COLORADO DOG BITE LAW
In 2004 Colorado enacted C.R.S. § 13-21-124 which created a statutory cause of action for persons bitten by a dog while in Colorado. The statute provides in relevant part:
A person or a personal representative of a person who suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog while lawfully on public or private property shall be entitled to bring a civil action to recover economic damages against the dog owner regardless of the viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or dangerous propensities.
In contrast to the common-law, in order to bring a claim, the plaintiff is not required to show that the dog had demonstrated vicious or dangerous propensities before the attack or to prove that the dog owner knew about the dog’s vicious or dangerous propensities. The cause of action is available against the dog owner regardless of where the attack occurred. However, the plaintiff must prove that s/he suffered “serious bodily injury” as defined in C.R.S. § 18-1-901(3)(p), which means bodily injury that “involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss of impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.”
In contrast to the common-law, in Colorado the plaintiff may only seek damages for economic loss related to physical injury caused by the dog attack. A plaintiff cannot recover anything for the mental or psychological trauma associated with the attack, or for pain and suffering related to the injury itself. The statute provides a defense to the dog owner if the plaintiff was unlawfully on public or private property at the time of the attack or if the plaintiff knowingly provoked the animal.
If you’ve been attacked by a dog in Colorado and believe you have a claim under C.R.S. § 13-21-124 , then you should contact a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer for a consultation:
The information on this blog or website is not legal advice.