According to a 2021 survey, Denver ranks as the most dog-friendly city in the nation. Unfortunately, just because a location is dog-friendly, does not mean that all dogs in it are friendly. If you were attacked or bitten by someone else’s dog while in the Mile High City, you may have a legal right to hold the dog owner accountable for your damages. A Denver dog bite lawyer can help you understand state and local laws, how they apply to your case, and the best strategy to seek meaningful compensation depending on the facts. 

Colorado Dog Bite Statute

Denver dog bite lawyers

Under Colorado’s dog bite statute, an owner is liable for any financial damage arising from a dog bite that has caused serious bodily injury, regardless of whether the dog has ever bitten anyone before or previously displayed violent tendencies. This means that the owner cannot be absolved of liability because they did not expect the dog to act that way. Under the statute, serious bodily injury includes:

  • A substantial risk of death;
  • A substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement;
  • A substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or:
  • Breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree. 

Colorado’s dog bite law applies in cases where the injured party was lawfully on the premises where the bite occurred. If the dog bite happened while the person was trespassing or knowingly provoked the dog, the law bars them from legal recovery. 

Because of these exceptions, the dog owner is likely to assert that their pet was provoked, either to avoid liability or because they honestly believe it is true. But this common defense is another reason that a dog bite attorney is crucial to your claim. They can help you gather valuable evidence to prove what really occurred. 

Dog Bite Claim for Negligence

In some cases, the injuries may not meet the statutory definition of serious bodily injury, but that does not mean the injured person is barred from recovery. They may still be able to file a dog bite personal injury claim under the theory of general negligence and seek compensation for both financial harm and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. 

Proving Negligence

To have a valid negligence claim, you—as the injured party—must prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous tendencies and they failed to properly protect you by taking steps to effectively control or restrain their pet. You must also prove that the dog bite caused your injuries.


For example, if a dog snarls, barks aggressively, or charges at people but is typically unable to attack because of restraint such as a fence or leash, the owner is reasonably on notice that their pet could harm someone if given the chance. In this case, the owner would be negligent in allowing the dog to go off-leash. A negligence claim may also be applicable in cases where the dog does not actually bite but causes injury in some other way such as jumping on a person, causing them to sustain serious harm. Your Denver dog bite lawyer can help you determine if a negligence claim is applicable to your case. 

Types of Injuries

Compensable injuries that are not serious enough to fall under the dog bite statute may include muscle tears, lacerations that require treatment or corrective surgery, and severe strains or sprains. Treatment for any of these issues can be expensive and ongoing. A lawyer can help you decide if you can seek compensation for such expenses through a negligence claim.

Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Like most other personal injury claims, you would normally start with a claim against the negligent party’s insurance. This can be homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, commercial insurance, or another type of property insurance. If the dog owner does not have applicable insurance or the policy will not cover the extent of your injuries, you will likely need to file a dog bite lawsuit. Your Denver dog bite lawyer can help you determine if the insurance company is offering a fair or unfair settlement. If the insurer does not make a reasonable offer, your lawyer can help you pursue litigation. 

Reporting a Dog Bite in Denver 

It is also worth noting that for the protection of yourself and others, you should report the bite. If you live in Denver, you should call Denver Animal Protection within 12 hours of getting bit. You can also make this report online. If you live in another Colorado county, you can call the county animal protection line and report the bite. This report not only keeps others safe, but it can also serve as a record of when the bite occurred. 

Contact a Denver Dog Bite Lawyer

The Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. team has decades of personal injury law experience. We can help you recover damages from a dog bite claim in Denver through compassionate legal representation. Dog bites can be physically painful and emotionally traumatizing. You have been through enough and we are happy to take it from here. We pride ourselves on providing effective, compassionate representation for clients in Denver and surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation and start the process of seeking the compensation you deserve.