If you have been injured by an aggressive or dangerous dog in Colorado, then you may have heard of the one bite rule – sometimes known as the one free bite rule. But what exactly does that rule mean and how has Colorado modified that rule? Are dog owner’s really off the hook for the damage their dog inflicts if it’s the first time their dog has ever bitten someone?
If you’re concerned and want to learn more about Colorado’s one-bite rule, Mintz Law Firm can help break down the basics into simple terms. Generally speaking, if an owner’s dog bites and causes “serious bodily injury” to another party, that owner will be responsible for paying any economic damages the victim suffers. This is regardless of whether the dog has ever been aggressive or bitten someone before.
So Does Colorado Still Use The One Bite Rule?
While a dog owner is liable for economic damages related to the serious bodily injury a dog causes – regardless of the dog’s prior history, Colorado still retains some of the older, one bite rule.
Under the original one bite rule, the dog owner was not liable the first time the owner’s dog injured someone if the owner did not know or have any reason to know that the dog was dangerous. The theory behind that rule was that the owner could not be negligent for protecting others from the dog if the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was dangerous.
In Colorado, dog bite victims still have to prove the dog owner’s negligence to recover economic or non-economic damages if the injury caused by the dog is less than “serious bodily injury.” And in cases where a victim does suffer “serious bodily injury”, the victim still has to prove that the dog owner was negligent, by failing to keep other safe from a dog the owner knew or should have known was dangerous, in order to recover non-economic damages.
Furthermore, dog owners can be held liable for many dangerous behaviors. In addition to bites, owners may be responsible for injuries that people incur due to a dog lunging, jumping, scratching, or other hazardous activities. Therefore investigating the past behavior of the dog, including complaints from neighbors or prior calls to involvement with animal control, can help victims prove that the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous and failed to keep people safe.
There are also instances where the compensation under Colorado’s dog bite law is not available to a victim, such as if the dog owner posts “Beware of Dog” signs, so be sure to contact a dog bite injury lawyer to get advice about the specific facts of your case.
Who Should Work With a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer?
If you are the victim of a severe dog bite or attack, we recommend you work with a dog bite injury lawyer. Working with a talented and qualified attorney can help you ensure you receive compensation for any qualifying damages, even if the dog did not have a prior history of being aggressive or dangerous. Your attorney can also speak on your behalf, mitigate mistakes, and take on legal tasks so you can focus on recovery.
Please avoid representing yourself during your legal matters, as you may risk losing the compensation you rightfully deserve. Instead, working with a Colorado dog bite injury lawyer from Mintz Law Firm will ensure you are represented fairly. We can also reduce stress, hold liable parties accountable for their actions, and maintain the value of your injury claims.
Get the Support You Need With Mintz Law Firm’s Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dangerous dog, you can get invaluable support for your legal claim and win compensation for your losses. Instead of managing your case alone, Mintz Law Firm can help you in the same way we’ve helped multiple other victims and survivors. Our clients trust us to deliver fantastic results, and we have a track record of winning them the compensation they deserve.
When you get in touch with us, we will be more than happy to answer your questions, clarify any of your concerns, or schedule a free consultation with one of our Colorado dog bite attorneys. Please don’t hesitate to connect with us by calling (303) 462-2999 or completing the contact form on our website.