Colorado Dog Bite Law
Dogs are popular pets, but they can also be dangerous animals. If you’ve been injured in a dog bite attack, you have the right to seek damages for your injuries. At Pushchak Law, dog bite lawyer Brian Pushchak is dedicated to holding dog owners accountable for the injuries their animals cause, to the full extent of the law.
But what does the law say? It’s important to know what options the law gives you for your dog bite lawsuit.
When You Can File a Dog Bite Lawsuit
The Colorado Revised Statutes that govern dog bite lawsuits are in § 13-21-124.
In general, you can file a dog bite lawsuit when you or someone you represent (such as a minor child) “suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog.” The statute says that the attack might have occurred on public or private property, as long as the person attacked was there legally.
You can pursue economic damages against the dog owner regardless of whether the dog is vicious or dangerous, and whether the owner knew about any potential danger the dog posed. It doesn’t matter. With a few exceptions we’ll talk about later, if the victim was legally in a place and suffered serious bodily injury or death from the dog attack, then they or their representative can file a dog bite lawsuit.
What Is Serious Bodily Injury?
The limitation that you can file a lawsuit when you suffer “serious bodily injury” might cause you to hesitate. What makes your injury “serious”?
Colorado dog bite law uses the same definitions as other parts of the Colorado Revised Statutes. To count as serious bodily injury, your injury must result in:
- Substantial risk of death
- Substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement
- Substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part or organ
- Breaks or fractures
- Second- or third-degree burns
These injuries might occur immediately after the attack or at some time later, such as due to an infection caused by the dog bite.
Who Can You Get Compensation from?
The statute describing dog bite lawsuits allows people injured in a dog bite attack to seek compensation from a dog owner. However, the law has a broad definition of owner in this context. It means a person, firm, or corporation who owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, has financial or property interest in, or has control or custody of a dog.
This means that in addition to the dog’s legal owner, you might be able to get compensation from:
- A kennel where the dog was staying
- Kennel employees
- Dog walkers
- Dog sitters
- Foster dog parents
- Animal shelter
- Legal guardians of dog owners
- People giving shelter and food to a stray
As long as you can show that these people met the standard of “dog owner” at the time of the dog bite attack, they may be held liable for your damages.
When You Can’t Seek Compensation
Colorado dog bite law also clearly lays out a few situations where you can’t pursue compensation after a dog bite attack. You can’t file a dog bite lawsuit if you were bitten while:
- Unlawfully on public or private property
- On the dog owner’s property with posted signs saying “no trespassing” or “beware of dog”
- The dog is being used by police or military in official duties
- Knowingly provoking the dog
- Working as a
- Veterinary care worker
- Dog groomer
- Humane agency staff
- Dog handler
- Dog show judge
- The dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog while on the owner’s property or under their control
In these situations, you can’t seek compensation for your injuries under this statute. However, you may have other claims that permit you to recover all of your damages.
Why Choose Pushchak Law as Your Denver Dog Bite Attorney
Brian Pushchak is an experienced Denver dog bite lawyer who has helped many people get compensation for their dog bite injuries. He utilizes an exclusive Informed Decisions™ approach that starts with listening to you and your needs. He wants to understand what goals are most important to you and this can help us make many decisions about your dog bite lawsuit.
It can help us decide, for example, when we want to negotiate a settlement to get you compensation more quickly, and when it’s important to go to trial.
Because we know all decisions aren’t made up front, we make ourselves personally available to you if questions come up or if you change your mind about the case. We do this because we care about you. We don’t just want to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We want you to feel that you got the justice you are owed by our legal system.
To learn how Pushchak Law can help in your dog bite lawsuit, please call 303-372-6145 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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