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Dogs are a part of human life in different capacities. Some people keep them as pets and companions, others use them to perform other functions like security dogs, hunting dogs, or herding dogs. While domesticated dogs are generally safe to be around, dog bites are quite common. Dogs may bite to protect themselves, protect their territory, or bite as part of play. A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report from 2001 found the highest injury rate from dog bites in children between the ages of five and nine years old. If a dog bite sends you to the emergency room, you might be able to get compensation for your medical expenses from the dog owner. If you have been injured by a dog bite, you should speak with a Denver dog bite attorney to explore your legal options.
- At Fuicelli & Lee, we really truly care about our clients. We specifically limit our case docket to ensure every client receives our undivided attention.
- If we do not believe wholeheartedly in the merits of your case, we will tell you right away. We will be honest and straightforward with you throughout every step of your legal process.
- Our attorneys provide relevant and timely updates, you will always know the status of your claim. We are always available to answer your questions and discuss your concerns.
Colorado Dog Bite Law
Colorado enacted a dog bite law in 2004 that imposes strict liability on dog owners whose dogs cause serious bodily injury or death to a person. Strict liability means that a defendant is held liable for a prohibited action regardless of their intention or any excuses they may have. As long as a person is lawfully on public or private property and they are injured by a dog, the dog owner will be liable for the injuries.
What if the Dog Had No History of Violence?
It does not matter that the dog had a history of violence or aggressive behavior. Colorado’s dog bite law applies regardless of whether the dog had a history of viciousness or not. It also applies whether or not the dog owner had any knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or tendency to violence.
However, if the victim can prove that the owner knew about the dog’s viciousness, a court may order that the dog be euthanized by a professional at the expense of the dog owner.
Are There Any Exemptions to the Dog Bite Law?
There are six exemptions under which a dog owner may be protected if their dog bites and injures a person. The six exemptions are:
- If a dog bites a person who is unlawfully on public or private property. For example, a trespasser on private or public property.
- When the dog owner has conspicuous signs on their property that read “no trespassing” or “beware of dog.”
- While the dog is being used by law enforcement or military personnel to perform their duties.
- When the dog bites a person who knowingly provokes it.
- When the dog bites a professional dog handler, veterinary healthcare worker, trainer, or dog show judge performing their duties.
- While the dog is working as a herding dog, hunting dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of its owner.
How Much Compensation Can I Get?
Colorado’s dog bite law limits compensation to economic damages like your medical bills, but it does not prohibit actions based on other legal theories such as negligence or premises liability. If you have been injured by a dog bite, you should speak with a dog bite attorney to understand your legal options to get compensation.
Contact a Denver Dog Bite Attorney
Contact the dog bite attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee to get a free initial consultation for an honest assessment of your case. If we do not believe wholeheartedly in the merits of your case, we will tell you right away. You have nothing to lose, so call (303) 355-7202 today to schedule your free consultation with one of our expert Denver personal injury attorneys.