Dog bites can be traumatizing, extremely painful, and in some cases, can cause life-threatening injuries.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should see a medical specialist and report the bite to the authorities as soon as possible.
Colorado dog bite laws allow people who have suffered a serious dog bite to pursue a legal claim against the owner of the dog that bit them.
If you were bitten by a dog and sustained serious injuries, Tenge Law Firm can help you pursue compensation.
Below, this post will discuss some basics about dog bite laws in Colorado so you can be more fully informed before initiating a legal claim.
What Are the Colorado Dog Bite Laws?
Colorado’s dog bite statutes operate under a legal theory called strict liability.
This means that the person who suffered the dog bite does not have to prove that the dog had bitten someone else before, that the dog was known for aggressive behavior, or that the owner of the dog was negligent in some way.
In short, the owner of the dog is liable regardless of the dog’s previous actions or the owner’s knowledge, or lack of knowledge, of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
Serious Bodily Injury and Dog Bites
In Colorado, in order to sue the owner of a dog for a dog bite, the person who suffered the bite must have suffered something called “serious bodily injury.” Serious bodily injury is specifically defined in Colorado law.
The relevant statute describes a serious bodily injury as an injury that, “either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.”
A dog bite lawyer can help explain this serious bodily injury requirement in more detail and evaluate whether your injury meets that definition.
Euthanization of Dangerous Animals in Colorado
Colorado’s dog bite statute entitles a court to order that a dangerous animal be euthanized in certain situations. In a dog bite action, if it is alleged and proved that the owner knew of, or was on notice of, their dog’s vicious or dangerous tendencies, the court may order the euthanization of the dog.
The decision to euthanize the dog is at the discretion of the judge overseeing the case.
Are There Any Defenses to a Dog Bite Claim?
The short answer to this question is: yes. In Colorado, if the person who was bitten knowingly provoked the dog, the owner of the dog has a complete defense against liability.
In addition to this defense, if the owner of the dog posted “no trespassing” or “beware of dog” signs on their property, they have a defense if the dog bite occurred on their property.
Further, if the dog is working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or was a predator control dog on the property of the dog’s owner, the owner has a defense.
There are a few more defenses available under Colorado dog bite laws that a lawyer can explain to you.
How Can I Report a Dog Bite in Colorado?
Where you should call to report a dog bite depends on which county you live in. If you live in Denver, you should call Denver Animal Protection within 12 hours of suffering the bite. If you live in another country, you can call the county animal protection line and report the bite.
How Can the Tenge Law Firm Help Me After I Suffered a Serious Dog Bite?
At Tenge Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience helping clients who were bitten by dogs get the compensation they deserve.
We have helped our clients recover more than $50 million over the past seven years and provide each client with the 5-star service we are known for.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite in Colorado, we can help you hold the dog’s owner accountable. Contact us online or by phone to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.