Denver Dog Bite Lawyer | Colorado Dog Bite Attorney
Dog Bites in Colorado – Call Denver Dog Bite Lawyer for Help!
In Colorado, dog owners are held to be strictly liable to dog bite victims who are in public areas or who are lawfully present on the dog owner’s property in most cases. Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-124, a dog’s owner may be liable to pay damages to people who suffer serious bodily injury or who are killed by a dog while they are lawfully present on private or public property. People whose injuries do not fall under the dog bite statute may also recover if they are able to prove liability under the state’s negligence or negligence-per-se rules.
Strict Liability in Colorado Dog Bite Cases
The states are split regarding cases involving dog bites. Some states have a one-bite rule while others follow a strict liability rule. Colorado uses a combination of strict liability and negligence rules for dog bite cases. The state’s strict liability statute applies when a person suffers serious bodily injury in a dog attack while he or she is lawfully present on private property or in a public place. Strict liability is imposed even if the dog’s owner was not negligent. If the statute provides the person’s only provable ground of recovery, then his or her remedy will be limited to the medical costs that he or she incurred. For other bodily injuries and for situations in which a dog’s owner was negligent and the dog attacked, victims may sue based on theories of negligence or negligence per se. A denver dog bite lawyer can help you make your claim under these Colorado dog bite laws.
Negligence and Dog Bites
Strict liability does not apply if the injury was not a serious bodily injury. Colorado defines a serious bodily injury in C.R.S. 18-1-901 as one that involves:
1) “A substantial risk of death;
2) A substantial risk of permanent disfigurement;
3) A substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of function of any part of the body; or
4) Breaks, fractures or burns of the second or third degree.”
All other bodily injuries that are not serious bodily injuries must be proven under a theory of negligence or negligence per se. For example, if a victim of a dog attack suffers emotional distress but only has injuries that are not considered serious, he or she will need to proceed under a theory of negligence or negligence per se. In order to prove a dog owner’s negligence, the victim will need to show that the dog’s owner failed in his or her duty of care to reasonably restrain or control the dog, the dog attacked as a result and the victim was injured. Call a Denver Dog Bite Lawyer for help
Negligence Per Se and Dog Bites in Colorado
In places in which there are local ordinances in place that a dog’s owner violates, resulting in a dog bite injury, the owner’s actions may be deemed to be negligent per se. This means that the dog owner is negligent by virtue of his or her violation of the ordinance or statute. Examples may include a dog owner who owns a pit bull in violation of Denver’s breed restriction ordinance, an owner who allows his or her dog to roam freely in violation of a leash law or an owner who keeps a dog that he or she knows has a propensity to attack in violation of Denver’s dangerous dog ordinance. An experienced Denver Dog Bite Lawyer may review what happened in order to determine whether any ordinances or statutes were violated by a dog owner. If a person was seriously injured and negligence rules apply, the attorney may sue under both strict liability and negligence rules in order to secure the maximum possible recovery amount for his or her client.
If you have been seriously injured by a dog, it is important for you to seek advice from an experienced Denver Dog Bite Lawyer lawyer. Your attorney may be able to recover more compensation on your behalf than you might otherwise be able to on your own.