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Personal Injury / Feb 29,2024

Pets and Premises Liability: What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

How Liability Is Determined When a Pet Attacks in Colorado

As a property owner, you may wonder whether having a pet increases your liability in some way or even if a tenant has a pet that attacks another person. Determining liability in a dog bite or animal attack case can be challenging without the help of an attorney. Working with experienced legal counsel can help ensure your rights are protected.

At Flesch & Beck Law, our attorneys work tirelessly to ensure that injured parties receive the compensation they deserve if they are hurt by another person’s recklessness or wrongdoing. If you are attacked on another person’s property by an animal or a guest’s dog bites you, contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

How Do Pets Affect Your Premises Liability Case?

If someone is injured on your property as a result of a pet attack, you may be held liable. While Colorado’s strict liability dog bite laws only apply to the dog owner in cases of bodily injury, however, you may be held liable as a property owner under certain circumstances.

What is Premises Liability?

As a property owner, you are required to keep your premises in a reasonably safe condition for guests and invitees. Failure to do so may result in liability if someone is harmed as a result of your negligence. Referred to as premises liability, a landowner may also be held legally responsible if they have a known hazard on their property that causes harm to someone on their property. 

Legal Responsibilities of Pet Owners

Pet owners are required to control their animals. For instance, they must obey all leash laws and properly secure their dog. A pet owner who owes a person a duty of care and breaches that duty may be held accountable for their actions. Cases may be brought against dog owners under the theories of strict liability or negligence depending on the circumstances of the case.

If the dog causes serious injury or death to a person who is lawfully on private or public property, the dog owner may be held strictly liable even if the dog had no prior acts of viciousness and the owner did not know of its dangerous propensities. 

Under most circumstances, however, a dog bite or animal attack case will be based on negligence. Negligence occurs when the person owed a duty of care and breached that duty, resulting in harm. Tragically, many dog bites and animal attacks are perpetrated against children. Children can suffer severe injuries and lifelong trauma as a result of the incident.

Property Owners With Pets

Property owners with pets owe a duty of care to invited guests and individuals who are lawfully on their property. If their pet causes the person harm, they may be held legally responsible unless the person knowingly provoked the dog. A property owner will also not be liable to a person who suffers harm from a dog while trespassing on the property.

Guests With Pets

As a landowner, if your guest has a pet that causes harm to another person, you may only be held liable if you created the danger or failed to use reasonable care, resulting in harm. If the landowner did not create the situation that caused the harm, it is unlikely that they will be held liable. The pet owner, however, may face legal responsibility.

Service Animals and Premises Liability

Under Colorado law, the person who has control or custody over a service animal is responsible for any damages done to a person or property by the animal. While service animals are protected under state and federal law, an owner must be able to control the animal. 

If the animal poses a threat to others, it will not be afforded the normal accommodations of a service animal. Property owners may be held responsible for harm caused by the animal if they knew the dog was dangerous or if they created a dangerous situation resulting in injury to another person. 

The Importance of Proper Legal Representation

If you are injured on another person’s property by an animal, it is essential to secure proper legal representation. Working with a dedicated legal team can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after an injury. Our attorneys can help you pursue an insurance claim or file a civil lawsuit against a negligent landowner. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

At Flesch & Beck Law, we are here to help. Our Denver premises liability lawyers understand how challenging this time may be for you and your family. We will fight to ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case. Experience the difference with our legal team. Contact our firm now to discuss your case directly with a skilled attorney. We have recovered millions on behalf of our clients and will work to get you the compensation you need after an injury.

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Get started with a superior representation that comes with a personal touch. Our team handles cases in the Denver Metro Area and throughout Colorado. Please get in touch with us today, either by phone or online. We look forward to speaking with you.

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333 W. Hampden Avenue Suite 750
Englewood, CO 80110
Fax: (303) 806-8882
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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