Were you or your child bitten by a dog in Lakewood, CO? Dog bite injuries can be serious. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced Lakewood dog bite lawyer at Matos Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you deserve.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 44 years of experience fighting for clients like you. We’ve used our skills to recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.
If you were injured by a dog, contact our law offices in Lakewood, Colorado, at (720) 912-7274 to schedule a free consultation today.
How Can Matos Personal Injury Lawyers Help With a Dog Bite Claim in Lakewood, CO?
Dogs and other pets can bring a huge amount of joy to life. However, with dog ownership comes responsibility. Dog owners have a responsibility to keep others safe. When they fail to take that duty seriously, they should be held liable.
At Matos Personal Injury Lawyers, we know it can be tough to blame a dog for attacking. We also know how important recovering fair compensation can be to your future.
When you hire our Lakewood personal injury attorneys, we will:
- Gather evidence to support your dog bite injury claim
- Calculate the fair value of your case
- Protect you from allegations that you provoked the dog
- Hire leading experts and specialists as needed
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance company
- Take your case to trial if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement
Our Lakewood personal injury lawyers have decades of experience handling cases similar to yours. We’d be happy to put our experience to work for you. All you have to do is call to arrange a free consultation today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Colorado?
According to the CDC, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. About 800,000 of those dog bite injuries are serious enough to require medical care.
According to a report prepared by the Insurance Information Institute, Colorado insurance companies paid out about $14.4 million to dog bite victims in a single year.
How Much Is My Lakewood Dog Bite Case Worth?
Before taking an insurance settlement, it’s important to understand your case value. Your settlement should account for all of your current and anticipated future expenses.
Many different factors will influence the value of your personal injury case, including:
- The nature of the injuries you’ve suffered
- The cost of your medical care and other expenses
- Whether your doctor anticipates you will need ongoing medical attention
- Whether you will suffer any permanent or long-term scarring or impairments
- The value of your lost wages during recovery
- The physical pain and emotional trauma you have suffered
- The circumstances of the attack
Dog bites can cause ongoing emotional distress and trauma. Unfortunately, many dog bite victims are young children. Young children can be particularly prone to suffering ongoing mental health issues due to a serious dog bite injury.
You can count on our Lakewood dog bite attorneys to carefully review the facts of your case. In complicated cases, we’ll bring in experts to help assess your anticipated future expenses–and to help put a dollar value on your personal losses.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in Lakewood, CO?
Under Colorado personal injury laws, you can seek compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages.
Depending on the facts, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses, including ER visits, doctor’s visits, medications, and more
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Chronic pain
- PTSD and fear
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
If you have questions about the types of compensation you may deserve, contact our personal injury law firm today. We’ll do everything we can to help you recover full compensation for your losses.
What Happens to My Compensation Award if I’m Being Blamed for Provoking the Dog to Bite?
Provocation is one of the most common defenses that dog owners use in dog bite injury claims. When the owner can prove you provoked the dog, Colorado’s strict liability dog bite law won’t apply. However, the owner can still be liable for negligence.
You won’t automatically lose your right to compensation if you’re being blamed for your own injuries. Under Colorado comparative negligence laws, a victim loses their right to compensation once they’re found to be at least 50% liable for their own injuries.
If you were less than 50% liable, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Hiring an attorney is the best way to ensure you aren’t assigned more blame than is fair.
Our Attorneys in Lakewood Will Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite wounds themselves can have serious consequences. The injuries can be even more severe when the victim is knocked to the ground, which can result in broken bones and head injuries.
At Matos Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent clients who have suffered:
- Puncture wounds and lacerations
- Severe bruising
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Infections, which can lead to amputations
- Wrongful death of a loved one
It’s important to seek medical attention soon after a dog bite. Dog bites can be jagged and can easily become infected. Your medical records can also provide important evidence in your case.
Our lawyers know that dog bites can cause painful injuries. We’re prepared to stand by your side every step of the way. Call us today to schedule a free case review to get started.
How Do I Prove I Deserve Compensation Under Colorado Dog Bite Law?
Colorado follows a strict liability dog bite law. Under Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-21-124, dog bite victims can file a claim for compensation against the dog owner even if the dog had never displaced vicious or dangerous propensities. In other words, you won’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent or that the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous.
Instead, you must prove:
- You were on public property or lawfully on private property
- The dog bit you
- The dog caused serious bodily injury or death
Because dangerous dogs are technically property, your damages are usually covered under the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, renter’s insurance policy, or a commercial property insurance policy.
Most of the time, the dog’s owner will be found liable. That’s true even if the dog’s owner was not present at the time of the animal attack. Still, it’s also possible that someone else may also be responsible for a dog bite injury.
Examples of potentially at-fault parties include:
- A business owner who allowed the dog on the premises
- Dog walkers, pet sitters, or groomers who were responsible for the dog at the time
- The dog owner’s landlord, if the landlord knew the dog was dangerous
There are many different ways to establish liability in a dog bite case. Our lawyers will carefully investigate and gather evidence to prove your dog bite injury case, including:
- Statements from neighbors and witnesses
- Prior citations or complaints filed against the dog owner
- Evidence to show the dog had bitten before
All dog owners have a legal duty to keep their dogs from harming others. When they ignore these duties, our lawyers are here to help you hold them accountable for your damages.
Are There Any Defenses to Colorado’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Law?
Yes. Colorado law specifically lists six situations where the dog’s owner won’t be strictly liable for damages.
Defenses to the dog bite law include:
- You were trespassing at the time of the attack
- You were on the dog owner’s property, and the dog owner clearly posted a “no trespassing” or “beware of dog” sign
- You knowingly provoked the dog to bite
- The victim was a veterinary health-care worker, dog groomer, humane agency staff person, professional dog handler, trainer, or dog show judge acting in the performance of their duties
- The dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of the dog’s owner
Even if one of these defenses applies, the dog’s owner can still be held liable for negligent or wrongful acts. For example, if the dog’s owner failed to obey local leash laws or intentionally trained the dog to behave aggressively, they can be held liable.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury in Colorado?
The statute of limitations in Colorado personal injury cases is two years. You have two years from the date the dog bit you to sue for damages. If you wait any longer, you lose your right to seek compensation.
There are exceptions to the deadline in some cases; reach out to our law office as soon as you can to protect your legal rights.
Contact a Lakewood Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or your child were bitten by a dog, our team at Matos Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. With an experienced Lakewood dog bite lawyer by your side, you’re much more likely to walk away with fair compensation for your injuries.