Dog Bite Attorney in Portland Oregon

Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC
111 SW Columbia Street, Suite 710, Portland, OR, 97201

A dog bite can be a traumatic experience, especially, when the bite is caused by someone else’s dog and results in a serious injury. Long-lasting or permanent injuries such as nerve damage or scarring may occur as a result of dog bites.

Victims should seek advice from an experienced Portland dog bite injury attorney in order to pursue a successful legal claim against those who are responsible.

The accomplished attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Portland, OR can offer you the right legal advice following a dog bite injury and ensure that you receive your rightful compensation.


What Should You Do Following a Dog Bite?

Your health and safety is a priority, and the first thing you should do after a dog attack is seek proper medical attention.

Dog bites are prone to infection which makes it important that you have the wound thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before any sutures (stitches) are applied. Also, make sure you identify the dog and dog’s owner as soon as possible after your injury.

Dog bite injury compensation in Portland, Oregon will normally be paid by the dog owner’s home insurance company. Therefore, identifying the dog owner becomes crucial because the claim must be filed against them.

Following medical treatment, your next step should be to report the incident to the appropriate government agency. This can either be a law enforcement agency or an animal control agency.

You should also try to take pictures of the dog bite injury before the medical dressing is done. Last, but not the least, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the injury. This will ensure that proper steps are taken to get you the appropriate damages.

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Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury in Portland, OR?

‘One bite rule’ applies in Oregon for dog bite legal claims. The dog’s owner is responsible when their dog bites someone – provided the owner has actual knowledge of the dog displaying aggressive tendencies in the past, and/or if the dog has previously bitten someone else and the owner has actual knowledge of the incident.

If the dog bite occurs on the premises of an apartment complex in Portland, for instance, then the property management company or premises owner may also be liable for any injuries that result from the dog bite – provided they knew about the dog’s history of biting or its dangerous tendencies.

Potential Damages that can be recovered in a Dog Bite Injury in Oregon

You can recover the following types of damages, if you were injured in a dog attack that occurred due to someone else’s negligence in Portland, OR.

  • Damages for past and future medical bills
  • Damages for lost wages
  • Damages for future lost wages, if the injury happens to be permanent
  • Damages for pain and suffering
  • Damages for replacement services

While no amount of money in the form of damages will ever make up for the disruption in your life that results after a serious dog bite injury, filing a claim is the only suitable remedy provided under Oregon law.

How to Prove Liability in Dog Bite Cases in Portland, OR

Oregon is a ‘One Bite Rule’ state which means that the owner of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog only if they had past indications or other reasons to believe that their dog is dangerous. The governing words here are “only if”.

This means that under some situations the dog’s owner will not be legally liable for the damages caused by their dog. For instance, technically the owner will not be liable if the dog bites someone visiting their home when the dog has no previous history of biting anyone.

This is a hurdle in recovering damages in many dog bite cases in Oregon, primarily because it can be tough to prove that the dog owner knew in advance about the animal’s dangerous instincts.

However, there are some exceptions to the ‘One Bite Rule’ and a qualified Portland dog bite attorney will be able to explore them to your benefit.

Where the dog has a known history of attacks, the dog owner in Portland will face more severe laws. In such a case, the owner can be held liable if the dog injured another person – even if the owner took precautions or made efforts to prevent the dog from attacking.

What are the Exceptions to ‘One Bite Rule’ Under Oregon Law?

You need to have a clear understanding of Oregon’s dog bite laws and ways to prove negligence if you are considering filing an injury claim against the dog’s owner after suffering a dog bite in Portland.

Dog bites can lead to both serious physical and emotional harm for the victim. However, in order to recover damages, the victim will have to prove that the dog’s owner had reason to believe the dog was dangerous.

There are exceptions to this rule. A dedicated Portland dog bite lawyer will be able to explore these exceptions for serious injuries by properly investigating the incident.

Exceptions include:

  1. If the dog trespasses on someone else’s property. For instance, a dog wanders away from the owner and bites someone in front of their house.
  2. The dog is intentionally commanded by the owner to attack.
  3. The owner is negligent in preventing the dog from causing harm. For instance, the owner fails to repair a part of the fence which allows the dog to escape and bite a passerby.

It can be especially hard to prove knowledge of danger or negligence, in cases where the dog breed is known to be harmless or non-violent. On the contrary, Oregon laws are much more severe and the expectations are clearly defined for owners to be more cautious, where the dog breed is known to be prone to violence.

Can a Worker Claim Workers’ Compensation in Dog Bite Injuries?

Deliverymen, mail carriers, and other similar professionals who are required to enter homes or walk on private property as part of their job description are given ‘implied invitation’ to enter the premises.

A worker who enters the premises lawfully, within the scope of their employment can submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Portland, Oregon, if they are bitten by a dog.

Medical and wage replacement benefits are provided under workers’ comp insurance to employees who are injured on the job. An employee may also have a claim against the owner of the dog when they are injured in Portland, OR – as long as the dog owner is not their employer.

Additional compensation for pain and suffering and other losses not covered under workers’ compensation can possibly be claimed through a third party lawsuit in Portland.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Dog Bite Cases?

An injured party can bring a legal claim against the owner to collect compensation for their losses in Portland OR, even if the owner of the dog does not have homeowner’s insurance coverage.

Depending on the specifics of the case, damage resulting from dog bites may be covered by homeowner’s insurance, if the bite occurs on owner’s property. Dog bites may also be covered by animal insurance, if the owner elected to purchase such insurance or automobile insurance if the injury occurred while the victim was present in the owner’s motor vehicle.

The injured party can still bring a legal claim against the owner if the dog’s owner does not have coverage to collect compensation for their losses.

A knowledgeable Portland dog attack attorney will ask to see the ‘declarations page’ of homeowners’, renters’, or animal insurance. They will determine whether the owner has supplemental policy, if the insurance limits seem inadequate.

These documents can be obtained during the discovery phase of a lawsuit where attorneys from both sides share information regarding the injury, if the dog’s owner denies having coverage or is unwilling to provide the details.

Choose an Experienced Portland Dog Bite Attorney Today

The attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Portland, Oregon have extensive knowledge and experience in handling dog bite cases, and understand the seriousness of a victim’s injuries and their potential losses.

Our lawyers are dedicated to helping Portland’s dog bite victims recover maximum possible compensation in every case. Call us today at 800-285-8678 to schedule a free consultation.

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!