Portland Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a dog bite attack, you will need a committed Portland dog bite attorney to navigate Oregon’s complicated dog bite laws to ensure that you are compensated for your losses. Our attorneys at DuBois Law Group specialize in dog bite victims and will work tirelessly to hold negligent dog owners accountable for their vicious dogs.
Every year in the United States over 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs, with many of these bites being serious enough to require medical treatment. Dog bites are traumatic events that can have catastrophic results. A serious dog bite to the face may cause injuries serious enough to require months, even years of painful reconstructive surgery. Dog bite attacks can cause life-threatening injuries to the spinal cord, brain, or vital organs. In addition to the physical injuries suffered by dog bite victims, there may be extensive psychological damage, especially to children.
Why Choose Us
- We are dedicated to securing maximum compensation in your case. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
- Our firm takes on a limited number of cases at a time, ensuring that our attorneys can provide you with the dedication and personalized attention you deserve.
- We take a proactive role in our clients’ health. Our firm operates a separate medical department staffed by healthcare professionals who can connect you with the treatment you need.
Oregon Dog Bite Laws
When it comes to dog bites, Oregon follows a strict liability statute. State law establishes that a dog owner is liable for all economic damages that occur after his or her dog bites another person, regardless of negligence. If the dog bites another person, the owner must pay for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and necessary expenses for substitute domestic services, such as childcare.
The owner cannot escape fault by claiming that he or she did not believe that the dog was dangerous or that he or she took the necessary precautions to prevent the bite. However, the victim is not eligible for damages if he or she provoked the dog to bite or if he or she was trespassing on the owner’s property.
If the dog owner’s negligence was responsible for the bite—or any other injury caused by the animal, such as knocking the victim down—he or she may be liable for all resulting losses. In addition to economic damages, the victim could hold the owner accountable for pain and suffering damages, which may include chronic pain, emotional distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Protect Your Rights – Call Us Today – (503) 222-4411
The dog bite laws in Oregon are complicated, so hiring a Portland dog bite attorney is the smartest thing to do. It has been said that there is no such thing as a bad dog; there are only bad dog owners. In other words, if a pet attacks, it is usually because the pet was mistreated, was brought up wrong, was trained to be aggressive, or was not properly controlled. The law recognizes that a dog bite is often the fault of the dog’s owner, and so the owner is responsible for paying compensation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in painful, debilitating injuries that require lengthy recovery times. Puncture wounds, permanent scarring, and disfigurement may occur after a dog attack. You may also sustain broken bones, eye injuries, and permanent nerve damage due to the animal. However, one of the most serious consequences of a dog bite is the risk of infection.
Dogs may carry dangerous bacteria in their saliva that can be passed to humans through a bite. If you are bit by a dog and do not receive immediate medical attention, you can develop serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases. Some of the most common types of dog bite infections include the following.
- Staph infections
- Pasteurella infections
- Strep infections
- Capnocytophaga infections
You Deserve Fair Compensation
In cases where the dog owner knew of the dog’s vicious propensities, the owner would be held strictly liable. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a serious dog bite, talk to our Portland personal injury lawyers. You may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Present and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Lost wages
- Reconstructive surgery
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Psychological services
Dog Owners Should Be Held Accountable
Why do dogs bite? It is important to remember that dogs are animals and any dog, no matter how docile, can bite under certain circumstances. Dog bites generally occur when the dogs are:
- Acting to protect its property or owner
- Eating or sleeping
- Trying to establish dominance
- Feeling threatened
Some dogs are aggressive due to old age or illness and some types of breeds are more likely to pose a safety risk than others. Some breeds that have been identified as “high risk” for causing injury (whether by nature or nurture) are Akitas, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherd, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies, and Bullmastiffs to name a few. If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog attack, call our experienced Portland dog bite attorneys so that we can begin an investigation into your case and you can start the road to healing.
Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their dogs do not harm others; whether that means they keep their dog on a leash at all times, place the dog in confinement when guests visit or are properly warning others that their dog may be dangerous.
Dog bites can be minor. They can also quickly become serious if not promptly and properly treated. Infection can occur; stitches may be required for proper healing; and extreme cases may result in debilitating, long-term wounds that alter a person’s way of life. Dog bite injuries can also cause emotional trauma. Regardless of the degree of injury, a dog bite victim has the right to hold a careless pet owner accountable for their dog’s actions.
Do You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer In Portland?
After a dog attack, it is important to seek the advice of a dog bite attorney. Hiring legal help can allow you to represent your case provides you with an advocate that will fight for your right to maximum recovery during each stage of your case.
