Colorado Bicycle Accident Lawyers: Dog Chase
Dogs may be man’s best friend but most cyclists will attest to the fact that dogs are not a bicyclist’s best friend. Many of us have been out biking when out of nowhere a dog comes racing out of a yard, acting aggressively, charging towards the rider. Many times, the dogs are simply curious or bored and have no intention of causing harm. The problem stems from the fact that a cyclist is often unaware of the dog’s attentions. Rarely is it a dog that is known to the rider and, although the owner may know that the dog is friendly and wouldn’t hurt a fly, in that split second of surprise and terror, the cyclist may believe that the dog is vicious and does not have the best of intentions. Unfortunately, most of these dog chase bicycle accident cases end badly not because the dog ends up biting the bicyclist, but because the biker crashes trying to elude the dog. Whether the dog actually bites you or you end up crashing trying to get away from a dog chasing you, a number of legal complexities arise in these scenarios.
Take Action After a Dog Chase Bicycle Accident
Obviously, the most important thing that must be done after an injury occurs as a result of a dog is identifying the dog. This may be simpler said than done but without knowing the identity of the dog and subsequently its owner, very little can be done make a recovery if you’ve been injured. Knowing the identity of the dog allows for the investigation into what insurance coverage may be available, and, if none, any personal assets which may be applicable to your injuries.
Many people mistakenly believe that whenever a dog is loose and causes someone an injury, the owner is always responsible. While this statement may be partially true, trying to collect on a claim or judgment from an owner is an entirely different story. Specifically, the owner may be “judgment proof” and carry no insurance and completely unable to pay for even small medical bills. This does not mean that any hope of recovery is lost. Other avenues need to be explored including other residents of the home where the dog resides, the owner of the home if different from the dog owner, a dog sitter who may be temporarily responsible for the dog, and even possibly previous owners of the dog, if applicable.
Another mistaken belief is in regards to the “one bite rule”. People believe that if the dog does not have a history of biting before, the owner has no legal responsibility for the injury caused from a bite. Colorado law, however, still applies the same legal test for negligence regardless if the dog has bitten before. Namely, a jury will examine if the owner or responsible party violated any loose animal statute in allowing the dog to run loose. If the dog does have a history of either biting or running at large, this can be used as “notice” to the responsible party that, either the dog is vicious or has run after bicyclists before and they should have been more vigilant about controlling the dog.
Bicycling crashes involving dogs present unique issues with respect to liability and locating the proper party who is not only responsible but who can also provide compensation for any injuries sustained. As such, it is important to speak with an attorney skilled in bicycling cases who know the ins and outs of these types of cases and the unique complexities associated with them.
Contact Us Today
At Zinda Law Group, we have provided counsel to many bicycle accident victims and their loved ones throughout Colorado. We are avid cyclists ourselves and are keenly aware of the legal nuances involved as well as the emotional support necessary to help the biking victims and their loved ones cope with their loss.
We provide a free initial consultation to all of our clients. You can contact us through our website or call us at 303-800-1501. We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee arrangement. There is no charge to our clients unless a recovery is obtained.