Did you know that owning a pit bull or other “aggressive” dog breed is illegal in certain Colorado cities? These laws are controversial, to be sure. There is much contention about whether or not any dog breed can be inherently dangerous. Some detractors may even argue that these laws are a violation of dog owners’ rights. In any case, every dog owner must comply with the animal control laws in their area. Dealing with a dog bite accident can be nothing short of traumatic, especially if the dog was large and aggressive. Fortunately, legal recourse is available. Do you know what your options are after a Colorado pit bull bite accident?
The term “pit bull” can refer to many different dog breeds. These include American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers. Many Colorado municipalities welcome pit bulls. Others may only allow certain breeds of pit bulls. Still, others may ban all pit bulls altogether. Aurora, Commerce City, Denver, and Louisville are all examples of municipalities with citywide pit bull bans. Lone Tree has one of the most extensive lists of banned breeds: American bulldogs, canary dogs, cane corsos, dogo Argentinos, faila Brasileiros, pit bulls, presa mallorquins, and tosa inus.
No matter what municipality you live in, you may have the right to file a claim against a dog’s owner after an accident. This option is available to victims regardless of whether or not the dog was a pit bull, or whether the accident occurred on public or private property. As long as you had a right to be where you were and can prove that the dog owner’s negligence led to your accident, you may have a successful case on your hands. An “illegal” dog can even be proof of negligence in itself. There are also many other ways to prove owner negligence, such as failure to properly secure the dog away from visitors. Any failure to take adequate precautions is an act of negligence.
You may be wondering what exactly it means for a dog breed to be banned. In participating Colorado municipalities, this means that any dog that “displays the majority of physical traits” of a pit bull is at risk of being impounded. A government official may then take the dog and place it into a shelter, where it will undergo breed testing to determine whether or not it is banned. If the dog is determined to be of a banned breed, the owner will have the option to take it to a different area.
Other dog breeds similar to pit bulls, such as boxers and mastiffs, may also be required to undergo testing. Owners of these dogs must comply with such tests to ensure that their dogs are not banned and do not need to be removed. In most cases, however, dogs will not be tested unless they have been caught running loose or have already attacked someone. Because of this, many people still keep pit bulls in their homes regardless of the bans.
According to supporters of breed-specific legislation, pit bulls and similar breeds account for an overwhelming majority of dog bites. Accordingly, they argue that lower rates of pit bulls will lead to lower rates of dog bite accidents. However, the jury is still out on how true this is. Studies show that the overall rate of dog bites in Colorado has been increasing over the years. Moreover, there does not seem to be one particular dog breed more responsible for these accidents than any others. No matter where you stand on the issue, it is clear to see that a dog bite accident can change a victim’s life forever.
Good news: Dog bite accidents are rare. Still, when they do happen, they can lead to catastrophic injury or even death. You should always take immediate action after a dog bite accident, no matter what breed of dog attacked you. Seek medical attention immediately, and make sure to keep copies of all your medical records. These will be especially important if you choose to open up a case against the dog owner.
You should also begin documenting the incident in as much detail as possible. Do this as soon as you can, while your memories are still fresh. Doing so will ensure that you have the truest recollection of events. Reach out to any potential witnesses, and make sure to get their contact information. You may need to talk to them again later. Finally, reach out to an experienced Colorado dog bite attorney. The right lawyer will be able to discuss all your best options with you and ensure your peace of mind. They should also be able to inform you of all your legal rights and protections in your case. And of course, they will be able to investigate and build a successful claim on your behalf.
Still hesitant to open a dog bite case? Maybe you were bitten by a dog of someone you know, like a friend or neighbor. It may help to know that home insurance policies will typically cover dog bite claims. You may still be able to recover damages without being involved in a contentious legal battle. Talk to your lawyer to discover what course of action is best for you.
Dog bite accidents can be incredibly frightening and sometimes even life-threatening. After going through such a stressful event, you deserve some peace of mind. We at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based law firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide dog bite accident attorneys.