In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study that examined the frequency of dog bite-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments.  In 2001, an estimated 368,245 persons were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries.  42% of dog bites in 2001 occurred among children aged 14 years and younger; injury rates were highest among children aged 5-9 years and were significantly higher for boys than for girls.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published a study in 2010 showing that the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites almost doubled over a 15-year period. The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, approximately 50 percent higher than the average injury-related hospital stay. There were 4 times as many dog bite-related ED visits and 3 times as many hospital stays in rural areas than in urban areas.

Dog Bites in Colorado

In 2005, the Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Dog Bite Law,  C.R.S. § 13-21-124, making dog owners strictly liable for dog bites, but only if the victim of the bite, suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog. The viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or dangerous propensities does not matter.  Colorado’s dog bite statute provides for strict liability but applies only to “serious bodily injuries” and gives a limited remedy (only the medical costs  Recovery under the statute is limited only to economic damages (as opposed to noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc.) in a civil suit against the dog owner.

The statute defines “serious bodily injury” as “bodily injury” which, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, involves 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.” C.R.S. § 18-1-901(3)(p)  A “bodily injury” means “any physical injury that results in severe bruising, muscle tears, or skin lacerations requiring professional medical treatment or any physical injury that requires corrective or cosmetic surgery.” (C.R.S. § 13-21-124 (1) (a))  Non-economic damages such as emotional distress are not covered under the statute, unless they are the result of actual physical injury.

If a victim relies solely on the dog bite statute, recovery will be limited to “economic damages” which includes such things as past, present and future medical bills, loss of income, and loss of earning power as a result of disability or disfigurement.  To recover noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life, your attorney will develop and investigate other additional clams against the owner of the dog, including other claims of negligence or negligence per se.

Even if the Colorado dog bite statute applies, Colorado case law holds that a person who owns keeps or harbors a dog which causes injury can be held liable, under other theories of negligence and negligence per se. It is likely that the victim of a dog bite will not recover his/her full damages unless he can prove the requirements of one of the traditional grounds for dog bite liability, including negligence and negligence per se.

The availability of negligence per se, when violating a statute, is of great importance in Colorado dog bite victims because it allows the victim to bring additional causes of action, outside of the dog bite statute, when the dog inflicts serious injury.  For example, a dog owner would be negligence per se, if they violate Unlawful Ownership of Dangerous Dog statute, C.RS. § 18‑9‑204, which makes it a criminal offense to have a dangerous dog. (“A person commits ownership of a dangerous dog if such person owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, has a financial or property interest in, or has custody or control over a dangerous dog.”).  A “dangerous dog” is “any dog that …

[h]as inflicted bodily or serious bodily injury upon or has caused the death of a person.” There is no requirement of prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerousness.

There are instances when the victim of a dog bite can bring a claim against a third party, such as a landlord.  If you live in multi-family housing, you may have a claim against the landlord for allowing a tenant to keep a vicious dog on the property.  Under the Colorado Premises Liability Statute, C.R.S. § 13-21-115, launches is certainly the only safe file save file a dog bite victim can recovery in an action against a landlord.  In Wilson v. Marchiondo, 124 P.3d 837 (Colo. App. 2005); Vigil v. Franklin, 103 P.3d 322 (Colo. 2004),  the court held that a landlord is liable for the dog’s attack, only if he actually knew, prior to entering into the lease, of the danger the dog presented.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or know someone who has, your right to compensation for your injuries damages and losses is not limited to the Colorado dog bite statute.  There may be other theories of recovery including negligence, negligence per se and the premises liability statute available to you. Protect your rights by contacting the law firm of Bell and Pollock for complete review of their case.

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

Free Legal E-Books

Click on any one of the e-books to access your free copy!

Case Results


CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000



I could not have made a better decision than to call Bell & Pollock with my case. Dana Miller and her team were the best.
Brian B.
Jason H.
I appreciate brad and his team the bell and Pollock attorneys are by far the best ones i have ever worked with.
Aliviya D.
Brad Pollock is educated, experienced, and is the world's greatest attorney. Marlena Elsloo helps him focus in on the most important issues.
Kathy T.
He is very professional and we would recommend Mr. Bell to anyone who is looking for an attorney.
Dianna C.
He was kind, compassionate and knowledgeable, but also tenacious when working with the insurance companies.
Michelle K.
I was blessed to be put in contact with Dana, who not only provided me free feedback and counsel when we spoke on the phone, but also took the time to call me back on multiple occasions to check on me.Dana Miller, you are a sweet, caring and amazing person and I appreciate all your help.
Grady C.