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Landlord Liability in Colorado Dog Bite Cases

Posted on: January 9th, 2024

If you’ve been injured in a dog bite attack in Colorado, you may be wondering who is liable for your damages. According to Colorado dog bite law, there is strict liability for the dog owner in the event of an attack. That means that the dog’s owner is liable for your damages even if the owner didn’t act negligently. In addition, the dog doesn’t need to have a history of aggression for the owner to be held liable for your damages.

But what happens if you’re bitten by a dog at the owner’s home and the dog owner is a renter? While rare, there are some situations where the landlord may also be held liable for your damages, providing you with additional recourse to pursue compensation.

Colorado Laws Governing Landlord Liability in Dog Bite Cases

when is a landlord liable in dog bite cases?In Colorado, a landlord’s liability in dog bite attacks is governed by the Colorado Premises Liability Act (PLA). Under the PLA, a landlord may be held liable for injuries caused during a dog bite attack if the landlord failed to take action to protect against the danger of the dog injuring someone on the property based on information that the landlord knew or should have known.

In order to hold the landlord liable, you must be able to prove that:

Colorado Law Makes Holding a Landlord Liable for Dog Bite Injuries Challenging

In most instances, it is challenging to hold a landlord liable for dog bite injuries in Colorado. A 2005 Colorado dog bite case, Wilson v. Marchiondo, found that:

In this case, the victim wasn’t able to prove these two points and as a result, the landlord was found not to be responsible for the victim’s damages even though:

The court stated that there was no proof that the landlord was aware that the dog had attacked anyone prior to the tenant signing the lease. There was also no proof that the landlord came into contact with the dog prior to the tenant signing the lease. Even though the landlord observed the dog on the premises after the tenant moved in and agreed to build a secondary fence to restrict the dog, the court found that these facts didn’t make the landlord liable since only knowledge of dangerous tendencies prior to signing the lease can make a landlord liable in Colorado.

In situations, where the landlord isn’t liable, you can still pursue compensation from the dog’s owner, and Colorado’s strict liability laws will make the owner liable in almost all situations. If the dog’s owner has renter’s insurance, the insurance company will typically pay for your dog bite injuries. However, if the dog’s owner doesn’t have renter’s insurance, your ability to recover the compensation you deserve will be dependent on the owner having the financial means to pay for the damages out of pocket.

Pushchak Law Can Help

Denver dog bite lawyerIf you’ve been injured in a dog bite attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. At Pushchak Law, we can make sure your rights are protected and help you hold all liable parties accountable.

Brian Pushchak has made dog bite cases a primary focus of his practice. This area of specialization gives him extensive knowledge of the laws governing these cases. He can help you determine the appropriate parties to include in your lawsuit and if the landlord should be held liable for your damages, Mr. Pushchak knows the elements that must be proven to ensure a successful outcome.

Mr. Pushchak has also developed a unique Informed Decisions™ Approach focused on helping you achieve the best possible outcome to your case. This approach ensures you maintain control of the entire process. Mr. Pushchak will speak with you at length to learn about your injuries and your goals for the case. He’ll explain your rights in detail and recommend the best strategy to achieve your desired outcome.

You’ll have the opportunity to ask as many questions as needed to ensure you understand your legal options. While Mr. Pushchak will recommend the best strategy, you will always have the final say on how your case is handled. This process ensures Mr. Pushchak remains aligned with your best interests every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Pushchak Law serves clients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO
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