Denver Dog Bite Report
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The Humane Society of the United States estimates that about 40% of households own a dog. Many of us who own dogs treat them like family. However, dogs can sometimes be dangerous. Whether it is a stranger’s dog or a dog you know, a dog bite can be terrifying and require immediate medical attention.
How to Report a Dog Bite Injury in Denver
Colorado law requires that all animal bites be reported within 12 hours. Reporting a dog bite requires you to call the county where the bite happened and not necessarily where the owner of the dog lives. For bites occurring in Denver, you should report the dog bite to Denver Animal Protection at 720-913-1311. You may also dial 3-1-1. You can also report the dog bite injury online using Denver County’s Bite Reporting Form.
The dog will be required to quarantine for 10 days from the date of the bite.
Importance OF FILING A DENVER DOG BITE REPORT
Not only is it required to report a dog bite in Denver within 12 hours, but reporting a dog bite will ensure the safety of others and help prevent attacks by the same animal. The owner will be put on notice to secure their dog on a leash at all times or know not to bring their dog to public locations. Reporting a dog bite will also be important to preserve the claim for a potential future lawsuit.
Dog Bite INJURIES
Approximately 334,000 people visit the emergency room every year for dog bites, according to the ASPCA. Only 2% of these people seeking emergency treatment are actually hospitalized. It is unknown how many injures related to dog bites end up in the emergency room, such as injuries sustained from fleeing from a dangerous dog.
According to WebMD, about 4.7 million Americans are bitten every year, half of them being children between the ages of five and nine. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five of those bites will cause an injury serious enough that requires medical attention.
Read More: Dog Bite Statistics
Common injuries from dog bites can cause not only physical injuries, but mental trauma as well. Some of these injuries include:
- Puncture wounds, fractured bones, tissue loss
- Bruises, cuts, strains, or sprains
- Infections, scars, permanent disfiguration
- A lasting fear of dogs
- Anxiety or depression resulting from the dog bite
Colorado’s dog bite statute defines serious bodily injuries as involving:
- Substantial risk of death
- Substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement
- Substantial risk of loss of impairment of loss of function of an organ
- Broken bones or fractures
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should consider the following steps:
- Call 9-1-1 if the injuries are serious
- Identify the dog that bit you. Take note of the dog’s name or the owner’s name if possible.
- Record as much information as possible. Take a picture of the dog and your injuries.
- Collect contact information from the owner and witnesses.
- Report the dog bite to Denver Animal Protection
- Contact our experienced dog bite lawyers at Zinda Law Group
How to Care for a Dog Bite Injury
Most dog bite injuries can be addressed at home. For serious dog bites, you should seek professional medical help. For bites that are not too deep and it is possible to stop the bleeding, you can care for the injury at home.
- Clean the injury with mild soap and water
- Place a clean compress on the injury to stop any bleeding
- Elevate the injured area if possible
- Apply sterile bandaging to the wound
- Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
Any signs of an infection that include redness or swelling should be assessed by a doctor. If you visit the doctor for treatment, they may give you a rabies shot as a precaution if you do not know whether the dog was up to date on vaccinations.
Denver’s Dog Bite Injury Scale
The City and County of Denver Dog Bite Statistics provide a scale for judging the seriousness of dog bites on four levels, starting at Level 2. Levels 4 and 5 are the most severe and are classified as mauling.
- Level 2: No puncture of the skin or shallow puncture with slight bleeding
- Level 3: One to four punctures of the skin by a single bite. The puncture is not deeper than half of the dog’s tooth.
- Level 4: One to four punctures of the skin by a single bite. At least one puncture is deeper than half the length of the dog’s tooth.
- Level 5: Multiple bites with at least two Level 4 bites.
From 2017-2019, there were a combined total of 1,717 reported bites in Denver.
Liability for a Dog Bite
According to the National Canine Research Council, 70% of dog bites were from dogs that were not the household pet. This means that a dog bite usually results in someone being liable for your injuries.
Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-124 provides that any person who suffers a serious bodily injury or death from a dog bite while lawfully on public or private property is entitled to bring a civil action. The injured party is entitled to economic damages regardless of the dangerous propensities of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s propensities. A dog owner or caretaker will be strictly liable for any serious injuries or death that occurs from their dog.
A dog owner may also be held liable under a theory of negligence if they were on notice of the dog’s dangerous propensities and failed to take proper precautions.
It is important to consult with our experienced dog bite attorneys to determine the best course of action if you have been bitten by a dog. Identifying the at-fault party is important when seeking compensation for your injuries.
Read More: Who’s to Blame in a Dog Bite Case?
What Types of Damages may i seek?
In Colorado, if the dog has “violent propensities,” meaning it has bitten before, then you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. However, if you are not able to establish that the dog had violent propensities and this was otherwise the first time it has bitten someone, then Colorado dog owners are strictly liable for economic damages only.
You may be entitled to economic or noneconomic damages for your dog bite injuries. These types of damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are very rare, but they may be awarded when the at-fault party acted egregiously. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party.
Denver Leash Laws
According to Sec. 8-16 of Denver’s Code of Ordinances, it is unlawful for any dog owner to allow their dog to be off-leash or “run at large.” Any dog found running at large is required to be taken and impounded into the Denver Animal Shelter. A dog may be impounded without the filing of a complaint and may be disposed of.
This ordinance does not apply if the dog is in a designated off-leash area that is enclosed and is being supervised. The dog must be supervised by the owner or keeper who is 18 years of age or older.
Denver’s leash laws are intended to protect the health and safety of people enjoying Denver’s parks and open areas. Pet owners who violate these ordinances are subject to a fine.
Get Help from Our Denver Dog Bite Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced dog bite lawyers have handled many cases involving victims of dog attacks. If you have been injured in a dog attack, you should file a Denver dog bite report within 12 hours of the bite. From there, our dog bite attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation from the responsible party. Let us take on the burden of the legal process while you focus on recovering from your injuries.