Most dog owners in Colorado will do anything to protect the well-being of their pets. A Colorado dog owner typically has a strong bond with their dog and relies on them for emotional support. Therefore, if their pets are involved in a dog attack that results in an animal bite, they may be anxious about who will have to take liability for the situation. Fortunately, a Colorado dog bite defense lawyer can protect their rights and advise them in these cases.
If your dog was in a situation where they felt unsafe or threatened, then reacted accordingly, outside parties may try to label your dog as a “dangerous dog.” However, this can have serious consequences for dog owners and their pets, and they can fall victim to many penalties, including euthanasia. If you are facing criminal charges as a dog owner, a dog bite lawyer from The Animal Law Firm is available to leverage their experience in personal injury law to defend your case.
When determining who is liable for a dog bite incident in the United States, different states have different policies. The state of Colorado is a strict liability state, meaning that a victim who is injured by a dog can claim liability against the owner. The victim of the dog bite does not have to prove that the other party was guilty or negligent regarding the handling of their dog.
Other states have a one-bite policy, which means that people who are bitten by a dog have to prove that the dog had already bitten another person once before to prove that the other party is liable. However, Colorado is not a one-bite state; therefore, this does not need to be proven.
Colorado has strict laws concerning dog bites. The statutes state that an individual who is subject to a serious injury or even death after a dog attack while being present legally on public or private property can bring a civil suit against the dog owner. The person who was attacked doesn’t have to prove that the dog is particularly vicious or that the owner was negligent.
In Colorado, if your dog bites another person, then you can absolutely be sued. The state of Colorado has laws and statutes to make sure that animal owners can be held liable for the actions of their pets. After being bitten by your dog, an individual has the right to file a civil suit against you to try to get compensation for the damages caused by the dog bite.
Some compensation that individuals who have been bitten by your dog might seek includes:
Because Colorado has a “strict liability” statute, this means that you will likely be held accountable for a dog bite, even if your dog was not aggressive in the past and you were taking strong measures to supervise your dog.
Because the laws in Colorado are typically not in favor of the dog owner in dog bite cases, it’s important to work with an attorney who has been dealing with dog bite cases similar to yours for years. Your lawyer can help you fight the charges against you and determine whether your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can cover the claims against you.
To avoid getting into a dog bite claim and being held liable, you can take the following steps:
If you are preparing for the possibility that a dog bite claim might be filed against you, and you are unsure of what your responsibilities and rights are as a Colorado dog owner, then a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with dog bite cases can get you the information you need. They can help you learn and process state and local laws that are applicable to your situation.
If your dog does get involved in a dog bite incident, it’s important to take videos and pictures. Also, note the time and place of the incident as well as details regarding what happened. Even if the case is extremely minor, it’s important to document everything, as it could be used to help your case in the future.
At The Animal Law Firm, our Colorado dog bite defense lawyers see lots of amazing, well-meaning owners who find themselves on the receiving end of a citation from Animal Control for a dog bite. The Animal Law Firm is one of the few dog bite defense firms in the country. So, if you are given a criminal citation or sued in civil court for monetary damages for your dog allegedly biting someone, call us today at 303-623-4000 for a free 30-minute consultation on how we can help protect you and your dog!
You may do what you can to make sure your dog never attacks a person, but these incidents happen all the time, and it can happen even with a dog that has never bitten before. If your dog is accused of biting someone or another dog, you should know that you could be held liable for a dog bite injury either in criminal court with criminal penalties or in civil court with money damages. Therefore, you should know what steps you should take right away.
It is critical that you keep your cool if your dog gets into a fight with another dog. It is easy to immediately want to defend your dog or get confrontational in these high-energy incidents, but, as the saying goes: “cooler heads prevail.”
Get contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened.
Witnesses can help identify whether your dog was provoked or not, thus increasing your chances of a good defense if this goes to court.
When animal control reaches out to you, cooperate with them and provide vaccination records and licensing records, if and when you are asked. If you do not have them on hand, let the officer know you will contact your vet and provide and copy as soon as your vet gives it to you. DO NOT MAKE ANY STATEMENTS to the animal control officer about what happened. The LESS YOU SAY, THE BETTER! An animal control officer at your door means he/she is about to issue you a citation for a dangerous dog or animal attack. Statements made to Animal Control could be fatal for your dog.
A civil case where another lawyer sends you a letter or a complaint (a formal written document outlining how you and your dog were at fault) means you are being sued for money. Typically, your renter’s or home owner’s insurance can handle this and pay out the claim. But, if you do not have insurance, you will need a dog bite defense attorney because your assets will be at risk in a lawsuit. Even worse, a civil case can also give the complaining party the power to have your dog euthanized!
While the law in Colorado is unwaveringly straightforward regarding the procedure that is followed if a dog bites a person, it is less clear regarding what should happen if a dog attacks another dog. The Colorado statute of strict liability is only valid for humans who are bitten or attacked, and it is not extended to cover other animals when they are bitten or attacked.
However, it’s important to note that Colorado law considers dogs and other pets to be private property. This means that canines are subject to protection under property law but not under the same civil rights as humans. Therefore, if an individual’s dog is attacked by your dog in Colorado, then they will likely try to sue you for property damages.
In property damage cases, you have to prove the liability of the owner of the dog who attacked. This means that you must show that either:
A property damage suit must link the negligence of the owner to the actions of the dog who destroyed the property.
The owner of the dog who attacked cannot be held liable in Colorado for property damage unless they meet one or more of the following criteria:
If you are unsure how the details of your dog bite case could influence potential case outcomes for you and your dog, then it’s important to talk with a personal injury lawyer right away. They can analyze the details of your case and charges. They can then let you know which parts of the law can be applied to your case.
Facing dog bite litigation in Colorado can be frightening and overwhelming, especially if you are unprepared to fight back against the charges. We can address your questions and concerns while helping you protect man’s best friend. If you receive a citation from animal control, call our Colorado animal lawyers at The Animal Law Firm at 303-623-4000 in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and surrounding areas.