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Denver Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Attacks

Dog Bite Lawyer Brian Pushchak Helps You Recover Compensation for Injuries Resulting from a Dog Attack

If you were injured in a dog attack, you might be eligible for compensation to pay for your related medical bills and other economic damages. In some cases, you might even be eligible for compensation for noneconomic damages. At Pushchak Law, we are dedicated to helping ensure a fair outcome to your dog bite case, including all the damages you deserve.

To learn how we might be able to help you, please call 303-372-6145 or contact us today for a free consultation.

 

Compensation You Might Receive after a Dog Bite

Dog bite law distinguishes between two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are compensation for monetary losses related to the dog bite. This can include:

Compensation can include your current losses as well as those expected in the future. In some cases, you may be eligible to receive compensation for non-economic damages. This might include:

In rare cases, you might even be able to pursue punitive damages.

 

Colorado Dog Bite Law: Can You Get Compensation?

Most people can seek compensation after being bitten by a dog. However, Colorado law does provide some restrictions and limitations on who can seek damages and what types of damages they can seek. Here’s a brief guide to when you can or cannot seek compensation for dog bite injuries in Denver.

Who Is Not Eligible for Compensation under Colorado’s Civil Actions Against Dog Owners Statute?

Dog Bite Attorney Briak Pushchak - Denver, ColoradoSome people are expressly forbidden from seeking compensation for dog bite injuries under Colorado’s “Dog Bite Statute”. You can’t seek economic damages under the dog bite statute if you were bitten:

Like police officers, police dogs have protection under the law for injuries they cause during their normal duties. You cannot normally seek compensation for injuries caused by a police dog during its duties. However, it might be possible to get compensation if you can show that a policeman should not have loosed the dog or ordered it to attack you.

The same goes for hunting and herding dogs. If they bite you while they’re working, you can’t seek damages. This also applies to farm and ranch dogs.

If you are taunting or teasing a dog, you cannot get compensation. Obviously, this is a common defense used by dog owners, so it’s important to collect witness statements about the incident.

You also don’t have a right to seek compensation if you are trespassing or otherwise not legally on the premises where you were attacked. Legally on the premises includes being on public property. It also includes being on private property while fulfilling a professional duty (delivering mail, reading a meter, etc.) or under an explicit or implicit invitation by the property owner.

Even if you were legally on the premises, you can’t seek compensation if the property is clearly marked with appropriate warnings, such as “No Trespassing” or “Beware of Dog.”

Finally, Colorado law says that people can’t seek compensation if they were working with the dog in a professional capacity, such as a vet, dog groomer, dog show judge, humane society worker, dog handler, or dog trainer.

However, just because you may not have a claim under the dog bite statute does NOT mean you do not have a claim under a different legal theory such as negligence or premises liability.

Strict Liability for Dog Owners in Colorado

Other than the above exceptions, a dog owner is considered to have “strict liability” for injuries caused by their dog. In all other situations than those listed above, you can seek compensation for economic damages related to serious injury or death caused by a dog bite. You don’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent or that the dog was known to be dangerous.

Serious injury means:

In these cases, you can get compensation for medical bills and other expenses as listed above.

When Can Seek Non-Economic Damages for a Dog Attack?

You can’t normally get compensation for non-economic damages related to your dog bite injury under the dog bite statute. However, you can seek non-economic damages if you can show that the dog owner acted negligently or unreasonably failed to protect you from their animal.

Negligence by a dog owner is most often related to ownership of a dangerous dog. A dangerous dog is defined simply as a dog that is known to have vicious or dangerous tendencies. Typically, this is a dog that has bitten someone in the past.

In addition to seeking noneconomic damages, in this situation you can request a Court to Order that the dog be put down.

