At The Animal Law Firm, our Colorado animal attorneys defend dogs accused of biting in both civil and criminal cases. If you are reading this blog, you might want to know the difference between a civil case and a criminal case involving your dog.
A criminal case is defending criminal charges in the local municipal or county court where the offense took place. In these situations, animal control (or the police) respond to the call and ask you and the other involved parties questions. They write up a report and decide who to charge with a criminal citation. This is usually a yellow piece of paper telling you where and when you to appear for court. If this happened to you, you have been charged with a misdemeanor for owning a dangerous dog, vicious dog, or aggressive dog (depending on the language used by the citing jurisdiction). We can help defend your dog in criminal court. Give us a call today at 303-623-4000 to go over your options and defenses.
If you are served papers at your home by a Sheriff or other private process server, you are being sued civilly for money. Sometimes a criminal case and civil case can happen at the same time. Sometimes a civil case can happen a year or up to two years after the incident, even if the criminal case is closed. If this is the case, check with your insurance company to see if you have coverage for the date of the incident. If you did not have insurance at the time of the incident, or your insurance company is denying coverage, we can defend you in the civil lawsuit. It is important to have a defense to a lawsuit claiming strict liability for a dog bite (this is found under Colorado Revised Section 13-21-124). Depending on the alleged facts, you could be held strictly liable for your dog’s bite. That can have serious financial repercussions, especially if you own a home or have any assets. Do not think that you will be able to talk your way out of the lawsuit. You need a thorough defense strategy to defend against these accusations. Without an intelligent dog bite defense strategy, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a large civil judgment.
Do not let a civil lawsuit go unanswered because then you risk default judgment being entered against you. If the other side can prove you were properly served, there is little that can be done to set that judgment aside and start over.
If you were served papers or received a threatening letter from a personal injury attorney, call our experienced Colorado animal attorneys today at 303-623-4000 and we will Fight for your Underdog!