There is no denying that dogs make the best pets but they can harm people, intentionally or unintentionally. They bite when threatened, scared, angry or suffering. Victims of dog bites need stitches, medical care, and, sometimes, plastic surgery. Nearly 4,000 people are bitten by dogs each year in Colorado Springs. But taking into consideration the large percentage of cases that are not reported, it is safe to say that the real number is much higher.
If a dog has bitten you severely, you are able to sue the owner. Colorado’s dog bite statute makes a dog owner responsible for dog bites if they have resulted in medical expenses, time lost from work, and, most importantly, suffering. Many personal injury cases are based on dog attacks, which means that you have an opportunity to collect compensation. Animal bites are serious, painful injuries and you should sue for personal injury.
When You Should Sue For Dog Bite
Dog bites happen sudden but the injuries they cause are long lasting. You have tried to contact the animal’s owner in an attempt to settle the dispute, but you have not reached an agreement. What do you do now? As stated previously, you can sue the owner for personal injuries and other damages. Dog owners are sued all the time. Many victims choose to go ahead without legal assistance. This is a big mistake, if not the biggest one you can make. Insurance companies do not have a good reputation for paying fair settlements. In fact, they stop at nothing when it comes to granting compensation for dog attacks. If you do not have a personal injury attorney with knowledge in this area, visit coloradoinjury.pro.
However, you have to have a strong case. You cannot file a lawsuit if you do not have a valid case. What you need to know about dog bites in Colorado is that it holds dog owners liable if the bite has caused severe bodily injury. The state of Colorado has enacted strict laws to protect victims. There are two kinds of laws:
- liability when the dog owner had knew or ignored that the animal might attack someone
- liability no matter if the dog owner knew or should have known that the hound had aggressive tendencies
The “one bite” rule, which allowed dogs one free bite, no longer applies. Nowadays, the law does not allow dogs one free bite. If the owner has knowledge of the canine’s aggressive tendencies, he is legally responsible for the dog’s bite.
Dog Bite: Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
Personal injury cases can take many forms, yet the stages remain the same:
- Meeting With The Attorney
When you first meet with the personal injury attorney, you need to tell them everything that has happened. Every detail is important, so make sure not to leave anything out. You need to offer the name and phone number of the dog’s owner at the very least. If you are not in the possession of this kind of information, ask a witness. The legal practitioner will have some questions for you. You will be inquired about things like medical bills or the status of your injuries.
- Gathering Evidence
You do not have to get photographs or video footage from the scene, but you do need to hold on to bloody clothing. They will help you with your emotional testimony. Equally important is to keep damaged or destroyed property, like glasses. Do not forget about the medical bills.
- Understanding and File Initial Court Papers
Once you have started your personal injury claim, you need to understand and file initial court papers. These are the documents required in a personal injury lawsuit: complaint/petition, summons and service of processes, answer, counterclaim, and reply to counterclaim.
Personal injury cases rather settle than go to trial. It is completely up to you if you want to settle the case mutually. If you are determined to settle things in the early stage of the litigation process good for you. Even though your lawyer will go up against experienced negotiators, you have nothing to worry about. The legal professional will only settle for a fair amount of cash.
- Going To Trial
If you have been unsuccessful and have gone to trial, you will have to argue your case. Not exactly. The personal injury attorney is the one who will argue the case. It is necessary to prove that the animal’s owner knew that the pooch was likely to cause injury and, of course, that they were negligent.
- Collecting Compensation
You claimed compensation for personal injury and this is what you will get. Indeed, you have won a battle, but the war is not over yet. Why? You will have to collect the money after the judgment.
Is There Any Alternative to a Lawsuit?
Maybe you do not want to file a lawsuit. That is perfectly okay as there is an alternative. What you can do is try to reach the animal owner once again. Not all owners avoid accepting responsibility for their pets’ actions. Yes, there are people who are open to dialogue. However, even if you avoid going to court, it is best to seek legal advice.