Dogs have a well-earned reputation as ‘man’s best friend.’ But they can also be extremely dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken by their owners. According to data published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 315,000 people are admitted into emergency rooms for dog bite injuries every year. For victims who sustain especially severe dog attack injuries, the consequences can be devastating, both physically and emotionally.
At Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, our experienced personal injury attorney is committed to fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of injured victims throughout the state of Colorado. Unfortunately, the big insurance companies that typically defend dog bite injury claims are rarely willing to offer victims fair compensation for their injuries. Our law firm is here to help. If you or a family member was injured by a dog in Colorado, please contact us today.
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites and Injures Me?
After a dog bites you, there are several important steps to take. Let’s review them now:
- Seek prompt medical attention. The longer you wait, the worse your injuries might become. You may also have trouble proving that your injuries were due to the dog bite if you wait too long to seek treatment.
- Call animal control or the police to locate and quarantine the dog. The animal should be check for rabies no matter the extent of your injuries. The doctor will have to give you a rabies shot if the animal is not tested.
- Additionally, it is important to ask the doctor about the possibility of infection. Dogs’ mouths have thousands of germs and many times the infection from the dog bite can be more serious than the dog bite itself. Infections that are left untreated can lead to surgery, amputation or even death.
- You need to make sure that you get the owner of the dog’s name, their address, and information on their homeowner’s policy. It is also important that you report any dog bite or dog attack to law enforcement or animal control. Be sure to ask animal control, law enforcement or your neighbors if the dog has bitten or attacked anyone before. Many times, this will not be the first time the animal has displayed that sort of behavior.
- If you are the victim of a dog bite make sure to take pictures of your dog-bite injuries. Pictures can serve as evidence in your claim against the dog owner.
COMPENSATION AVAILABLE TO DOG BITE VICTIMS IN COLORADO
Dog bite victims need full compensation. Unfortunately, recovering fair compensation can sometimes be hard. Dog bite injury claims are often defended by large insurance companies. The entities work aggressively to limit how much an injured victim can recover. In some cases, insurers will even outright deny valid dog bite injury claims. At the Law Offices of Steve Roberts, LLC, our Colorado dog bite lawyer has the skills and experience to help you get the money you need to pay for your medical care and to support your family. Compensation may be available for:
- Emergency medical costs;
- Ongoing medical treatment;
- Physical therapy;
- Psychological counseling;
- Disability compensation;
- Lost wages;
- Diminished earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
COLORADO’S DOG BITE LAWS
Colorado’s dog bite laws are notoriously complex. Depending on the specific nature of your case, there may be multiple paths to recovery. In order to bring a successful dog bite injury claim, you should have a basic understanding of the law. For guidance on Colorado’s dog bite laws, please get in touch with our Denver personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our legal team can help you determine the best way to hold the dog owner accountable. Then you can recover the compensation that you need for yourself and your family.
Dangerous Dogs (The Common Law)
To bring a successful dog bite claim under Colorado’s common law, you must be able to prove that a dangerous animal attacked you or your family member. The state’s common law is sometimes referred to as the ‘one bite standard’. In essence, dog owners have a legal duty to understand whether their animal poses a danger to people. If their dog has shown any serious aggression towards people before, then that is a ‘dangerous’ dog for the purposes of Colorado law. It does not matter how friendly the dog can be in other circumstances. It poses a potential safety threat. The most obvious form of past aggression is a history of dog bites. Though, other forms of past aggression towards people can sometimes qualify as well.
If a dog is ‘dangerous’ under Colorado law, then that dog’s owner has a responsibility to protect members of the public from the threat. If they fail to do so, then they are negligent under the law. Suppose a dog with a history of aggression escapes from its yard due to a broken fence. Then it bites an innocent person. The dog owner is likely liable for any resulting damages. The dog owner should have known that their animal could bite somebody. They had a duty to ensure that their yard was fully secure before releasing the animal.
Colorado Dog Bite Statute
As the ‘one bite rule’ implies, not all dogs are ‘dangerous’ under Colorado law. Victims facing injuries from a dog that has no history of aggression towards humans might still be able to recover compensation. In these cases, you must bring claims under the state’s dog bite statute (§ 13-21-124).
Note that this statute requires that the victim has sustained a ‘severe’ bodily injury. If your injuries are only minor, you may not be eligible to file a claim under § 13-21-124. Further, you can only recover for economic losses, such as medical expenses, under this statute. To get a full financial recovery, your dog bite injury claim will need to fall under Colorado’s common law.
Injuries from Dog Bites are Common
There are more than 1.4 million dogs in Colorado; they truly are man’s best friend. Unfortunately, there are occasions, no matter how few, where these dogs bite/attack individuals. There were over than 2,000 dog bite/attacks in Colorado in 2007, with forty-six percent (46%) happening at someone’s home. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to determine which dog breeds are more likely to bite attack or kill. Pit bulls, many would think would be number one, but in fact are number two, causing 8.4% of dog bites. Whereas Labrador retrievers accounted for 13.3% of dog bites in Colorado in 2007.
Dog Bite Case Results
Dog bites can be horrific injuries, often necessitating surgery and frequently leaving scars.
This office represented a nice young man who entered a home that was a friend of a friend’s. Once he entered he saw a pit-bull. Our client put his hand out for the dog to sniff, but the dog jumped up and attacked him – clawing and biting his face. Our Client suffered bad cuts and scarring to his face. Through investigation, we were able to find the applicable insurance policy and obtain the policy limits of the policy for our client.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DENVER DOG BITE ATTORNEY
1. Relevant Experience
As Denver dog bite injury claims are especially complex, you need to work with an attorney who has deep experience bringing cases in Colorado. You should generally avoid hiring a fly-by-night national law firm that employs attorneys who do not have much experience with Colorado law. In addition, a victim should look for a legal advocate whose practice centers on handling personal injury cases. You do not want a lawyer who only handles a few personal injury claims each year.
2. Dedication and Compassion
The best Denver dog bite injury attorneys have a dedication to their legal practice and true compassion for their clients. At the Law Offices of Steve Roberts, LLC, we work hard to find the best possible resolution for our clients. When we take on your case, our legal team will be focused on providing you with comprehensive legal services. Our Denver dog bite lawyer understands how deeply emotional and personal it can be to deal with the aftermath of a serious accident.
3. A Commitment to Results
For injured dog bite victims, there is ultimately nothing that is more important than results. You need to bring a personal injury claim so that you can get the financial relief required to pay your medical bills and to provide support to your loved ones. Our law firm is committed to helping out clients maximize their financial recovery. We have a proven track record of success in handling complex dog bite injury cases in Denver, Colorado.
Talk to an Experienced Denver Dog Bite Lawyer
In many cases the responsible party must pay for injuries from dog bite attacks. Determing liability in this cases is difficult. Law dictates that the dog owner or their insurance company pay damages in many cases. Hoever, you may need a lawyer to help you determine liability. Dog bite victims endure estimated losses of more than $1 billion a year and count for about one-third of all Homeowner’s Insurance Claims. Damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and future expenses that you may incur. Contact Denver dog bite lawyer Steve Roberts online today. Or, call to speak with an attorney now. Consultations are free, and you won’t pay at all unless we earn a settlement or judgment for you.