Can I Recover Damages if I’m Attacked by a Service Dog?
Service dogs are treated differently from other dogs. They get to go places where other dogs are not allowed. Because of this different treatment, it makes sense to wonder: Can I recover damages if I’m attacked by a service dog?
The answer is “usually.” Although service dogs do get dispensation to enter places that dogs can’t normally go, they don’t get special protection from liability for dog bite attacks under Colorado law. Although service dogs perform a vital role in some people’s lives, their special treatment must come with additional responsibilities in terms of training and control. If you’ve been bitten by a service dog and suffered serious injuries, Denver dog bite lawyer Brian Pushchak believes you are entitled to compensation. He will work hard to win the full amount of compensation you are due under the law.
Service Dogs Not Immune Under Colorado Law
Colorado dog bite law is very clear about the strict liability of dog owners. A dog owner is usually liable for “serious bodily injury or death” caused by their dog’s bites. Service dogs are not exempt from this liability.
However, there are circumstances where you might not be able to recover damages. You can’t recover damages if you were bitten:
- While unlawfully on public or private property
- On the property of the dog owner, if the property is marked clearly and conspicuously with one or more signs stating “no trespassing” or “beware of dog”
- While working as a veterinary care provider, dog groomer, staff at a humane agency, or professional dog handler
- After knowingly provoking the dog
This last provision might be harder to argue against with service dogs than other dogs. Service dogs go through stricter training than most dogs, and there are likely experts who worked with the dog at the training company. These experts might testify that it’s unlikely that the dog would attack without provocation. In addition, these dogs often wear a “service dog” vest or similar warning that a person should not interfere with the dog. Approaching and interacting with a service dog without first talking to the dog’s owner might be considered provocative.
Dogs “In Service” Might Be Immune Under Colorado Law
On the other hand, there are several types of dogs that are in service that are immune from liability. Although not technically service dogs, some people might get these confused.
When peace officers or military personnel use a dog in the performance of their duties, the dog owner cannot be held responsible if the dog bites. Similarly, a dog that is on the property or under the control of its owner is immune from liability while it’s working as a hunting dog, herding, dog, farm dog, ranch dog, or predator control dog.
Why Choose Denver Dog Bite Lawyer Brian Pushchak
If you suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to a dog bite attack, you likely deserve compensation. Denver dog bite lawyer Brian Pushchak is prepared to fight for the full compensation you are owed under the law.
At Pushchak Law, we utilize our unique Informed Decisions™ approach to help ensure you get the outcome you want from your case. We start by listening to your needs so we understand your desired outcome from your dog bite lawsuit. Then we offer our expertise so you can make the best decisions to help you achieve those goals. We care about you, and we want to do everything possible to help you get the outcome you desire from your lawsuit. We remain personally available to you throughout the course of your lawsuit. That way you can call or contact us anytime you have questions, concerns, or input about your lawsuit.
To learn how our approach can help you with your dog bite lawsuit, please call 303-372-6145 or contact us online to request a free consultation at Pushchak Law in Denver.
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