A dog bite lawyer can protect your rights during the litigation process and represent you in your claim, crafting a compelling case for the owner’s liability. Your attorney can also defend you against accusations of fault, providing clear evidence to establish your right to compensation. He or she can also calculate your estimated damages, evaluate settlement offers, and argue for higher compensation on your behalf.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
Being injured by a dog can be jarring and scary. It is challenging to know what to do after facing a severe injury from a dog bite. It is important that you call for emergency medical services, if necessary. We also recommend requesting a police officer to come to the accident scene to file a police report. If you do not need emergency services, we still recommend immediately going to a hospital or urgent care. Undergoing a thorough medical evaluation will help you establish your legal compensation claim. It is important that you do not admit fault unintentionally and that you tell your doctor all of these symptoms you are experiencing.
After you receive medical treatment, we recommend contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer in Portland. At DuBois Law Group, we have successfully represented many clients in personal injury cases, and we offer new clients a free consultation so you can get to know us and learn more about how we can fight for you. Skilled dog bite injury lawyers can help you build an effective case and make it as strong as possible before negotiating with the insurance company or defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. We will also take the following important steps to seek the compensation you deserve.
Investigate the Dog and the Dog Owner
Investigating the dog that bit you is an important first step. If the dog has a history of biting or exhibiting aggressive behavior, we will find out. When a dog has an aggressive history, the owner may be liable under strict liability laws for the injuries that the dog caused. In a strict liability dog bite case, you do not have to prove that the owner was negligent. You only have to prove that the dog bit you and caused your injuries.
We will also investigate whether the dog owner or person responsible for the dog violated any city or county laws. If so, we can use the law to hold the dog owner liable for damages caused by the dog, even if the dog had never bitten someone before. There may be local laws that the owner violated when the dog bite attack happened. Proving that the dog owner violated a law can help you in your legal claim.
Interview the Witnesses
Next, we will interview any witnesses to the dog by accident. There could be video footage or pictures of the accident, especially if it happens indoors. If CCTV footage caught the accident, we will obtain the footage and use it to prove that the dog bite caused your injuries. Sometimes dog owners claim that the victim provoked the dog, causing the accident. We will use interviews and video footage showing that the dog bit you without provocation.
Calculate Your Damages
At DuBois Law Group, we have an extensive network of experts who can help us determine the total amount of compensation you are due for your losses. It is important that we accurately determine how much your dog bite injuries will cost you now and in the future. If a child experiences a severe dog bite to the face, that child may need multiple surgeries, skin grafting, physical therapy, and could still be disfigured for life. We want to make sure that our clients obtain the full amount of compensation they deserve. Successful claimants are entitled to the following compensation:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering
- Any other property damage or financial loss caused by the dog bite injury
Dog Bite Injuries Caused by High-Risk Breeds
Any dog can bite a human, but some breeds bite at higher rates than others. A recent study reviewing 15 years of dog-related facial trauma caused by dog bites pointed out that there are an estimated 4.7 million people in the United States injured by dog bites every year. Of those victims, 20% require medical care. Children between age 5 and 9 are the most likely group to require medical treatment.
The top biter is classified as an unknown breed. In these cases, the victims and police officers were not able to identify the dog’s breed. Dogs with short heads that weigh between 66 and 100 pounds pose the most significant risk, with pit bulls, mixed breeds, German Shepherds, terriers, and Rottweilers biting the most people.
Children Are the Most Likely Group to Be Killed by Dog Bites
Sadly, children are the most at risk when it comes to dog bite injuries. Many dog bite victims are children, and children are the most likely to die because of dog bite injuries. Young children under 2 years old are at an especially high risk of dying from dog bite injuries. Children cannot bring a lawsuit, but their parents, conservator, or guardian ad litem can bring a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf. When a child passes away from a dog bite, his or her surviving family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner. The child’s family can recover medical expenses, funeral costs, and damages for pain and suffering.
Getting Bitten by an Emotional Support Animal
Using an emotional support animal has become more common than ever. Unfortunately, some people bring emotional support animals to public places that are not certified emotional support animals. These animals may not have had the proper training and may be more likely to bite an unsuspecting victim. Most people trust service animals more than other types of animals, but service animals can attack in restaurants, on streets, in airports, and on planes. If you have been injured by a service animal or any other type of animal, you may be entitled to compensation, and the best thing you can do is speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
Contact DuBois Law Group
If you are bitten by a dog, you have the right to hold the animal’s owner accountable. In these situations, the Portland dog bite attorneys at DuBois Law Group can represent you in your claim and fight for your right to recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your legal options.