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Denver Dog Bite Lawyer

Animals are a source of comfort and companionship to their owners. However, when not adequately trained or cared for, animals can bite or attack people. If another person’s animal attacks or hurts you, the pet owner, or possibly the building owner or manager, may be responsible.

At Dormer Harpring, our skilled personal injury lawyers represent people who are bitten, attacked, or otherwise harmed by dogs or other animals. Committed to putting our clients’ needs first, our dog bite attorneys are:

  • Ready to listen to you and your story
  • Determine to help discover the best recovery options for you
  • Qualified to provide you with unique representation moving forward throughout your case

Our Denver dog bite injury lawyers’ main goal is to help you financially recover so you can focus on healing and return to your life. Call Dormer Harping now to schedule your free consultation.

How Can Denver Dog Bite Attorney Help Me?

At your consultation, Dormer Harpring will begin to determine if you have a valid dog or animal bite claim. From there, we will start building your dog bite case. Building your case can include any of the following:

  • Collecting any relevant evidence
  • Proving a dog or animal was not leashed, fenced, or restrained
  • Discovering whether the animal had dangerous habits
  • Hiring any needed experts
  • Reviewing your medical records
  • Handling any correspondence with the insurance company
  • Assessing your claim value
  • Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair and just settlement
  • Filing a civil lawsuit
  • Proceeding to litigation in the event no settlement is possible

Often, dog bite victims are hesitant to pursue claims because they don’t want to sue a neighbor or homeowner. It’s important to note that victims typically do not sue the homeowner directly. In almost all cases, lawsuits resulting from dog bites are filed against an insurance company and most dog bite claims end in an out-of-court settlement. If you already have a settlement offer from an insurance company, Dormer Harpring can review your offer to ensure you receive enough compensation to cover your injuries and accident-related costs both now and in the future.

Colorado’s Dog Bite Law

Colorado’s dog bite law (Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-124) is a strict liability statute. This means that it does not matter if a dog owner knows or does not know that their dog had vicious propensities when the bite occurred. Either way, the dog owner is liable for any serious bodily injury caused by their dog. This statute applies only to the dog’s owner, not a dog handler or a dog walker.

Colorado dog bite law only pertains to serious bodily injury claims. This is bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, loss or impairment of the function of a body part or organ, or a break, fracture, or burn of the second or third degree. Only economic damages are available to victims under Colorado dog bite law.

There are valid defenses to the dog bite law. Certain people may not recover under this statute, including:

  • Trespassers and lawbreakers
  • Anyone who ignored a no trespassing or beware of dog warning sign
  • Individuals who work with dogs as part of their jobs like groomers and veterinarians

Working dogs may be exempt from the law when acting as military or police dogs, farming or ranching dogs, or performing other tasks.

If an injured person does not qualify to bring a lawsuit under the dog bite law, he or she may do so under the doctrine of negligence. This requires the victim to prove:

  1. The dog previously bit a person
  2. The dog owner knew the dog was dangerous or vicious

Proving negligence allows an injured person to recover non-economic damages like pain and suffering, embarrassment, loss of consortium, or loss of enjoyment of life.

Colorado does not have any statewide leash laws in effect. Various Colorado cities and counties do have their specific leash laws for dogs. When a pet owner violates local leash ordinances and his or her dog bites or attacks another, that pet owner may be liable for any resulting injuries.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites vary in severity and can leave victims with lifelong scarring and tissue damage. If not correctly cared for, bites become infected and cause further complications. Common dog bite injuries may include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Rabies
  • Emotional trauma

Not all animal bites are dog bites. Any type of animal or pet kept at a given property could bite a person, including:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Cattle (or other livestock)
  • Exotic animals (elephants, camels, lions, tigers, etc.)

Pet owners and property owners sometimes contribute to animal bites by:

  • Failing to properly secure or restrain an animal with a leash, muzzle, cage, or enclosure
  • Failing to supervise or train an animal
  • Allowing an animal to run loose in public
  • Failing to monitor an animal’s interactions with people or other animals
  • Failing to warn visitors that an animal, especially a vicious animal, is on the premises. This can include failure to verbally warn visitors about guard animals, not posting warning signs about animals present on a property, etc.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

There are essential steps to take after any animal bite that will help protect your legal rights and the ability to pursue a claim for compensation. These are the following:

  • Get medical care. After a dog bite, it is imperative to get medical care immediately. Dog bites that puncture the skin leave a victim susceptible to severe infections or rabies. Follow all of the doctor’s advice and attend all recommended aftercare appointments.
  • Take photos and keep records. Take pictures of any injuries before treatment. Keep a file of medical bills and injury expenses. Photographs, medical bills, and treatment records are all critical to building a claim for compensation.
  • Collect names and contact information. Exchange information with the owner of the dog or other animal. Also, collect names and contact information of any witnesses of the attack.
  • Call an experienced Denver dog bite attorney. Contact a dog bite attorney to discuss the next steps in filing a claim for damages.

In Denver, the dog bite attorneys at Dormer Harpring can help you with any animal bite injury claim. Call us at (303) 747-4404 or email us via the contact form on this page for more information about our client services and schedule your free consultation.

Get Skilled Legal Counsel. Speak with a Denver Dog Bite Lawyer at Dormer Harpring

At Dormer Harpring, we believe everyone deserves quality legal representation. That is why our fees are contingent, meaning they’re based only on the amount we recover. Learn more about our dog bite attorneys and seeking justice and compensation after your accident by contacting our offices today.