Introduction To Colorado Dog Bite Law
Dogs are considered man’s best friend. However, in the wrong hands, they can be a person’s worst nightmare. This article will discuss the Colorado dog bite law. Specifically, it will focus on the following:
– What is a dog bite case?
– Who has the burden in proving fault?
– What are Colorado’s dog bite statutes?
– Does a homeowner have a duty to protect visitors or invitees where there is a dangerous animal?
These issues will be discussed in detail below.
What Is A Dog Bite Case?
A dog bite case is an action brought by a plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) against a defendant (the person being sued). The general elements required to bring a dog bite case are:
- – 1 Defendant had control or custody of the animal.
- – 2 Defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of injury.
- – 3 Injury occurred on property belonging to either party.
A dog bite case is similar to a car accident case in that the plaintiff must prove:
- 1) Defendant had responsibility for the actions of the dog.
- 2) Plaintiff suffered damages due to the defendant’s negligence in that he or she was injured or damaged.
Who Has The Burden Of Proof? WRT Colorado Dog Bite Law
Like most cases, where there is a dispute over liability, the court or jury will be required to determine who was negligent in causing the bites. In Colorado, the defendant has the burden of proof to show that he or she did not act negligently and is therefore not responsible for injuries caused by his or her dog. The negligence may exist on several levels:
- – Does the animal have vicious propensities?
- – Is the dog trained and disciplined properly?
- – Does the dog have proper vaccinations and a current rabies shot?
These questions will be discussed in detail below. However, it should be noted that an owner’s liability for his or her animal is determined by what a reasonable person would do with similar knowledge.
Colorado Dog Bite Law: Statutes
Colorado has several statutes that deal specifically with dog bites and other animal-related injuries:
CRS 8-4-602 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
This statute addresses the owner’s liability for his or her dog causing injury to a person or property within the state of Colorado.
CRS 18-9-201 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
This statute addresses dog bite statutes and the enforcement of those laws. The enforcement provisions include classifications for dangerous animals, a vicious animal definition, and requirements concerning keeping vicious dogs or dogs that have caused injuries in public places.
CRS 9-8-115 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
This statute addresses Colorado’s rabies control laws.
CRS 18-9-202 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
It addresses the state regulation of dangerous dogs, which includes impounding and destroying them after an incident or when their owners violate certain restrictions concerning the animals.
CRS 12-14-104 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
This addresses strict liability for damage caused by cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, and other domestic animals that have caused damage.
CRS 9-6-803 Colorado Dog Bite Law:
It addresses Colorado’s agricultural animal trespass law. It addresses animals who are “at large.” This includes dogs running loose on livestock ranches or other locations where the animals can cause major problems.
There is at least one additional colorado dog bite law statute:- CRS 18-9-204 addresses a city or town’s authority to enact and enforce their own dog bite statutes. This statute gives local governments the right to impose requirements on owners, rather than treat them as state laws do.
The above statutes will be discussed in detail below. However, it should be noted that even where local government has enacted its own dog bite statutes, the state law (CRS 8-4-602) still applies.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR A DOG BITE?
At common law, a dog’s owner was not liable for his or her pet biting someone. This is because the animal could be seen as a “trespasser” on the plaintiff’s property. Under this rule, an animal owner is only liable for his or her pet’s actions if the owner’s negligence caused the injury. This is still true in some situations, but not all.
The Colorado dog bite law statutes changed these common-law rules to place a positive duty on owners for their pets. This means that an owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog, in certain circumstances. Under CRS 8-4-602(1)an owner is liable if the animal causes injury to a person “in a public place or lawfully in a private place.”
These laws apply regardless of whether or not the plaintiff knows the dog’s owner. The legislature intended that a dog is to be treated as a wild animal in certain instances. This rule does not limit the liability of an owner for his or her pet but rather places additional duties on owners where their animals cause injuries in public places.
An important distinction is made between two different areas: “public place” and “private place.” It is important for those who are injured by dogs to know the difference between these two concepts.
Under CRS 8-4-602(2), a dog’s owner is liable for his or her pet causing injury in a public place if:
– The animal causes injury to a person who is on public property; and
– The animal causes injury to a person who is lawfully on private property.
