Dog bites are excruciatingly painful and can cause a whirlwind of emotional trauma. In some cases, a dog bite could even be life-threatening. If a dog has bitten you, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Doing so can help to prevent the dog from hurting anyone else.
Read on to find information on how you can report a dog bite in Colorado. If you decide to take legal action, you will need a skilled Denver dog bite attorney advocating on your behalf.
Should I Report a Dog Bite to Animal Protection or the Police in Colorado?
If you were bit or attacked in Denver city, you can report the bite to Denver Animal Control Services. You can reach them by dialing 311 or calling (720)913-1311. If a dog bit you outside of Denver, you’ll need to report the incident to the county where it occurred. Every county will have its department of animal control services that serve its jurisdiction.
You may be asked for specific details when you call to report the bite. Animal control services will want to know:
- A description of the animal (breed, size, etc.)
- Details about the incident
- Where the attack took place
- Who is responsible for the animal
You’ll want to share as much detail as you can remember. One thing that can be helpful is to write down as much information and detail as you can immediately after the attack. That way, the facts will be fresh in your brain. It would help if you also wrote down the points you share with the person to whom you report the attack. It’s important to remember what you said on the record and what information you’ve shared. Under Colorado law, animal bites and attacks must be reported within 12 hours of the occurrence.
When you see a doctor, they will also be required to report the bite to Colorado’s Department of Health. Be sure to share as much detail as you can about the attack with your doctor. If you need to pursue legal action, the records of the dog attack through Animal Control Services and the Health Department will be helpful documentation to have.
Taking Legal Action in Colorado After You Report a Dog Bite
Once you’ve received medical care and reported the dog bite, you might decide to pursue a legal claim. This is especially true for victims who were bitten by an unprovoked attack. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to legal action against the dog owner. With the proper evidence and case formation, you could seek compensation from the dog’s owner for:
- Medical bills
- Lost or reduced wages due to inability to work as a result of the attack
- Property damage from the dog attack
- Payment for non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and emotional trauma or PTSD
- Other expenses related to your recovery like transportation for medical treatment
- Veterinarian bills (if your dog was also injured in the attack)
The specific damages you can seek will depend on how severe the attack was and how much loss you’ve incurred from the attack. If you wish to take legal action against the dog owner for the injuries you’ve sustained, you will need to prove that the owner is, in fact, liable.
An experienced dog bite attorney will be able to evaluate your case and explain what type of compensation you may be entitled to.
Colorado law holds dog owners strictly liable for dog bites. If a victim sustains serious bodily injury or dies from a dog bite while legally on that property, the owner will be held accountable. This is valid whether it takes place on public or private property.
Let’s say someone received a severe bodily injury from a dog bite while trespassing on the owner’s property. Let’s also say that the owner explicitly posted a warning sign that read “beware of dog(s).” In that instance, the owner would not be held legally responsible for injuries. Nor would the dog owner be liable if a person knowingly provoked the dog, resulting in the dog biting or attacking.
The Colorado Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites
Dog bite claims are considered civil claims. This means that under the Colorado law, dog bite victims have two years from the date of the attack to file a civil lawsuit against the dog owner. From the date you report the dog bite, you have two years to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. If you do not file a claim within the two-year time limit, you will forfeit your right to file a lawsuit against the dog owner for that incident.
The best course of action after a dog bite is to consult a qualified Denver dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Evidence is easier to gather quickly after, if not immediately after the dog bite. You’ll want to have photos of evidence proving the owner’s liability. It’s recommended that dog bite injury victims speak with a knowledgeable Denver dog bite attorney to understand their rights and legal options.
Contact a Dog Bite Injury Attorney in Denver, Colorado
If a dog attacked you in Denver, CO, contact our Denver dog bite attorneys to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling cases involving dog bites and have advocated for bite victims throughout Colorado.
No one can anticipate being attacked by a dog. However, we are here to help you recover the damages and losses you may have unfairly incurred due to an attack. If you or a loved one sustained injuries from a dog attack, you do not have to recover alone. Such an event can be traumatic and cause immense emotional turmoil in the victims’ lives. We will guide you through the entire process and hold the correct party accountable. Our attorneys will fight aggressively on your behalf to get you the fair compensation you deserve to help you move on with your life. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.