Dog Laws In Colorado

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Colorado imposes liability on dog owners for economic damages for dog bites resulting in serious injury or death to a person lawfully on public or private property regardless of the owner’s negligence or fault.

“Dog owner” means a person, firm, corporation, or organization owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, having financial or property interest in, or having control or custody of, a dog.

“Economic damages” include current and future medical or rehabilitation bills, medications, current and future lost wages, loss of earning power and other injury-related costs.

“Serious bodily injury” is defined as injuries involving substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of any part or organ of the body, or bone breaks or fractures.

This liability for economic damages applies even if the dog owner did not know of a dog’s propensity for dangerousness, or the dog never bit anyone before. The following are exceptions to this general rule:

  1. The injured person is not lawfully on public or private land;
  2. The injured person is injured on dog owner’s property that is clearly marked with one or more signs that state “No Trespassing,” or “Beware of Dog;”
  3. Where a dog is actively working for police or military entities in the performance of its police or military duties;
  4. When the injured person knowingly provoked or incited the dog;
  5. If the injured person is a veterinary worker, canine groomer, dog handler, trainer, or dog show judge acting in the performance of their respective duties;
  6. If the injury occurs while a dog is working as a hunting, herding, farm or ranch dog, or is working as predator control dog under the control of the dog’s owner.

Colorado also allows recovery for injuries from dog bites resulting from a dog owner’s negligence. Where negligence is proven, an injured person may recover damages for injuries caused by a dog bite and/or in a manner other than a bite, such as a knockdown.

In addition, where a dog owner’s negligence is proven to have caused injury to a person, the injured person may recover both economic, and non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages include physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of spousal consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental or psychological harm.


In Colorado, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of injury. This means you must file a lawsuit against the owner/keeper of the dog within that time, or you will be forever time barred from pursuing a case.


Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-124

Injured By A Dog?

Dog Injuries Contact Form


The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed through the use of this website.  Laws relating to dog injuries can, and do, change.  To learn your legal rights, contact The Snow Law Firm, or contact a licensed and experienced attorney in your state.


In most states, when a minor is bitten or injured by a dog, the statute of limitation period does not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of 18.  Thus, for example, if an 11-year-old child is bitten or injured by a dog in a state that has a 3 year statute of limitation period within which to file a lawsuit, they will have three years from the date they turn 18 years of age, and would thus have to file a lawsuit before they turn 21 years of age.  In most instances, however, it is recommended that a parent or guardian bring a claim for a dog bite or injury claim on behalf of a minor child before waiting for the injured child to turn 18.


Some states limit the type of damages that a person bitten or injured by a dog can recover.  In most states, however, a person who is bitten or injured by a dog can recover damages that include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, scarring, permanency of injury, periods of total and/or partial disability and loss of spousal consortium.