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Your Rights & Colorado Dog Bite Laws

Dog bites can be incredibly traumatic; not only are they scary, but they can also cause serious injuries, make you intimidated around other dogs, and cause further anxiety. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you should not have to suffer through those things without any sort of compensation.

The sad truth is dog bites happen often, and they can occur at any time by any dog. It’s important to know the dogs around you and pay attention to how they act and react to you.

However, that’s not always possible. So, when involved in a dog attack, the dog’s owner can be held liable. Working with experienced Denver dog bite attorneys, you’ll get a legal team that understands the complexity of the law and can show liability so you get the damages you deserve.

This post is going over all you need to know about dog bite laws in Colorado.

Colorado’s Dog Bite Law

Colorado is known as a one-bite state, which means if you are bitten by a dog, you don’t have to prove that the dog has previously bitten someone. In fact, the dog owner is automatically liable, whether or not the owner was negligent or whether the dog has ever shown signs of aggression before.

Strict liability

If you’re bitten by a dog in Colorado, you can bring a lawsuit against the dog owner if strict liability has occurred. Strict liability means that the victim experienced serious bodily injury or death due to the dog bite while legally on public or private property.

If these conditions are met, the victim is entitled to bring a civil action for economic damages against the owner of the dog.

Serious bodily injury

In order to receive damages from the dog owner, the victim must have serious bodily injury.

Seriously bodily injury consists of any of the following:

  1. High risk of death
  2. Significant risk of severe, long-lasting, or permanent disfigurement
  3. Risk of body part or organ loss or impairment
  4. Broken bones or fractures

What Damages Can I Get After a Dog Bite?

Colorado’s dog bite statute says a victim can get economic damages, which will cover:

  1. Medical bills and expenses, both current and future
  2. Psychological therapy, including medication
  3. Income loss and future income loss
  4. Loss of income based on inability to perform jobs that could be completed prior to the attack

Collecting non-economic damages from a dog bite is not allowed; however, your attorney can file a separate negligence lawsuit to get non-economic damages, which will cover:

  1. Pain and suffering
  2. Grief and sorrow
  3. Loss of companionship
  4. Emotional trauma and distress

Non-economic damages come with a maximum payout unless the victim has a permanent impairment, and these cases rely on the victim to prove negligence.

To prove negligence in your dog bite case, you must:

  1. Show that the dog owner had a duty to keep their dog from hurting others
  2. Show the dog owner failed to protect others
  3. Show the dog caused the injuries to the victim
  4. Show the amount of damages the victim suffered due to the dog attack

It’s important to note that if you’ve been bitten by a dog, but the injuries do not reach the severity of serious bodily injury, a negligence case can be filed. This may be best for you if you have any of the following injuries:

  1. Severe bruising
  2. Infection
  3. Muscle and soft tissue tears and injuries
  4. Injuries to your joints or spine
  5. Skin lacerations that need medical treatment
  6. Injuries that require corrective or cosmetic surgery
  7. Scarring

When a Dog Owner Can be Found Non-Liable for a Dog Bite

There are a handful of reasons you may not receive any compensation for a dog bite, including:

  1. When you are trespassing
  2. When there are warning signs about the dog
  3. When the dog works for the police or other government agencies
  4. When the victim took action to deliberately upset, harm, or otherwise taunt the dog
  5. When the victim works with dogs

In any of these cases, no matter the severity of the injury sustained by the victim, no damages can be recovered.

Call Our North Denver Attorneys

We know this traumatic event has affected you. Know that we have helped many dog bite victims and want to help.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can aid you through the legal process. Our team understands what it takes to get you the justice you’re counting on and the financial compensation you’re entitled to.


At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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