Did you experience a dog bite in Colorado? Here’s what to expect.
The laws that govern dog bites are different from state to state. If you have been bitten by someone’s dog and sustained an injury, you have every right to seek the help of a lawyer to earn compensation for what you have experienced. Earl and Earl, PLLC have locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Pueblo and Grand Junction. We’re proud to fight for Colorado dog bite victims every day – schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at (719) 900-2500 if you have concerns about building a personal injury case after a dog bite.
In some states in the US, state law dictates that if a dog has never bitten, injured or attacked an individual in the past, the owners of that dog are not held liable for the dog’s first bite. When a state enforces the law in that way, you can be bit by a dog and may not have the option to receive compensation or have a strong enough case to pursue justice in court.
However, here in the state of Colorado, there is a state statute that governs dog bites and the terms and conditions are different than that of other states. In the state of Colorado, there is a strict liability placed upon the owner of the dog and the owner of the property on which the individual was attacked. If you have been bitten by a dog on someone else’s property, the person who owns the dog and owns the property can be held legally liable before a judge. Even if there is no previous documentation of the dog ever biting someone, you can still form a personal injury case against the owners. In other words, a dog’s first offense biting someone is enough to bring the owners to court.
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What happens immediately after you’re bitten by a dog in Colorado?
If you are bitten by a dog in Colorado and suffer a serious bodily injury, a term referred to as “strict liability” is applied. This means, even if the dog has never previously bitten an individual before, the owners of the dog and the property on which the bite occurred can be held strictly liable for the dog’s behavior.
Depending on the severity of the injuries you have sustained, the owner of the dog and the property on which the dog bite occurred may face a misdemeanor charge. However, if the dog severely injuries an individual to the extent that extensive medical care and supervision are required, the law of strict liability denotes that the dog owner is entirely held liable and may even face a felony.
Colorado law dictates that if you have been bitten by a dog and seek medical care, are brought to the emergency room or are otherwise hospitalized, the medical professional who assesses your care needs to report your dog bite to the authorities within, at most, twelve hours. Once you’ve received medical care from a dog bite, your doctor is legally required by Colorado state law to contact the Department of Health and share with them the details of your dog bite and the medical condition you are currently sustaining.
What should I do after a dog bite?
As always with any personal injury case, seeking adequate medical care is of the utmost importance. You need to look out for your physical and mental wellbeing, and only a certified medical professional is able to assess your injuries with professionalism. If your injuries are severe, call 911 right away to recieve help as fast as possible. If you feel that your injuries do not constitute an emergency, it is equally important to seek medical care right away regardless. The reason for this is that some injuries do not seem serious to the untrained eye. You may have a cut, scrape or bruise that doesn’t seem like a major medical concern. Even if your injuries don’t hurt at first, you need to be seen by a healthcare professional and take their opinion into strong consideration.
Even the most minor of injuries can cause long-term debilitating consequences without immediate proper care. For example, if you are bitten by a dog in Colorado and you only suffer a small cut with minor bleeding, it may seem reasonable to simply clean the cut, bandage it up and monitor the wound on your own for the next few days or so. However, many health care professionals urge dog bite victims to seek medical care immediately even with small cuts and scrapes. The reason for this is that any skim laceration can become easily infected if it isn’t properly clean as soon as it happens. Even if it’s properly cleaned, if it isn’t effectively bandaged or dressed to the degree that’s required to keep it sterile, it can become infected over time, creating a bigger medical problem than previously existed.
If you are a dog bite victim in Colorado, your health and safety are of the utmost importance. In addition to keeping your body free from injury after a dog bite, there are other reasons it’s crucial to seek medical care right away. You must have proper documentation in place regarding the state of your bodily injuries.
For example, let’s say you have been bit by a dog in Denver and suffer a minor cut and bruise. You have cleaned your injury, dressed your wound, and changed the bandage often. You clean your cut every day, and it shows proper signs that it’s healing. Then, suddenly, one day develops an infection that does not seem to heal on its own over time. If you go to the doctor or emergency room and require antibiotics, surgery, hospitalization or any other type of medical care, it may be difficult to attribute the cause of that injury to a dog bite that happened weeks ago. If your injuries aren’t officially documented by a medical professional and the Department of Health, it may be extremely difficult to attribute your long-term care to an event that isn’t filed officially in any system. Hospital and doctor visit documentation is considered evidence in a personal injury case, and is crucial to the validity and strength of your dog bite case.
With every personal injury case, the more evidence you have, the stronger your case will become. If possible, take photographs as evidence of the dog bite. Be sure to take pictures of any cuts, scrapes, bruises or other lacerations you have suffered as well as a clear picture of the scene of the crime as well. If it’s night time, be sure to use flash. Get as many pictures as possible from different angles and with adequate lighting and focus. The more evidence you have readily available for your lawyer, the stronger the details of your case become.
How can Earl and Earl, PLLC advocate for me after a dog bite?
After a dog bite in Colorado, you may be unsure of what options exist for your recovery. Please note that anyone in the state of Colorado who has suffered an injury or pain and suffering after a dog bite is absolutely entitled to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Your dog bite attorney will assess the facts of your case and leverage Colorado state and federal law as they apply to the truth of your situation. You can rest assured knowing your attorney will work in your best interest at every available opportunity.
At Earl and Earl, PLLC we will compile your evidence in addition to processing and filing all of the paperwork and documentation necessary to build a strong personal injury case. We will openly and honestly listen to the details of your situation and provide transparent and helpful advice. When the time comes to stand before a judge and plead your dog bite experience, your personal injury lawyer will work diligently to demonstrate the liability of the other party, the dog owner. Of course, the option always exists to defend yourself in court. But when you’re faced with a situation as unique and unusual as a debilitating dog bite, it is of utmost important to have qualified legal help. We strongly recommend calling as soon as possible for a free, no obligation consultation of your dog bite case. You deserve strong legal representation at your side.
After seeking medical care, addressing your injuries and collecting any and all potential evidence from the scene of the dog bite, your first and smartest step is to call Earl and Earl, PLLC at (719) 900-2500 as soon as you possibly can. In the state of Colorado, state statute determines that even if a dog has never bitten anyone before and you were the dog’s first bite victim, the owner of the dog can be strictly held liable for what’s occurred.
Dog bites can be traumatizing, and dog bite victims should not have to suffer extensively due to the negligence of a dog owner. We have locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Pueblo and Grand Junction, Colorado, and are ready to help at a moment’s notice.