As many people know, dogs can be highly unpredictable. More than 900 children and adults are seen in emergency rooms across the country every day for treatment of a dog bite attack. During the COVID-19 pandemic, one hospital in Colorado saw a threefold increase in the number of dog bite cases in the ER as stressed humans and their equally stressed canine friends spent an unusual amount of time in close quarters.
Some dog bites are minor and heal quickly, while many others require stitches, surgery, and hospitalization. In some cases, they can even be deadly. Victims, particularly the 40% of them who are children and adolescents, frequently suffer more than physical injuries. They need counseling and therapy to address significant emotional trauma.
At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, we help personal injury clients in Durango, Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Colorado, and individuals throughout the Four Corners pursue civil claims against owners of dangerous dogs who failed to take reasonable care to protect others from their animals. If you have been the victim of a dog bite attack, contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Is Premises Liability Law in Colorado?
Premises liability is the responsibility that property owners have to maintain a safe environment for people who are invited to enter their property. Although most states address dog bites under either a strict liability rule or a negligence rule, Colorado uses both — depending on the severity of the injury.
Colorado’s dog bite statute holds dog owners strictly liable if their dog causes serious bodily injury or death, even if the animal had never bitten or been aggressive toward anyone before. If the injuries are not serious, the victim can still sue the dog owner under the state’s negligence rules by proving that the owner failed in their duty of care to control the dog.