Understanding Dog Bite Personal Injury Cases
At 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:
- Labrador Retriever: 54 (10%)
- Germ Shepherd: 49 (9%)
- Unknown Dog: 42 (8%)
- American Bulldog: 41 (7%)
- Pit Bull: 38 (7%)
- Australian Cattle Dog: 27 (5%)
- Siberian Husky: 23 (4%)
- Chihuahua (Short Hair): 18 (3%)
- Border Collie: 16 (3%)
- Boxer: 15 (2%)
- Bull Terrier: 13 (2%)
- Rottweiler: 12 (2%)
- English Bulldog: 10 (1%)
- Shih Tzu: 10 (1%)
- West Highland Terrier: 10 (1%)
- Beagle: 8 (1%)
- Australian Shepherd: 6 (1%)
- Mastiff: 6 (1%)
- Miniature Poodle: 6 (1%)
- Chihuahua (Long Hair): 4 (0%)
- Chinese Shar Pei: 4 (0%)
- Chow Chow: 4 (0%)
- Dachshund: 4 (0%)
- Doberman Pinscher: 4 (0%)
- German Shorthaired Pointer: 4 (0%)
- 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:
- Neighbor: 94
- Family: 56
- Owner: 44
- Volunteer: 38
- Staff: 28
- Delivery person: 27
- Vet: 13
- Friend: 9
- Petsitter: 4
- 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.
- Level 2: Skin contact, but no puncture. At most, it is a shallow wound with slight bleeding
- Level 3: One to four holes from a single bite. No single puncture is deeper than half of the dog’s canine tooth. There could be some laceration as a result of the dog pulling away.
- Level 4: As level 3 with one to four punctures from a single bite, but the wound is deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine tooth. Also, it could include bruising and lacerations.
- Level 5: Multiple bites with at least two Level 4 bites.
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:
- Injuries resulting in disfigurement
- Loss or reduced function of a body part
- Broken or fractured bones
- Other injuries involving a substantial risk of death
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.