Colorado Springs Dog Bite Lawyer

Dogs are the most popular pets in America. Dogs are also popular working animals. The federal government employs 5,600 working dogs; dogs also work with police departments, fire departments, and the military, and some dogs work as service dogs.

Given the number of dogs in the U.S., it’s common for people to see, hear, or interact with other dogs. Unfortunately, interactions with dogs sometimes lead to dog bites. You may wonder about your legal rights if a dog has bitten you or a family member. Let’s look at some essential information about dog bites, Colorado’s dog bite laws, steps you should take after a dog bite, why you may need a lawyer, and how a dog bite lawyer can help. 

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How Common Are Dog Bites?

Over ten years, from 2011 to 2021, 468 people in the U.S. died from dog bites. When you consider that car accidents claimed over 38,000 lives in 2020 alone, the number of deaths from dog bites seems low. 

However, over 4.5 million people in the U.S. suffer dog bites each year. By comparison, car accidents injured 2.28 million people in 2020, which means there’s a higher risk of being bitten by a dog than being injured in a car accident. 

Fortunately, not all dog bites are severe. Approximately 20% of dog bite victims need medical care. 

Colorado Dog Bite Statutes

Whether you’re visiting Colorado Springs from out of state and a dog bites you, or you live in Colorado and suffer a dog bite, Colorado law applies to your dog bite case. Colorado laws outline scenarios when you can and cannot file a claim.

Does Colorado Have a One-Bite Rule?

One-bite rules were once commonplace throughout the United States. The one-bite laws give dogs a pass the first time they bite someone; however, once the dog has bitten, it can be argued that the owner knows the dog is dangerous.

One-bite rules have declined in popularity, and many states have revised their laws. Suppose a dog bites you. The dog hadn’t previously been declared a vicious animal or shown dangerous behavior. Under a one-bite rule, you might not have grounds for a legal claim. However, Colorado’s revised laws allow anyone attacked by a dog to pursue a claim unless one of the scenarios exempting the dog’s owner from liability applies.

You may not be able to make a claim under the following circumstances:

  • A police dog bit you while working
  • A military dog bit you while working
  • You were on the dog owner’s property, marked with “no trespassing” or “beware of dog” signs
  • When you were bitten, you provided pet care services, such as grooming or veterinary care
  • You provoked the dog
  • You overreacted to the dog
  • The dog bit you while hunting, working with livestock, or otherwise engaged in working tasks while under the control of their owner
  • You were bit when you were unlawfully on private or public property

Colorado’s Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites

As long as one of the exemptions does not prevent you from pursuing legal action, you have 24 months to file a dog bite injury claim. You begin counting down to the deadline for filing a claim the moment the dog attack occurs. 

Who Is Liable for Dog Bites?

The dog’s owner is usually liable for any injuries from dog bites. Their homeowner’s insurance pays damages for dog bite claims. 

You can make a dog bite injury claim as long as:

  • You were on public or private property lawfully: Someone trespassing would not have legal grounds to pursue a claim. However, suppose you were invited onto private property or were lawfully on public property. In that case, you have grounds for a premises liability claim.
  • The homeowner did not display “no trespassing” or “beware of dog” signs: Displaying these signs can limit a homeowner’s potential liability.
  • You didn’t mistreat or provoke the dog: A dog owner’s liability is limited if a person harms or antagonizes the dog and the dog bites them.

What To Do if You Are Bitten by a Dog

After a dog bite, you should take these steps:

  • Get to safety: Get away from the dog and get to a safe place, such as inside your home, vehicle, or another building.
  • Seek medical treatment: You may apply antibacterial ointment to the wound and get it to stop bleeding. Still, dog bites can be deep, and you may need an assessment from a medical professional to determine if you need stitches. You should always seek medical care for dog bites to the hands, feet, head, or face.
  • Tell the dog’s owner: If possible, inform the dog’s owner about the attack.
  • Identify the dog: Document any information about the dog’s identity, such as its name, address, or distinguishing features.
  • Document the incident: Take photos of everything relevant, including the attack scene, the dog, your wounds, and anything else that could be relevant. Make notes about what happened before, during, and after the attack.
  • Notify Animal Control: Colorado law requires dog bite victims to report the bite to Animal Control if the dog broke the skin. Dog bite victims have 12 hours to notify Animal Control.
  • Contact a dog bite attorney: Dog bite attorneys offer free consultations. Contact a personal injury attorney with dog bite claim experience to learn if you have grounds for a claim. 

Compensation for a Dog Bite Claim

Dog bite victims can seek the following damages:

  • Economic damages: You can include bills for childcare, lost income, medical expenses, and other bills in your claim.
  • Non-economic damages: Victims can seek compensation for pain and suffering, trauma, grief, depression, and other ways their injuries affect them physically and mentally.

Some dog bite victims may be able to seek punitive damages. You must prove the dog’s owner was guilty of gross negligence to make a case for punitive damages.

Talking to an experienced dog bite attorney is crucial because your dog bite attorney knows the legal requirements to support a claim and can help you calculate the compensation you seek from your claim. 

Bachus & Schanker Is Colorado’s Premiere Dog Bite Law Firm

A dog bite attorney is working on paperwork at his desk. In front of him is the scales of justice and a gavel.

At Bachus & Schanker, we understand your life can change in seconds. We know from first-hand experience that coping with a catastrophic injury can be traumatizing and costly and that injury victims often feel alone and uninformed. That’s why we have a Victim’s Advocate team helping our clients through every step of the legal process. Our team investigates your claim, finds evidence to prove your case, and helps you find the resources you need while we resolve your case.

Our legal team will keep you informed, ensure you’re aware of your options, and fight to get you justice after your dog bite injury.


Buchholz, K. (2021). Americans’ Favorite Furry Friends

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-124. (2023). 

Dog bite prevention. (2024). 

Dogs with jobs: data on canine employment in the government. (2023). 

Number of road traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2020. (2024). 

Xu, J., et al. (2023). QuickStats: Number of Deaths Resulting from Being Bitten or Struck by a Dog,* by Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2011–2021.