Dogs are wonderful pets and companions to join us through life and bring us joy to brighten our rough days. People love to stop and pet your pup while you’re out for walks; or maybe you’re the type that likes to pet dogs when you see one in your day to day endeavors. Many people will say that life is always better with a furry friend. Trouble is, for whatever reason, sometimes dogs aren’t so friendly. Maybe you had a party at your home and your friends came over, but all of the extra people stressed your dog out – it’s never happened before and they were always great around people. Out of nowhere, one of your friends yelps in pain because your dog snapped and bit them. Maybe you were the friend invited to the party and you went to pet their dog and they bit your wrist. Maybe the dog bit a stranger, or a stranger’s dog bit you. Under Colorado state law, you are liable for your dog’s actions. A victim of a serious injury from a dog bite is within full legal right to bring a case against the owner to pay for damages, including medical bills.

Before bringing a case against a dog owner, you should contact a Denver personal injury attorney to make sure that you are eligible. There are several cases where the dog owner is not liable for the dog’s actions and the victim’s injuries.

  • First and foremost, police dogs on duty are excluded; if you are bitten by a police dog, you cannot bring a case to the owner, or the police force.
  • If you are on the property, regardless of if it is public or private, unlawfully. If you aren’t meant to be there legally and are bitten, it’s your problem to resolve on your own.
  • The owner is not responsible for any injury on their property if they posted a warning sign that is easily visible to all guests and visitors.
  • If it is proven that you poked, prodded, and provoked the dog prior to the bite, you are responsible for your injuries.
  • Workers in dog-related fields, such as veterinarians, dog walkers, and groomers understand that the risk of dog bites come with the territory of the job and cannot bring cases against owners.

If one of these criteria is met and the bite resulted in a serious injury, defined as one that brings the risk of death, deformity, or restricted bodily function. An example would be that if the dog bit a victim’s wrist and they suffered nerve damage. Under the Colorado dog bite statute, damages can only be sought for monetary damages and not for emotional damage or pain; in essence, you can only receive payment for medical bills and potential loss of work. If you are the victim and cannot prove one of the aforementioned conditions, there is the one-bite rule in Colorado; this states that if you can prove the dog owner’s knowledge of the dog’s dangerous nature, especially that if the dog has a history of biting people, you can seek damages.

If you are a dog owner and your dog bit someone, or you were bitten by a dog, you deserve legal representation and to know your rights. Protect yourself with a trusted Denver personal injury attorney who will fight to guarantee proper legal representation. Call us today or visit our offices to learn more.