When to Sue After a Dog Bites You
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Apr 05, 2023 in Personal Injury
Dogs are loyal and protective companions. While we love them, there are times when a person’s negligence can lead to a serious and painful dog bite accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 1 in 5 of those bitten by a dog require medical attention. In most cases, the fault belongs to the owner rather than the dog.
Similar to other animals, dogs act on instinct, and owners must take the necessary precautions to keep their companions and other people safe from harm. If a dog owner’s negligence results in you suffering painful and debilitating injuries, contact a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer. While you may hesitate to pursue legal action due to the fear of harming the dog, you have the right to hold the owner accountable and question their care for the dog.
Understanding Oregon’s “One Bite Rule”
Some Oregon residents have the misconception that the dog has to have previously bitten someone for them to hold the owner at fault for their injuries. However, Oregon’s “one bite rule” states that a dog owner, harborer, or keeper is legally responsible for damages caused by the animal if they knew there was a predisposition for the animal to do something harmful. This doesn’t just mean a previous attack but also the recognition that they become more aggressive around people or they have behavioral issues due to previous ownership.
For example, suppose an owner has a dog that was abused by previous owners and understands they become extremely aggressive around certain people. In that case, they may be held at fault for damages to those unaware of the dangers. When a dog owner has knowledge of a dog’s aggressive tendencies, they are responsible for keeping those around the animal from harm.
Proving Negligence in Dog Bite Cases
One of the most important aspects of a dog bite case is proving the individual or owner is responsible for the accident. Even if they were unaware of their animal’s aggression or threatening behavior, they may still be responsible for damages when:
- They are negligent in preventing harm
- They intentionally cause the animal to inflict harm
To prove the owner’s negligence, a judge will need evidence to prove the dog owner’s lack of ordinary care to prevent the dog from causing harm and whether they acted reasonably in the given situation. With the assistance of a professional lawyer a dog bite victims must prove the following:
- The dog was in the owner’s possession
- The owner’s lack of control or confinement of the dog
- The owner’s level of knowledge about the dog’s potentially dangerous behavior
- The owner’s failure to use reasonable care and prevent the dog from causing injuries
Under Oregon law, dog bite victims have two years from the accident to file a dog bite claim with the local branch of Oregon’s civil court system. While individuals have within two years, we recommend filing as soon as possible since evidence and information are best collected directly after the accident.
Contact Attorney Richard Rizk for an Award-Winning Dog Bite Lawyer in Oregon
Our Rizk Law lawyers love animals, especially dogs; and we understand how challenging it can be to pursue legal action for a dog bite. The owner has a responsibility to stop and understand the dog’s behavior before subjecting others to the potential dangers of the animal’s behavior. We pursue and will hold the owner accountable for their inaction and negligence. If you are unsure or hesitant, speak with Attorney Richard Rizk, who will thoroughly explain the process of filing a dog accident claim.