Dog Bite Injury Attorney Colorado Springs
Some people think dog bites lead to only minor injuries. They are wrong. Dog bites and attacks often lead to serious injuries, including ones that result in life-threatening infections, permanent scarring and disfigurement. These injuries may need extensive – and highly costly – medical treatment as well. On top of it, the victim may be unable to work and earn money to pay those bills.
Fortunately, if you suffer serious injuries due to a dog bite in Colorado Springs, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. The Sawaya Law Firm is here to help. We have protected the rights of dog bite victims throughout Colorado since 1977. We can review your case in a free consultation and explain all legal options available to you.
What are Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries in Colorado Springs?
Dogs can attack viciously and ferociously. In turn, they can cause life-changing injuries, particularly if the victim is a child. The most common injuries include:
- Hand and arm injuries – Many people put their hands out in front of them or try to cover their face when dogs attack. A dog can easily latch on to a hand or arm and – due to the force of its jaw – refuse to let go. The bite can break the skin and tear through muscle. In severe cases, it may even break the bone.
- Puncture wounds – A dog’s teeth are powerful. They are a dog’s best weapons in an attack. When dogs bite excessively and fiercely, their teeth leave puncture wounds on the victim. A dog’s claws can also cause extensive puncture wounds.
- Eye injuries – During an attack, a dog may jump up aggressively and cause eye wounds in adults. Because a child’s eyes may be at the same level as a dog’s eyes, the child may suffer severe eye injuries in an attack.
- Scarring and disfigurement – When dogs pull at skin, it often tears and results in permanent scarring. When the victim is a child, he or she may have to go through the rest of life with those physical scars.
- Nerve damage – When a dog’s bite is so fierce that it cuts through the skin, the damage could reach the underlying soft tissues and nerves.
- Emotional distress – Living through a dog attack is a traumatic event. Victims often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have a new, lifelong fear of dogs (even if they were dog lovers before the incident).
- Infections – A dog’s mouth and claws will inflict the most damage in an attack. They are also breeding grounds for bacteria. When the victim’s skin is broken, that bacteria gets into the wound. It can give a victim a severe infection. Rabies is a major concern.
- Death – Children and the elderly, in particular, suffer wounds in dog attacks that may prove to be fatal.
Not all injuries result from a bite or attack. Sometimes, an aggressive dog will knock someone down and cause that person to suffer harm such as traumatic brain injury. Regardless of the type of injury, an innocent victim who did nothing to provoke the attack has the right to demand just compensation for the harm which he or she has suffered.
What Are a Dog Owner’s Responsibilities in Colorado Springs?
Dog owners have many responsibilities. In addition to caring for their pet, they also have to ensure the dog will not hurt anyone. When dog owners fail to properly socialize their pet or restrain them when necessary, they are leaving themselves exposed to a personal injury claim if the dog ever hurts someone. A few of the responsibilities that every dog owner has include:
- Addressing their dog’s aggressive tendencies early on
- Leashing their dog when the dog is not on the owner’s property
- Keeping vaccinations up to date
- Keeping the dog away from strangers
- Posting warning signs when a dog is dangerous or aggressive.
Colorado law imposes strict liability on dog owners for dog bites. Even if the owner took the above steps and had no idea the dog was dangerous or aggressive, the owner can still be held liable if the dog bites someone. It does not matter if the bite or attack occurred on public property such as in a park or on private property such as the dog owner’s home. As long as the victim was legally allowed on the property and did not provoke the dog attack, the owner faces liability for the dog bite.
What Compensation is Available for Colorado Springs Dog Bite Injury Victims?
Dog bite victims are entitled to claim full and fair compensation for any losses which they suffer during a dog bite or attack. This compensation may include:
- Economic damages – These damages typically make up the bulk of a personal injury claim. They include medical expenses, rehabilitation and counseling costs and lost earnings. It’s important when calculating these damages to include both past and future costs. Often, dog bite victims have to undergo medical treatment for years. If the victim takes measures to prevent a dog bite in the future, such as installing a fence, this expense could also potentially be claimed in damages.
- Non-economic damages – Under Colorado law, victims can claim these losses as well. However, they can be hard to calculate. They include pain and suffering, embarrassment from scarring and disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish.
If a dog owner acted recklessly such as letting a known dangerous dog loose or training the dog to attack, a victim may also potentially claim punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the dog owner rather than to compensate the victim.
Tips for Preventing Dog Bite Injuries
- Never leave a small child alone with a dog even if the dog is known to you.
- Do not play aggressive games with a dog such as tug-of-war or wrestling.
- Teach children to ask permission before petting any dog.
- Allow a dog to sniff you before petting them so the dog can become familiar with you.
- Do not pet the face or the tail of a dog.
- Always pet dogs gently, particularly if you don’t know the dog.
- Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Move calmly and slowly around dogs.
- When dogs act aggressively, remain calm, back away slowly and avoid eye contact with the dog.
These are just a few ways you can prevent dog bites. Unfortunately, they don’t always work. When that is the case, and you suffer severe injury, you should speak to an experienced dog bite lawyer in Colorado Springs as soon as possible.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Dog Bite Attorneys Today
You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries and losses after a dog attack. This compensation can’t undo the physical and emotional trauma, but it can help with the financial burdens that your injury causes. You should not try to take on the claim by yourself. Instead, get assistance from the caring, skilled Colorado Springs dog bite lawyers at our office.
At The Sawaya Law Firm, we are passionate about helping dog bite victims. We understand the visible and hidden wounds which these attacks inflict. We want to help. Contact us today for your free consultation.