Everyone knows that dealing with a dog bite can be a devastating experience. These accidents can leave you with both emotional and physical scars for life. They are incredibly dangerous, sometimes even life-threatening. Afterward, victims must deal with lofty medical bills and unbearable trauma.
There are many important steps to take following a Colorado dog bite accident. First and foremost, you should make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. (MedlinePlus recommends seeing a doctor within 24 hours at the latest, due to the risk of infection.) You should also take care to report the incident to the proper authorities, to ensure that the dog will not attack anyone else. Finally, you may want to consider speaking to a competent lawyer to discuss all the best options for your case.
Any dog bites that occurred in the City of Denver should be reported immediately to Denver Animal Protection. You can reach them either by calling 311 or by calling them directly at (720) 913-1311. Any dog bites that happened outside the City of Denver should be reported to the county’s animal control department instead. Animal Protection and county animal control departments will always want to know the specifics of the incident, so try to write down your account of the accident as soon as possible. Make sure to include a description of the dog (including its breed, if possible), where and when you were attacked, and who was responsible for the dog.
According to Colorado law, all animal bites must be reported within 12 hours of the incident. Plus, memories start fading away quickly, so it is in your best interest to report as soon as possible. This way, you can get it done and over with while all the details are still fresh.
Give your doctor a detailed report of the incident, too. The state health department receives a copy of every doctor’s visit related to dog bite accidents, so you want to make sure you get all your bases covered right away. Plus, official documentation of the bite (like the reports to animal control and the health department) can act as significant pieces of evidence should you choose to pursue a dog bite case later.
Fortunately, you have the right to pursue legal action if you were bitten or otherwise injured by a dog in an unprovoked attack. This is true regardless of the breed of dog you were attacked by, or whether the attack occurred on public or private property. You may have a successful dog bite claim on your hands if you can prove that you had a right to be on the property at the time of the attack and the dog’s owner did not take the proper precautions to prevent the attack.
Generally speaking, in the state of Colorado, dog owners are held liable for any dog bites that inflict either serious bodily injury or death. While every case is different, you may be eligible to recover compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages you have suffered. However, you must be able to prove that the owner’s negligence was a direct contributing factor to the attack.
Negligence can be proven in a variety of ways. For instance, if you were bitten by a “banned” breed, this can be used as proof of negligence in and of itself. You can also argue that the dog owner was acting negligently if they failed to properly secure the dog away from any visitors, or if they knew the dog had aggressive tendencies beforehand and failed to address them.
The statute of limitations for dog bite accidents in Colorado is two years from the date of the incident. If you do not file a case within two years, you may be indefinitely barred from seeking damages in court for your case. Because of this, it is vitally important to act immediately. Begin collecting as much evidence as you can as soon as you can.
Many pieces of evidence are best gathered immediately after the incident. This includes any photographs of the accident scene, especially if there were no “beware of dog” or “no trespassing” signs on the property. It is also significantly easier to find eyewitnesses immediately after the accident has occurred. You may even want to ask any nearby businesses if the incident was caught on their surveillance tapes. Make sure to get the contact information of any potential witnesses you talk to, in case you need to speak to them again later.
Dealing with dog bite claims can be overwhelming and stressful at a time where you are already juggling so much. Procuring a hardworking Colorado dog bite accident lawyer can help. The right lawyer will be able to discuss all your best options with you and ensure your peace of mind. They can also inform you of all your legal rights and protections. It is important to take your time while choosing an attorney. You want to make sure you have the right lawyer for your case. However, it is also important to remember to give your legal team enough time to prepare a successful case. Some law firms may not even take a case if it is too close to the statute of limitations and they feel they cannot adequately prepare in time.
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.