A “public place” includes any of the following:
– A street or highway;
– Private property open to the public, such as a shopping center parking lot; and
-A location that is accessible to the public, such as a park or public space.
Under CRS 8-4-602(3), an owner’s liability for his or her dog causing injury to a person in private property depends on the circumstances surrounding how the injury occurred:
– The law places no duty on an owner in this situation if the dog is inside a house or building with the person.
– If a dog breaches the limits of private property, such as through a fence, and causes injury to another person, then CRS 8-4602(5) applies. Under that statute, an owner’s liability depends on whether or not the injured person was trespassing. If the plaintiff is a lawful visitor to the property, the owner of the dog will not be liable for damages caused by his pet if:
– The dog causes injury to the other person while in an enclosed vehicle; or
– The dog causes injury to another person on private property, and the owner knew or should have known that his pet was likely to cause a problem.
– If an injured person is lawfully on private property, but not in an enclosed area, then CRS 8-4-602(6) applies. Under this section, the dog’s owner will only be liable if he or she knew or reasonably should have known that the animal had dangerous propensities.
To bring a successful dog bite lawsuit in Colorado, then, a plaintiff needs to understand where the incident occurred. The location will indicate whether the state’s statutes apply at all; and if they do, it will determine a dog owner’s liability under the dog bite statutes.
COLORADO Dog Bite Law; INJURIES
Dog bites occur in Colorado every year, and the injuries they cause can be serious and life-threatening. In addition to paying for medical treatment and surgery, victims may also need other forms of help, such as adapting their home to accommodate a disability caused by the injury, missing work to recover from their injuries, and more.
If you have been injured by a dog in Colorado, the best way to proceed is to meet with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your attack. A qualified attorney can begin working on your case immediately and help you gather any documentation that will be required for a successful lawsuit.
Colorado Victim’s Rights:
Are They The Same As In Other States?
Dog Bites & Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO – Allstate Insurance Company v. Delgado and Hogan Claim reviewed based on the plain language of the policy language
Personal injury lawyer Colorado Springs Colorado Dog Bite AttorneyDog bite lawyer – Colorado Springs, CO: Are you afraid of dogs or interested in protecting your dog? If so, this article is for you.
Pet Ownership comes with responsibility
People who own pets assume some basic responsibilities. They must maintain their pet’s health by feeding and providing medical care when needed. They must clean up after their pets. They must also prevent the dog from biting other persons and animals, as well as guard against other dangers such as disease transmission or injury to a person or their property.
An owner’s liability is not limited to the pet itself but may extend to any damage caused by their animal. This responsibility extends even if a pet is off the owner’s property.
A dog bite is a common type of injury caused by a pet. Dog bites can cause serious bodily harm, disfigurement, and emotional suffering to an injured person. An injured person may require medical treatment and other forms of help such as rehabilitation or compensation for loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. A dog bite victim may be able to obtain compensation for his injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog responsible for the attack.
A dog bite first requires that the injured person was bitten by a domestic animal, or more specifically, one that is not indigenous to Colorado. For example, a dog bite is not created when an injured person is bitten by a domestic cat or horse. It also does not include injuries caused by other types of animals, for example, squirrels, chipmunks, or prairie dogs.
A dog bite can be the result of direct contact between the animal and the victim’s skin resulting from a bite or a scratch. Direct contact is required because indirect contact, such as when the animal jumps on an injured person’s back and scratches them with its toes, does not create a dog bite claim.
The Act of a Dog Bite Liability:
Generally speaking, for the owner to be held liable for their pet’s dog bite, some level of negligence must be present. Negligence requires that an owner acted unreasonably in controlling their animal at the time of the attack and caused injury to another person.
Dogs are generally considered property under Colorado law, but they also may fall into the category of personal property. The distinction between both determines the nature of the owner’s liability.
Under Colorado common law, an owner is liable for damages caused by their dog when:
- the animal was a “dangerous” or vicious animal at the time injury occurred; and
- the owner knew or should have known that it posed a threat to others.
A dog bite victim can also bring a lawsuit against the owner of a dog that caused injuries to another person when:
- the dog was acting out of self-defense;
- the injured person provoked an attack by teasing or abusing the animal; or
- another dog owned by the owner also participated in an attack.