We know that dog bites can be both life-changing and traumatic. If someone fails to control their dog, then you shouldn’t have to pay the bill for your damages. The irresponsible owner should be held accountable.
Why Hire a Westminster Dog Bites and Animal Attacks Attorney?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog or attacked by an animal in Westminster, you likely have racked up an expensive bill that will continue to grow. You also may be struggling to live your life as normal.
It’s important to know if someone failed to control their dog, then you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, these legal processes are complicated and fragile.
Insurance companies and opposing lawyers are notorious for bullying victims into low-ball offers and denying claims. That’s where we can help.
Our Westminster dog bites and animal attack attorneys will prepare a claim with the legal expertise and resources to aggressively fight insurance companies and defense lawyers to prove you deserve the maximum payout for your suffering.
Our Westminster dog bites and animal attack attorneys will also manage all communication with the relevant parties, ensure your case meets all deadlines and gather all the supporting evidence for your case.
United States Dog Bite and Animal Attack Statistics
- Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected.
- Between 2005-2016, a reported 568 Americans suffered death due to a fatal dog bite injury.
- 67% of those fatal attacks came from pitbulls.
Liability for Westminster Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
To win damages from another party for a personal injury claim, the dog owner must be found liable.
Colorado imposes a strict liability law upon dog owners for dog bites. If a victim suffers a serious bodily injury, the owner may have to pay full damages. They may also be liable for lesser injuries, if their control of their animal was deemed negligent.
There are also various Westminster dog laws that a dog owner must follow, which if breached could be negligence and make them liable.
Our Westminster dog bite and animal attack attorneys can help you prepare a case that proves the other party was liable for your injuries, so you can receive the money you deserve.
Does the ‘First Bite’ Law Still Exist?
Colorado dog owners previously could avoid liability thanks to the ‘First Bite’ law. This law allowed owners to claim that there was no indication the dog had violent tendencies.
However, in 2005 this statute was repealed. Now, dog owners assume liability regardless of the dog’s previous history – if the dog causes serious injury or death to another person.
Serious Bodily Dog Bite Injuries
If a dog bite in Westminster results in serious injuries, strict liability rules will apply (if the victim was lawfully on the dog owner’s property or in a public place). In addition to strict liability, serious dog bites can also fall under premises liability and/or negligence law.
Serious bodily injuries may include:
- Life-threatening injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- The permanent loss or reduced function of a body part or organ
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage
Severity of Dog Bites in Westminster
The city of Westminster categorizes dog bites into 4 categories:
- Level 2: The bite makes contact with the skin without puncture, or a shallow puncture with minimal bleeding.
- Level 3: 1-4 punctures from a single bite, with no puncture deeper than half of the dog’s canine tooth. A laceration may be caused.
- Level 4: 1-4 punctures from a single bite, with at least one puncture deeper than half of the length of the dog’s canine tooth.
- Level 5: Multiple bites with at least two level 4 bites.
Non-Serious Dog Bite Injuries
Non-serious dog bite injuries can still have a devastating impact on the victim. These incidents typically fall under premises liability and/or negligence law. In these cases, you must prove that the owner failed to show reasonable care and attention to control their dog.
Dog owners may avoid liability if:
- The dog attacks an illegal trespasser on private property
- The owner had posted visible no trespassing and/or dangerous dog signs
- The dog was a police or military dog
- The dog bit veterinary staff, groomers, humane staff, dog show personnel and handlers performing their occupational duties.
Westminster Dog Owner Laws
In Colorado, dog laws are generally determined by the individual municipality. So the level of control a dog owner must have will vary depending on where you live in Westminster. But in general, a dog owner must follow the following Colorado dog laws:
Animal Attack Laws
- Owners of animals are liable for the behavior of their animals if their pet attacks:
- Any person not on the owner’s property.
- Any person on the owner’s property if there is no clear warning about the dog and a warning if the dog is not enclosed.
- Any person in any business that is open to the public.
- However, a dog owner is defensible if:
- The victim made an unlawful entry onto the owner’s property or into their vehicle.
- The victim threatened or attacked the owner or animal.
- The victim attempted to assault another person.
- It is unlawful to own any ‘dangerous animal’. Or to own any ‘potentially dangerous animal’, such as a pitbull, without a permit.
- A dog owner must prevent their dog from running at large (unless in an enclosed space, with adult supervision).
- Any dog found running at large can be taken and impounded in the Westminster Animal Shelter, without the need to file a complaint.
- Any owned dog over six months must be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed Colorado vet, unless there is exemption over health concerns.
- Rabies booster vaccinations are required at the appropriate date.
- Anyone who owns a dog in Westminster must have it vaccinated within 30 days of acquisition if the dog is older than six months.
- Pet dogs are only legal with a license if they’re older than six months.
What Damages Could I Win For My Westminster Dog Bite?
Our Westminster dog bites and animal attacks lawyers can help victims recover financial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical Expenses (past and future, since the date of the incident)
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Treatment Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings
- In-Home Care Expenses
- Medical Equipment Costs
- Transportation Expenses
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Scarring / Disfigurement
- Permanent Impairment
- Long-Term Disability
- Potential Punitive Damages
- Property Damage
- Wrongful Death
What Should I Do If a Dog in Westminster Bites Me?
- You should first seek immediate medical attention if needed. This is especially important if you are unsure who the dog owner is, as you may need a rabies shot.
- If possible, take photos of the injuries and the location to prove there was no dangerous dog signage.
- Collect contact information from the dog owner and any witnesses.
- Contact a Westminster dog bite and animal attack attorney.
- File a police report, so an officer can officially record the incident.
- Collect and protect all medical bills, doctors’ notes and any other evidence that may support your claim.
What If I Don’t Know Who Owns The Animal?
If you’ve been injured by a stray animal or you’re unsure who the owner is, we advise you to report the event to animal control. They will attempt to locate the dog and its owner.
Contact a Dog Bites and Animal Attacks Attorney in Westminster, CO
If you’ve been injured in a dog bite or animal attack in Westminster, contact our Westminster dog bite and animal attack attorneys as soon as possible.
There is a strong chance the animal owner has breached their responsibilities and is liable for your injuries.
With a combination of a proven track record, impressive financial resources, esteemed legal reputation and a compassionate approach, we believe there is no better Denver personal injury attorney team than us.