People in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs will all agree–Coloradans love their dogs. But whether it’s your first pet or the most recent in a long line of pad-footed family members, you adopt a series of legal obligations when you adopt a dog. It’s important to understand what these are and how they apply to you as a pet owner, because strict liability statutes can be harsh and nobody wants a personal injury case brought against them because of their four-legged loved one.
Breeds To Look Out For
Statistically speaking, the following breeds are most likely to be involved in a lawsuit:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Mixed Breeds
- Jack Russel Terriers
- Chow Chows
- Saint Bernards
- Labrador Retriever
This doesn’t mean that these dogs are problematic in themselves. Even Chihuahuas are renowned for their aggression, while larger dogs are often gentle giants. Still, no matter how domesticated a pet is, it’s an animal, and not all behavior is understood by or can be predicted by humans.
Any dog can act out and snap. Training your canine companion, no matter what breed, is of course very important. Nevertheless, even if a dog is fully trained and very friendly, if it feels threatened or perceives a threat to its owner, it can act defensively.
Potential Damages That Could Be Incurred
Predicting how a dog bite injury could affect the bitten party is difficult. Although the size and strength of your dog might be an indication, many owners attest that when their dog becomes aggressive, they’re unrecognizable. Since there’s a chance that severe attacks could result even in wrongful death, attorneys would advise extra precaution at all times.
Do’s and Don’ts
So what is a diligent dog owner to do? You can only have so much control over a pet’s actions, no matter how well-trained they are. If you’re concerned about being liable, you should consult a personal injury lawyer to find out if you could be doing more to keep your furry friend safe from litigation.The Bourassa Law Group, with a record of success, can help.
Some steps are easy for any dog owner to take, such as using a leash, training and socializing your dog, and posting “beware of dog” signs on your property. It’s also important to ensure your dog is vaccinated for rabies. A big contributor to claims and liability is negligence on your part, so acting as a responsible pet owner and taking reasonable steps to prevent an attack can help in the event of a lawsuit.
It’s also important to avoid the following:
- Leaving a dog unattended with people it’s not completely familiar with
- Leaving a dog at home with guests or workers, without any residents present
- Letting a dog off a leash in public
- Letting strangers pet your dog without first finding out if they know how to let a dog sniff them
- Letting people enter your home without letting your dog sniff them
- Leaving a dog out of your sight in public
- Trust your dog around children without supervision; kids often pull tails or poke and prod, which can upset the dog.
At Bourassa Law Group, you can get free consultations with attorneys in the Denver area so that you can get custom advice with no obligations. Ourstaff includes slip and fall lawyers, pedestrian accident lawyers, and burn injury lawyers. To get in touch with their stellar team, click here to fill out the contact form.
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