Denver, CO asked in Personal Injury, Animal / Dog Law, Insurance Defense and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado

Q: If someone else's cat bit me, after it had entered my house and I tried to remove it, can i be liable or sued?

I woke up and I hear meowing coming from somewhere, and I thought it was my cat. It was actually another person's cat that was outside my front door. I didn't know this because it had no collar and I hadn't seen it before. Over the next couple of hours the cat stayed out there. I had gone and came back and as I was bringing things inside and the cat got inside my apartment. I chased it for about 30 seconds and it hid under my coffee table and I was able to grab it and as I did so the animal began to bite and claw at me furiously multiple times and I have had multiple bite wounds. I was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the ER where I got a rabies shot. 2 days later Animal Control notified me that they had found the owner and the cat had a rabies shot that expired 8 months prior. Now I am receiving phone calls from a claims adjuster that wants to speak with me about "the incident with the cat." can I be sued by the owner of that cat? Or my property management?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Most likely the adjuster is calling you to pay for your injuries so you don't sue the owner. But, I do not know. I would recommend taking the call to find out what the adjuster wants.

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Englewood, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: What happened to the cat? I’m not sure what the cat’s owner could sue you for unless you killed or seriously injured her cat and even if you did that an insurance adjuster would not be calling you, it would be a lawyer. You would have defenses against any claim since the cat was trespassing.

Did you use private health insurance and indicate that another person’s pet caused your injuries? Did you make any claim under renters insurance? If so an adjuster for your insurance company may be contacting you about benefits and to determine if they can go after her for your expenses (subrogation).

I also can’t think of any reason your property management would or could sue you; if anything you could potentially make a claim under premises liability if they had notice of the cat being around and dangerous but that’s a long shot.

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