Eugene Dog Bite Lawyers
In most cases, dogs are man’s best friends. But in some cases, a dog can cause severe and catastrophic injuries – even your own dog can bite. A dog might bite for any reason, including abuse and lack of training. Many people also blame the breed, though any dog that is well-trained is less likely to bite. But you should never let up your guard, especially if you have children or the dog is eating. Like you, dogs do not like to be bothered when they are eating. And children, without meaning to, can irritate a dog because they do not know how to read a dog’s body language.
Oregon’s dog bite laws are complicated. If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite, contact Eugene dog bite lawyers at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys at (206) 741-1051 for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
How Our Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Eugene Can Help
Our dog bite lawyers are well-versed in Oregon’s dog bite laws. Once you retain us, we will investigate the case, including determining whether the owner knew or should have known his or her dog was dangerous.
We will collect the evidence needed to recover the compensation you deserve from the dog owner’s insurance company – or the dog owner if he does not have insurance. While you are recovering, we will handle the stress of going back and forth with the insurance company for settlement negotiations.
If the insurance company refuses a fair and reasonable settlement or if the owner does not have insurance, we will be ready to file a lawsuit against the defendant. We also ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment and help you find any specialists you might need.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Attack
In some cases, you might be able to take action after a dog bite. If possible, take photos of the dog and your injuries. If you know the owner or can track down the dog’s home, obtain the address and the owner’s insurance information.
As soon as possible, flush the wound with water. Always seek medical attention after a dog bite. Even a minor bite could become infected. As soon as possible after seeking medical attention, contact a Eugene dog bite attorney so that you can start the process of recovering compensation for your damages.
What is a “Dangerous Dog?”
Oregon statutes define a dangerous dog as one that bites or otherwise inflicts serious physical injury without provocation and in an aggressive manner. The statutes also define a “potentially dangerous dog” as one that has bitten before.
“One Bite” Rule
Oregon uses the “one bite” rule. Under certain circumstances, the law holds the dog owner liable for a bite if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was potentially dangerous.
That does not mean that a dog gets one free bite. If the dog exhibits other vicious behavior, it is enough to classify the dog as potentially dangerous, just as if the dog had bitten you. However, if a dog has never exhibited vicious behavior and has never bitten anyone before, the court might not impose legal responsibility on the dog owner.
Dog bite injury attorneys in Eugene will investigate the incident to determine whether the dog is potentially dangerous and will obtain the evidence needed to move forward with your case.
Behavior that Denotes a Potentially Dangerous Dog
In many cases, it is easy to tell whether a dog exhibits behavior that can tell a person the dog is potentially dangerous. Excessive barking while not on the owner’s property, biting a person, and harming another animal while not on the dog’s own property are all signs of a dog being potentially dangerous.
When a dog exhibits these and other behaviors, the owner is put on notice that his or her dog is potentially dangerous. When a dog owner knows the dog is potentially dangerous, the dog bite victim can recover damages after a dog bite.
Dog Owner Negligence
If a dog owner knows his dog is potentially dangerous but does not take precautions to keep the dog away from others, whether the dog is in its own home or out of its yard, the victim can hold the owner liable for damages.
Since the owner knows her dog is potentially dangerous, she should take precautions such as crating the dog when guests come over – especially people who are not familiar with the dog – or using a muzzle when out in public.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Eugene
Dog bites are a type of personal injury case. Oregon statutes state that a dog bite claim must, in most cases, be made within two years, or the victim is barred from recovering damages.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite or you lost a loved one because of a dog attack, contact a Eugene dog bite lawyer at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys at (206) 741-1051 for a free case evaluation.
Dog Bite Injuries and Recovering Damages
Dog bite injuries and attacks could cause infections, deep puncture wounds, rips and tears in the skin, blood loss, broken bones, paralysis, scars, nerve damage, and death. The victim of a dog bite or attack can hold the dog owner responsible for his injuries or the loss of a loved one.
Damages a victim could recover include:
- Medical expenses, including doctor’s appointments, surgeries, therapies, prescriptions, and ambulatory aids. If the injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities, including traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, medical expenses include updates to your home and vehicle to make them accessible.
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. If the injuries cause disabilities so that you cannot work, you could recover compensation to replace the future income you would lose up to the date you would normally retire.
- Death-related expenses, including funeral, burial, and cremation expenses. If you lost a loved one, you might recover probate expenses, including the cost of a probate attorney and probate court filing fees.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make life-long changes, such as using ambulatory aids or taking prescriptions for the rest of your life.
- Loss of companionship if your injuries prevent you from enjoying time with your family, including attending family activities and events.
- Loss of consortium if your injuries prevent you from having a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of use of a body part or bodily function.
- Excessive scarring and disfigurement.
The more extensive your injuries – or in the case of the death of a loved one due to a dog bite or attack – the more compensation you might recover, especially for injuries that manifest into long-term or permanent disabilities or that cause excessive scarring and disfigurement.
Frequently Asked Question for Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Eugene
After a dog bite accident, victims often have many questions. We can answer some of these questions here. If you still have questions, feel free to contact the office.
Should I call the police after a dog bite or dog attack?
How do I pay my medical expenses while waiting for a settlement or trial award?
How much is my case worth?
Are there any exceptions to the “one-bite” rule?
Does homeowner’s insurance cover dog bites?