Hundreds of people get injured by dogs in Colorado every year. In 2021, Denver animal control reported 695 dog bites.
Colorado dog bite victims have a right to file a claim against the dog owner. Doing so can help injury victims recover financial and other damages to help them recover from the attack. Victims may file a claim after sustaining serious injury or property damage.
It’s best to seek assistance from an experienced Denver dog bite lawyer to help you navigate the legal process and get the fair compensation you deserve.
Colorado’s Dog Bite Laws
Colorado, like many other states, uses the strict liability law. That means the owner of the dog is liable for their pet’s actions. Furthermore, dog bite injury victims can recover damages from the dog owner.
It does not matter if the dog owner was negligent or knew about the dog’s propensity to harm someone. The victim simply needs to prove that the owner owns the dog and that they were bit due to strict liability.
Colorado’s dog bite laws are outlined in Colorado’s Revised Statutes, Section 13-21-124, which states that any person who suffers a serious bodily injury or death after a dog bite is entitled to bring a civil action against the owner. This holds true whether the attack occurred on public or private property. It does not matter if the dog had a previous history of biting or dangerous propensities, or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s dangerousness.
Does the Dog Bit Injury Victim Need to Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Claim?
No. Dog bite victims in Colorado do not need to prove the owner was negligent. As long as the victim can prove the following to file a claim for damages against the owner:
- the defendant is the actual owner of the dog
- The dog bit them
- They were legally allowed to be on the property where the attack took place
If a dog had dangerous tendencies but the owner was unaware of them, they are still liable. The victim does not have the burden of proof to show the owner was negligent or failed to use reasonable care to prevent the dog attack. Getting attacked by the dog is enough for a claim. However, if the owner was negligent, that can serve as evidence to support your personal injury claim.
Who Pays for My Damages After a Dog Bite Attack in Denver?
After you get bit by a dog in Colorado, you can file a claim through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. That will help you recover financial compensation for the losses and damages you experienced as a result of the dog bite.
Dogs are considered property in Colorado. Therefore, if the dog owner has renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or some other type of property insurance, that is generally used to pay for dog bite claims.
Exceptions and Defenses to Colorado’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Law
A dog owner or insurance company may try to avoid liability using one or several defense tactics. Common defenses used by the defendant include:
- Claiming that the victim was trespassing on their private property when they got attacked by the dog
- Claiming that the victim provoked the dog and was bit as a result of their provocation
- The dog bit the victim while defending the owner or another person; if defense is proven, the victims could be found partially responsible for their injuries and their compensation would be reduced.
Do I Have a Time Limit to File a Dog Bite Claim in Colorado?
Yes. Just like Colorado has a strict liability law for dog bites, the state also enforces a strict time limit for dog bite victims to file a claim. If you wish to bring a lawsuit for a dog bite injury, you have two years from the date of the attack to do so.
The time limit (known as the statute of limitations) applies to most personal injury claims in Colorado. Sometimes, there are exceptions to the time limit, such as if the attack victim was a child. Failing to take action within the time limit means the victim loses their chance to recover compensation from the owner.
Contact an Experienced Denver Dog Bite Attorney Today
A dog bite is a traumatic and unexpected event that no one deserves to endure. The trauma of the attack and the overwhelming medical bills can bring tremendous stress into the lives of victims and their families. That’s why we will work to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible. We are sorry for everything you’ve been through and want to help .
Call us today for a free initial case review.