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Aurora Dog Bite Lawyer

In Colorado, dog owners are legally responsible for the injuries dogs cause when they attack. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Aurora, our Aurora dog bite attorneys can help. At The Fang Law Firm, our Aurora dob bite lawyers are passionate about helping the injured and will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Aurora Dog Bite Lawyer

Why Hire an Aurora Dog Bite Attorney?

A dog attack can cause significant mental anguish and emotional distress on top of physical injuries. In your time of need, you don’t have to work through the legal process alone. You have the right to hire a dog bite lawyer to help you fully recover – meaning physically, emotionally and financially.  

Your lawyer can connect you to top physicians and surgeons in Aurora, answer your legal questions, keep you updated about your claim and negotiate with an insurance company for maximum compensation on your behalf. An Aurora personal injury lawyer can help you secure the money you need to fully pay for your bills and finally move forward.

Compensation for Dog Bites

Dog bites can cause serious injuries and significant long-term consequences for the victim. If you find yourself in this position, you may be entitled to economic damages and non-economic damages, depending on the circumstances.

Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified into monetary terms. The most common examples include medical expenses, including future medical costs, lost wages due to missing work because of the attack, loss of earning capacity, and compensation for property damage if applicable.

If you are entitled to non-economic damages, you can receive monetary compensation for harms you suffered that are not as easily quantified into monetary terms. The most common types of non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium/companionship, grief, sorrow, and psychological harm and emotional distress.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Aurora?

If you were bitten by a dog and believe you are entitled to compensation, you need to file a civil claim within a specified period of time. In Colorado, this deadline is two years from the date of the attack. If you fail to file your claim on time, you will lose out on compensation that you otherwise would have been entitled to had you filed on time. Two years may sound like a long time, but it’s important to contact an Aurora dog attack attorney right away so they can investigate and preserve evidence to help you file your claim on time.

Who is Liable for Dog Bites?

In Colorado, a dog owner can be held responsible for their dog biting another person if the bite resulted in serious bodily injury or death, as long as the bite occurred on public property or when the victim was lawfully on private property. Serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree. This is referred to as strict liability. There is no need to prove that the owner knew the dog had a propensity for biting or that the dog was aggressive.

Without evidence that the dog has bitten someone before, the owner is strictly liable for economic damages, such as medical expenses and other expenses incurred that are directly related to the bite. If you are able to show that the dog bit someone previously or had aggressive behavior that should have indicated to the owner that the dog might bite someone, you may be entitled to recover non-economic damages as well, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life, for example.

Negligence

If you don’t suffer serious bodily injury due to the dog bite but you still suffer injuries and harm, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner under the negligence framework. You aren’t automatically entitled to compensation, but if you can prove that the owner was negligent, you may be able to recover monetary compensation. To prove that the owner was negligent, you must show that they failed to use reasonable control with their dog and an injury occurred. A claim can be filed for all types of dog injuries, not just bites. For example, if a dog knocks over a young child and causes injuries, the owner could be held liable if they were negligent.

When an Owner is Not Liable

In some situations, a dog owner will not be responsible for the injury. If you are trespassing on someone’s property and are bitten by their dog, the owner is not liable for the injuries you suffer. Additionally, if appropriate warnings were made about the dog, a dog is on duty with the police or military, or your actions intentionally aggravated or incited the animal, the owner will not be held liable for the bite.

Common Dog Attack Injuries

Dog bites are serious injuries and are often devastating. Aggressive dogs can injure, maul or maim victims – putting children and the elderly especially at risk. Dog attacks can result in permanent scarring or disability that affects a victim for life, or, in the worst cases, cause fatal injuries.

Some of the most common dog attack injuries in Aurora, Colorado are: 

  • Severe bruising
  • Puncture wounds
  • Skin lacerations
  • Avulsion (tearing away of skin) 
  • Muscle tears
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Facial and eye injuries
  • Hand and finger injuries
  • Infections and diseases
  • Emotional injuries

Recovering from a serious dog bite can also be financially devastating. These costs can include medical treatment, physical therapy and lost wages. While a pet owner may be legally responsible for any type of dog bite injury, it may be difficult to obtain a fair settlement from the owner’s insurance company. A dog attack lawyer can help you fight for fair compensation in Aurora, CO.

What Are Colorado’s Dog Bite Laws?

According to Colorado Revised Statute section 13-21-124, the owner or possessor of a dog will be strictly liable for a serious bodily injury or death that arises from a dog attack. Strict liability means financial responsibility regardless of whether or not the dog owner was negligent. This means you can file a claim against a pet owner for a dog attack. 

As long as you were lawfully on the pet owner’s private property, or in a public place, and were not provoking the dog at the time of the attack, the dog’s owner will be responsible for paying for any bodily injuries due to a dog attack. According to state law, a bodily injury is a physical injury that requires medical treatment, corrective surgery or cosmetic surgery.

In Colorado, it does not matter whether a pet owner knew of a dog’s vicious or dangerous propensities – the owner is liable for an attack regardless. In a one-bite state, on the other hand, an injured victim must prove that the dog owner knew the dog might attack, yet negligently failed to prevent the dog bite injury. 

What to Do After a Dog Attack in Aurora

If you were involved in a dog bite attack, your first thought is probably not about the compensation you might be entitled to. You likely want to make sure you are healthy, that the dog is healthy, and that you get the appropriate medical attention. However, it’s always a good idea to consider what other steps to take should you find yourself in this position. After a dog bite or injury, consider taking the following steps:

  • Get the dog owner’s address and contact information. This is one of the first things you should do if you don’t need to be rushed to the hospital. You want this information so you can obtain the compensation you’re entitled to should you incur medical expenses. Additionally, you want to speak with the owner and find out if their dog’s rabies vaccine is up to date.
  • Speak with witnesses. If there were witnesses to the incident, you should try to get their name and contact information as well. This way, if you decide to go forward with a civil claim, your lawyer can interview the witnesses to corroborate what happened. If you don’t get their information right away, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find them and contact them in the future, unless you know them personally.
  • Preserve video footage. If you were in an area where there were cameras, you should speak with the individuals or businesses who may have the incident recorded. If you don’t do this quickly, the footage will likely be deleted because no one will be aware that it needs to be preserved.
  • Seek medical attention. After a dog bite, you should always seek medical attention. It’s not uncommon for dog bites to get infected, and you can’t always determine the extent of the injury immediately after it occurs. Seeking medical attention will also help you in the future should you decide to file a lawsuit.
  • Photograph your injuries. Before you have your injuries treated or covered by a medical professional, take photographs of any visible injuries. If you have any damaged property, torn clothes, or other evidence that the dog bite occurred, take pictures of that as well.
  • File a report. After you’ve experienced a dog bite, it’s crucial to report the injuries to the appropriate authority. Colorado law requires all animal bites to be reported within 12 hours. You will need to file a report with the county where the bite happened, regardless of where you or the dog owner lives.

Contact Our Aurora Dog Bite Lawyer Today

The Aurora dog bite attorneys at the Fang Law Firm have more than a decade of experience in personal injury law. In that time, we have litigated more than 10,000 cases, with a success rate of 98 percent. When you hire us, you are hiring a firm that has the resources of a large firm but the personability of a small firm.

You will never get handed off to a secretary or paralegal who doesn’t know as much about your case. An attorney is always available and happy to answer questions about your case and provide updates. If you experienced a dog bite attack and have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.  If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog in Aurora, contact our firm today.