Colorado loves its dogs. And while most dogs are friendly towards humans, some are not. When a dog bites, the resulting injuries can be severe. Along with the risk of infecting someone with rabies, dog bites can leave victims with tissue damage, infections, broken bones, and worse. Treating dog bite injuries can be quite costly.
If someone else’s dog has bitten you in Golden, Colorado, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the dog’s owner and their insurance company. Colorado dog bite lawyer Sean Olson founded Olson Law Firm, LLC, in 2012 with the express goal of helping injury victims get the money and the justice they deserve.
Contact our office today for a free initial consultation and legal advice from an experienced Golden personal injury attorney.
Why You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer
If a dog attacked you and you sustained severe injuries, you need to focus on getting medical treatment. However, it’s also essential to think about your future and what you’ve lost due to the attack. While you’re focused on healing, our Golden dog bite injury lawyer can start fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Dog bite claims are more complicated than they might first appear. You could file a dog bite injury claim on your own, but you stand a much better chance of succeeding with help from a lawyer. A lawyer has the necessary background and experience to identify everyone who might be liable for your injuries and every type of compensation for which you may be eligible. A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies and represent you in court, if necessary.
Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries in Golden, Colorado
Dog bites can lead to a range of severe injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds — Dogs have sharp teeth that can puncture the skin, muscles, and other soft tissue. These wounds can be deep and cause severe damage, especially if they become infected.
- Broken bones — Larger dogs have enough force to fracture bones. A bite strong enough to break bones will also damage the soft tissue around them.
- Eye injuries — A dog’s teeth can puncture and damage the eyes and surrounding areas of the face.
- Scars — Because dog bite injuries often leave deep, jagged wounds, the scars tend to be prominent and noticeable. Plastic surgery can help with some dog bite scars, but not all scarring can be corrected.
- Head and neck injuries — Dog bites to the head and neck can cause massive damage, especially if the teeth puncture critical blood vessels. Bites to the head and neck often result in disfiguring scars.
- Face injuries — Bites to the face can leave scars and affect the muscles that control facial movements. These injuries are both physically and emotionally painful.
- Nerve Injuries – Any bite can potentially cause damage to the nerves that run throughout a person’s body. When a nerve injury occurs, a dog bite victim can experience pain and numbness not just where the bit occurred but also in other parts of the body where the damaged nerve runs.
- Wrongful death — Children are among the most vulnerable dog bite victims. In the most severe and tragic cases, children and other victims can suffer serious bodily injuries that ultimately prove fatal.
Dog Bite Laws in Colorado
Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-124 states that dog owners are strictly liable if their dog causes severe bodily harm to someone legally on public or private property, regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous. Strict liability means a dog bite victim does not have to prove the dog owner was negligent.
Dog owners can also be held liable for lesser bodily injuries in some cases under Colorado law. If a dog owner is found liable for a dog attack, they can be required to pay compensation to the victim. These statutes only apply to economic damages — that is, the direct financial costs of medical treatment, lost income due to inability to work, and other related expenses.
To recover compensation for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, you will have to demonstrate negligence on the part of the dog’s owner – that the owner failed to act like a reasonably careful person – or show that the owner violated a leash or animal control law. These laws may be specific to the municipality in which the attack occurred.
One common defense in negligence cases related to dog bite injuries is the “one-bite rule.” Under the one-bite rule, dog owners cannot be found liable for the non-economic damages associated with the bite injuries their dog caused unless they knew the dog had demonstrated violent tendencies in the past. The one-bite rule does not apply if the attack caused severe bodily harm.
Our experienced dog bite lawyer in Golden can help you understand what damages you may be able to recover in your particular case.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Attack in Golden?
In cases in which a dog bite results in serious bodily harm to an individual who is legally on public or private property, the dog owner may be found liable for the resulting injuries. The owner’s property insurance policy will usually cover whatever compensation they owe the victim.
In instances where the owner was not in control of the dog when the attack occurred, the dog’s handler or whoever was watching the dog could potentially be held liable for any injuries the dog caused. Talk to our personal injury lawyer in Golden to make sure you correctly identify who could be responsible for your dog bite injuries.
Compensation Available After a Golden Dog Bite
The compensation that you can recover in a dog bite case depends on what grounds you use in your claim. If you rely solely on Colorado’s dog bite law, you can only recover economic compensation for your injuries, such as the cost of any medical expenses for treatment you needed and your lost wages due to the dog attack.
However, if you can demonstrate that the animal’s owner was negligent in how they cared for and secured the dog, you may be able to recover additional compensation, including pain and suffering damages. A dog bite lawyer at Olson Law Firm can help you seek this additional compensation if the dog owner’s negligence played a role in the attack.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Colorado?
You have two years from the date of a dog bite injury to file a claim for compensation against the dog’s owner. This is known as Colorado’s statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you will lose your ability to pursue any compensation for your injuries. Contact us as soon as possible after you’ve been injured to make sure you can seek the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Golden
If a dog has bitten you in Golden, CO, here’s what you should do next:
- Get emergency medical treatment as soon as possible – even if your injury doesn’t initially appear to be serious.
- Alert animal control.
- Take pictures of your injuries and the area where the attack happened.
- If you don’t recognize the dangerous dog, get someone to help you identify its owner.
- Hold on to all your medical bills and other records.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company without help from an experienced attorney.
- Hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Golden, CO
Olson Law Firm LLC is here to protect the rights of animal bite victims in Golden, surrounding areas of Jefferson County, and throughout the Front Range of Colorado. If someone else’s dog has injured you, get a free consultation with our Golden dog bite injury lawyer today. Call us or fill out an online contact form now.