
If you or someone you love has been bitten or attacked by a dog, a Denver personal injury attorney at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C. is ready to meet with you and explain your legal options. Our lawyers work on contingency – so you will not owe us any legal fees if there is no recovery in your case.
Call (720) 463-1516 or email our firm for a free, no obligations case review.
At the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C., our Denver lawyers tirelessly advocate injured people’s rights to compensation as we help them hold negligent and reckless parties responsible.
Our firm’s proven record of excellence and substantial awards for our clients in dog bite (and other personal injury) cases has earned our attorneys stellar reputations and various professional accolades.
1: Colorado dog bite law (C.R.S 13-21-124)