Legal Procedures That Can Happen If Your Dog Accidentally Bites Someone In Colorado: When you own a dog, the behavior of your dog is strongly related to your social reputation. You get complimented for raising them well if they behave in a friendly and gentle manner. However, even the most well-trained and socialized dogs can become violent if they are scared or confined.
So what happens if your dog is forced into a defensive stance and a tense situation results in a bite? If you are a dog owner in Colorado, here are the legal procedures that can happen if your dog bites someone.
Most states use either the “strict responsibility” or the “negligence” rules for dog bite cases. Colorado’s dog bite legislation utilizes a “strict liability” provision to hold the dog’s owner responsible when a dog bite results in significant injury or death, even if the dog parent was unaware or could not have predicted that the dog would bite or act violently.
A severe bodily injury is defined as one that results in any of the following: bodily injury involving a significant risk of death, a substantial risk of severe mental trauma, a considerable risk of prolonged damage or failure of the function of any part or organ of the body, or second or third-degree breaks, fractures, or burns.
The wounded person must be on public grounds or lawfully on private property when the accident occurs for Colorado’s strict liability legislation to apply. Only injuries caused by dog bites are covered under the bill.
Colorado’s negligence rules apply in instances when the injury is not severe or fatal. In a negligence dog bite lawsuit, the injured person must demonstrate that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care in controlling or restraining the dog, resulting in a dog bite or other dog-related injury.
In contrast to the dog bite legislation, the negligence rule can be applied when a dog causes damage by activity other than a bite. For instance, if a dog thumps a person down and injures them, the injured party may seek compensation through a negligence-based claim.
Nevertheless, suppose you find yourself in such a scenario. In that case, the best thing you can do is contact a specialized dog bite law firm from Colorado to provide you with all of the essential information on how to deal with the injured person and safeguard your rights.
In Which Situations Is The Dog Owner Not Held Liable?
As a dog owner in Colorado, it is essential to understand when you are not liable and when you have many potential defenses, based on whether the case is filed under Colorado’s strict liability statute or as a common-law negligence case.
You should be aware that in strict liability cases, you are not responsible if the person who was bitten is on the public or private property illegally or is on your land that is plainly and prominently marked with one or more posted signs indicating “no trespassing” or “beware of dogs.”
In addition, when the dog is being used by a public servant or military personnel in the performance of duties, it works as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog on the land of or under the control of the owner.
Furthermore, you are not liable if the injured person deliberately provoked the dog or if the person is a vet health care provider, pet groomer, humane agency employee, skilled dog handler, instructor, or dog show judge operating in the course of their responsibilities.
A dog owner can also have various defenses in a negligence-based dog bite case as comparative negligence and trespassing are two frequent defenses. A negligence defense contends that the wounded individual was partially or entirely to blame for their injuries.
Colorado follows a modified comparative fault rule, which decreases damages by the proportion of blame ascribed to the accident victim, as long as this percentage is less than 50%. If the injured individual is 50% or more at fault, they lose the right to compensation.
If you know all these things, it will be much easier for you to deal with the situation, and you will know precisely whether the injured party has the right to file a lawsuit against you.
Photo from VeryWellHelth
It is your obligation as a responsible dog owner to ensure that your dog does not bite people. For that reason, make sure that your dog is well-trained and that you have warning signs on your property. If it has been too late, take immediate action to alleviate the situation and take all necessary precautions to shield yourself and your dog.