Dog Bite Attorney in Colorado

While dogs are cherished companions for many of us, they still have the potential to violently lash out and attack someone, seemingly without warning or cause.
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    Dog bites have the potential to cause s injuries and complications. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you deserve to seek compensation to help with your treatment and recovery.

    At Earl & Earl, PLLC, our Colorado dog bite lawyers stand ready to help you to pursue your legal claim. Let us handle all the details of your case so that you can focus on healing and getting back to normal after a shocking and sudden injury.

    Call us today for a free case review with one of our knowledgeable Colorado dog bite lawyers. We will go over your legal rights and options following your injury and explain more about the next steps in pursuing your dog bite claim.

    Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury in Colorado?

    In Colorado, a dog’s owner can be held legally responsible for a dog bite injury – even if the dog was in someone else’s care at the time of the attack. This fact often discourages dog bite injury victims from pursuing a legal claim since the dog that bit them may be owned by someone the injured victim knows, such as a family member, friend, or neighbor. Many people understandably do not want to jeopardize personal relationships with a legal claim.

    However, dog bite injury claims are not handled by the dog’s owner but rather by the owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. The insurer provides liability coverage for incidents such as a dog bite injury.

    If you have a dog bite injury claim, you shouldn’t worry about harming the relationship you have with the dog’s owner. You will be pursuing your claim against their insurance company – not the owner directly.

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    What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog

    If someone else’s dog has bitten you in Colorado, you can take steps to protect yourself and protect your legal rights and options by taking the following steps:
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    Notify the dog’s owner of your injury if you can locate the owner.

    Avoid the temptation to become angry or to threaten legal action. Instead, calmly get the name and contact information from the dog owner, along with the dog’s vaccination records, if available.

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    See a doctor as soon as possible.

    Your doctor can examine the bite wound and diagnose any physical or structural damage you may have suffered. The doctor can also perform lab work to test for any possible infections or put you on prophylactic treatment to prevent complications from common infections from dog bites.

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    Keep records of all receipts, bills, and invoices you receive for your expenses from your treatment.

    Also, keep copies of your paystubs or income statements to reflect any lost wages or income from missed work.

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    Maintain a journal during your case.

    Write down everything you recall about what happened during the dog bite or attack. This record will refresh your memory down the road. Keep entries of how your injuries and your treatment affect your personal and professional life, including the pain and difficulties they cause.

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    Avoid discussing the incident on social media.

    You don't want to accidentally post something that contradicts your official statements in your case.

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    Understanding Colorado Dog Bite Laws

    Colorado law imposes different standards of liability depending on the circumstances of a dog attack.

    angry dogColorado’s dog bite law imposes strict liability on the dog’s owner when a dog bite causes serious bodily injury (an injury involving a substantial risk of death, severe permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of body parts or bodily functions, or broken bones) or death.

    To obtain compensation, you do not need to prove that the dog owner committed any act or omission of negligence or recklessness or had knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or dangerous nature.

    If a dog bite does not result in serious bodily injury or death, or if you are otherwise injured by an attacking dog (such as getting knocked over by a large breed dog), you will need to prove the dog owner’s negligence or recklessness. That usually entails showing that the dog had previously bitten or attacked someone or otherwise displayed signs of viciousness such that the owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous nature.

    Colorado’s dog bite law also expressly eliminates liability for any injury from a dog bite that occurs:

    • While you are unlawfully present on public or private property
    • While you are on the dog owner’s property that is conspicuously marked with signs, such as “beware of dog”
    • By a police or military dog in the course of its duties
    • After you knowingly provoke the dog
    • When you are a veterinarian health care worker, groomer, humane agency staff person, dog handler, dog trainer, or dog show judge working in the course of your duties
    • By a hunting, herding, or farming dog on the dog owner’s property in the course of its duties

    What to Expect in Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries

    If a dog bite injures you in Colorado, you may be entitled to seek compensation for expenses and losses that you incur due to your injuries, including for:

    • Medical treatment and physical rehabilitation
    • Lost wages and income
    • Lost earning capacity
    • Lost quality of life
    • Pain and suffering

    Understanding Complications from Dog Bite Injuries

    Unfortunately, a dog bite can cause an injury victim to suffer complications beyond the bite’s initial physical damage. Possible complications from a dog bite injury include:

    • Infections, since many harmful bacteria can live in a dog’s mouth, such as staphylococcus, Pasteurella, and capnocytophaga (Dog bites can also transmit a rabies viral infection, which can become fatal within a few days if left untreated.)
    • Broken bones, as many larger breeds have bite forces strong enough to break bones (especially bones in hands and feet)
    • Nerve damage, which can result in numbness, weakness, or paralysis
    • Soft-tissue damage, including tearing of ligaments, tendons, and muscles
    • Permanent scarring caused by your dog bite injuries

    How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

    Under Colorado’s statute of limitations, you generally have two years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. For minor children who suffer a dog bite, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until their 18th birthday.

    If you file your lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired on your claim, the dog’s owner and their insurance company can move to dismiss your case from court permanently. For that reason, you should not wait to seek legal help from an experienced attorney at Earl & Earl, PLLC.

    How Our Colorado Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help

    If you have been the victim of a dog bite inflicted by someone else’s dog, the Colorado dog bite lawyers of Earl & Earl, PLLC can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries and their associated expenses by:

    • Explaining your legal rights and options and working with you to craft a personalized legal strategy intended to pursue the outcome you want and need from your case
    • Documenting your past, ongoing, and future expenses and losses to ensure that you seek maximum compensation
    • Filing insurance claims on your behalf and handling communications with insurers so you can focus on your recovery
    • Taking your claim to court when necessary

    Contact Earl & Earl, PLLC today for a free, confidential consultation to speak to one of our Colorado dog bite attorneys about your case. Our law firm has office locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Grand Junction, Denver, and Pueblo to serve injured dog bite victims and their families.

    We are ready to discuss how having our firm in your corner can ensure that you seek the compensation that you deserve for your recovery.

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