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Understanding Dog Bite Personal Injury Cases

angry dog preparing to attackAt Pushchak Law, we endeavor to help you make informed decisions. Over the years, we have written extensive information on dog bites and attacks in Colorado in an attempt to help you better understand your choices. Below are some dog bite resources we have put together:

Denver Dog Bite Facts

According to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) there were 518 reported dog bites in 2019.  Here is a breakdown of the most offending breeds:

  1. Labrador Retriever: 54 (10%)
  2. Germ Shepherd: 49 (9%)
  3. Unknown Dog: 42 (8%)
  4. American Bulldog: 41 (7%)
  5. Pit Bull: 38 (7%)
  6. Australian Cattle Dog: 27 (5%)
  7. Siberian Husky: 23 (4%)
  8. Chihuahua (Short Hair): 18 (3%)
  9. Border Collie: 16 (3%)
  10. Boxer: 15 (2%)
  11. Bull Terrier: 13 (2%)
  12. Rottweiler: 12 (2%)
  13. English Bulldog: 10 (1%)
  14. Shih Tzu: 10 (1%)
  15. West Highland Terrier: 10 (1%)
  16. Beagle: 8 (1%)
  17. Australian Shepherd: 6 (1%)
  18. Mastiff: 6 (1%)
  19. Miniature Poodle: 6 (1%)
  20. Chihuahua (Long Hair): 4 (0%)
  21. Chinese Shar Pei: 4 (0%)
  22. Chow Chow: 4 (0%)
  23. Dachshund: 4 (0%)
  24. Doberman Pinscher: 4 (0%)
  25. German Shorthaired Pointer: 4 (0%)
  26. Others: 90 (17%)

Do note, that Pit Bulls are currently banned in Denver, but they also accounted for 7 percent of the reported dog bites. However, as Pit Bulls are banned, they could be reported as “unknown breed” by their owners.

Where Do Dog Attacks Typically Occur?

Most reported dog bites occur at home. However, the second most is from off-leash dogs in public. Third, most are on-leash dogs, also in public.

Who Do Dogs Bite?

Looking again, at reported data from the DDPHE, here is the breakdown of relationships to the dog:

  1. Neighbor: 94
  2. Family: 56
  3. Owner: 44
  4. Volunteer: 38
  5. Staff: 28
  6. Delivery person: 27
  7. Vet: 13
  8. Friend: 9
  9. Petsitter: 4
  10. Roommate: 3

Dog Bite Severity Reporting

There are four levels of dog bites, but they are on a scale of 2 to 5. Level 2 is the least severe, while Level 5 is the most serious.

Getting a Fair Dog Bite Injury Outcome

As personal injury attorneys, we see a lot of factors that impact the outcome of your dog attack case. But, it starts with the injury itself.

You must have documentation of your injury, including any medical records. Also, be sure to file a report with animal control or the police. If others witnessed the attack, collect their contact information, as well as that of the dog owner.

If your injuries are severe, strict liability applies to the owner. There are several types of serious injury:

Non-serious dog bites that do not fall under the above list are premises liability laws. In these cases, we have to show that the owner acted negligently and did not exercise reasonable care or attention to the dog, resulting in the attack. Under this premise, the dog owner does assume liability, unless the victim has entered the owner’s property illegally or if the victim provoked the dog.

In most cases, Colorado currently limits recovery for non-economic damages. But, if the injury is serious, such as permanent disfigurement, the limit does not apply.

Do You Need a Dog Bite Attorney?

The fact of the matter is that more than 5 million people in the US are dog bite victims per year. However, insurance only pays about 14,000 claims per year. While there is no law requiring you to hire a lawyer, it is highly recommended you do. As we work on a contingency basis, you have nothing to lose, allowing us to represent you as your dog bite attorney. We know how to represent your case to the insurance company so you can get resolution, often without having to go to court.

How a Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, an attorney can be very helpful. Not only can we focus on getting you compensation while you focus on healing, but we can evaluate any settlement offers you get to make sure you are receiving the compensation you truly deserve.

We can also help collect evidence to demonstrate that you are due compensation, including the possibility of compensation for noneconomic damages.

Why Choose Pushchak Law for Your Dog Attack Case?

There are many dog bite attorneys in Denver, but Pushchak Law is different. With our Informed Decisions™ approach, we strive to help you make the best decisions in your case, while making sure they remain your decisions. We take the time to get to know you and your needs. This means we can help you focus on what’s most important for you. We are dedicated to ensuring a fair outcome for your case, getting you the compensation you deserve. Brian Pushchak is an experienced attorney, and he knows what matters in dog bite injury cases.

We also make ourselves personally available to you. You will see that you aren’t just another case to us. We care about you and doing what we can to help you. And we work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us if we get compensation for you.

Want to get started pursuing compensation for your dog bite injuries? Please call 303-372-6145 or use our form to request a free consultation. We serve clients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

 

Call Denver’s Top Dog Bite Attorney Today (303)372-6145

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