What to Do After a Dog Bite
Being attacked and bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Certain breeds of dogs can cause extensive physical damage, particularly when they attack children. Unfortunately, dog bites are a frequent occurrence in Mesa County. It is best to be prepared and know what steps to take in case you are bitten.
Colorado Dog Bite Laws
Colorado is a strict liability state for dog bites. This means if you are bitten by a dog, the owner can be held liable for your injuries, even if he or she was unaware that the dog was aggressive or capable of attacking a person. A dog owner can be held responsible when a dog bites someone who is lawfully on public or private property if the bite causes serious bodily injury or death, as stated in CRS 13-21-124.
There are certain exceptions to the rule. For example, dog owners are not liable for dog bite injuries sustained by a person who is:
- Knowingly provoking the dog
- Unlawfully on public or private property
- On the dog owner’s property, which is clearly and conspicuously marked with one or more posted signs stating “beware of dog” or “no trespassing”
What Steps Should You Take If You Are Bitten By a Dog?
To the extent that you are physically able, take the following steps after a dog bite attack to help protect your rights.
Identify the Dog and Its Owner
Immediately after a dog bite, identify the owner, or the person who had custody of the dog when it attacked. Request proof of rabies vaccination and get the owner’s name and address.
Get Medical Attention for Your Injuries
Dog bites can cause severe injuries. Call 911 or have someone drive you to the emergency room. It is important to get prompt medical treatment, particularly if the dog’s teeth punctured the skin. Otherwise, you run the risk of a serious infection.
File a Report with the Proper Authorities
After your injuries have been treated, file a report with the city or county. This documents your case and helps protect others from being attacked by the same dog. Authorities need a paper trail to enforce dog bite laws effectively.
Gather As Much Information As You Can
Get as much information as you can about the dog, including its dog license information and its history. Try to find out if the dog has bitten anyone before you.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
Photograph all your wounds and bruises to help support your claim. Also get pictures of any torn or bloody clothing and the site of the attack.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Legal issues surrounding dog bite cases can be complex. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system to pursue compensation for your injuries. Our Grand Junction personal injury lawyers at Peters & Nolan, LLC are well-versed in Colorado dog bite laws. Call us at (970) 243-4357 to request a free consultation. When we handle the details of your case, you can focus on recovering from your dog bite injuries.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.
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