Dog bites, however, are not funny or cute. In fact, they can sometimes be severely life changing. We have heard the horror stories of children and adults being maimed by a dog. So if a dog does bite you, are the owners liable for your damages? What constitutes "damage" in a dog bite case?
Other states have adopted the negligence rule when it comes to dog bites. In order to show negligence, the injured person must show that the owner failed to use reasonable care to control or restrain their dog. Colorado uses a combination of both strict liability and negligence, depending on the severity of the injuries.
- a substantial risk of death;
- breaks, fractures or burns in the 2nd or 3rd degree;
- a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement; or
- a substantial risk of s protracted loss or impairment of the function of any organ or part of the body.
- the dog was performing law enforcement or military duties;
- the injured person was a veterinary health care worker, groomer, humane agency staff member, professional dog handler, or dog show judge carrying out his or her duties;
- the dog was working as a hunting, herding, farm, or ranch dog;
- the property was "clearly and conspicuously" posted with "no trespassing" or "beware of dog" signs;
- the injured person provoked the dog; or
- the injured person was trespassing.
If you have been bitten by a dog or have damages as a result of the negligence by the owner, it is probably a good idea to consult with an attorney and/or contact a mediator who can help in negotiating a settlement with the owner.