Dogs are “family with tails” in countless Gresham households. Dog lovers, especially children, beam with joy when crossing paths with friendly dogs while exploring parks, running errands, and visiting friends and neighbors. Most domesticated canines are harmless and are not obviously dangerous to strangers unfamiliar with the dog.

Such a dog may, nonetheless, be known to its owner as dangerous when triggering circumstances arise. Oregon dog owners who know (or should know) that their dog tends to bite can be held strictly liable for medical costs from dog bite injuries. This is commonly (and incorrectly) known as the “one bite rule,” as no prior bite is needed for the one bite rule to apply. This is because dogs can be dangerous for reasons other than biting such as chasing bicyclists or small children.

A dog attack can cause severe injury and emotional trauma, especially in situations where the dog bites a vulnerable person in a sensitive body area. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. If a dog attacks and injures you or your child, a Gresham dog bite lawyer can pursue compensation for expenses and losses from the attack. Rizk Law understands how to counter powerful insurance company tactics to secure compensation that dog bite victims deserve.

You and your family’s well-being is our priority. Rizk Law attorneys are here for you should you need us. Contact us today to discuss your situation without obligation. Let Rizk Law be your Gresham dog bite lawyers.

How a Gresham, OR, Dog Bite Attorney Can Help You

If a dog has recently attacked you or a family member, its owner may owe you compensation, but navigating the legal process is overwhelming for most non-lawyers. It is difficult to devote time necessary to your claim while juggling medical appointments and other economic and psychological fallout from the attack. Fortunately, Rizk Law’s Gresham dog bite lawyers can carry the claim load so you have space to focus on recovery.

At Rizk Law, we know the methods insurers use to deny and minimize dog bite claims. Richard Rizk, founder of our firm and a former German Shepherd owner himself, has worked for, against, and with many of the country’s largest insurers. He knows that insurers often tease victims with low-ball offers and often “victim blame” persons with legitimate injury claims. Let his insider knowledge be your edge.

Upon hiring us, Rizk Law will investigate and pursue a claim against the responsible party. After gathering all available and necessary evidence of the incident and resulting losses, we usually initially attempt to resolve the dispute via a detailed demand letter we create (subject to your approval) and send to potentially responsible persons and entities. We will then negotiate with the assigned claims examiner and any involved defense lawyers. If needed and with your approval, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and proceed accordingly.

Throughout the legal process, your Rizk Law Gresham dog bite lawyers will be available to answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you understand your rights and options as we help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Experiencing a dog attack is bad enough as it is. Let Rizk Law carry the load toward resolution.

What to Do If You Are Attacked by a Dog

Knowing what to do if attacked by a dog is critical for your health and safety, as well as for the outcome of your dog bite claim.

After a dog attack, you should:

  • Take photos of the dog, your injuries, the scene of the incident, and any other physical evidence, such as torn clothing or property.
  • Get the dog owner’s name and contact information.
  • Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment and follow the doctor’s treatment plan to the letter.
  • Report the dog attack to Multnomah County Animal Services.
  • Avoid posting about the incident on social media.
  • Contact a Gresham dog bite attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.

The actions you take following a dog attack can affect the outcome of your case. By protecting your rights, you can improve your chances of securing maximum compensation for your injuries.

What Compensation Could You Recover in a Dog Bite Claim?

The amount of compensation available in a dog bite claim depends on the specific facts of the case, including the severity of your injuries, their effect on your life and health, and whether the dog’s owner was negligent in the handling of the animal. Your Gresham dog bite lawyer may pursue compensation for a variety of losses, including:

  • All medical expenses, including anticipated future expenses related to the injury
  • Lost income, including loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering, when possible

A dog attack can require extensive medical treatment, and the fear and trauma that result from the incident itself can have lasting effects on a dog bite victim. Your attorney will account for all of the effects of the incident when calculating an appropriate amount of dog bite compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Oregon?

In Oregon, you have two years from the injury date to file a dog bite lawsuit against the owner of the dog that bit you. While this may seem like a long time, there are disadvantages to waiting too long to take legal action against the dog owner.

Keep in mind, injury demand letters take time to prepare and require investigation and collection supporting documents such as medical records and bills. In some cases, written medical opinions from medical providers and other experts are needed to prove a claim. You want your lawyers to have sufficient time to research, prepare, and negotiate your claim.

Wounds heal. Witnesses move. As unfair as it may seem, it’s the victim’s burden to prove their case. Some evidence associated with a dog attack may vanish or change, which will be much more difficult — and potentially impossible — to analyze if you do not act quickly after the incident. Time is not on your side. Contact a dog bite lawyer with Rizk Law today.

How Long Can It Take to Settle a Dog Bite Case?

The amount of time it takes to reach a settlement in a dog bite case depends on many factors, including:

  • The type and severity of the injuries and the medical treatment those injuries require
  • The time it takes to gather and evaluate evidence
  • The time spent on negotiations between the parties and their legal teams
  • Expert testimony
  • Whether the case reaches a settlement or goes to court
  • Internal procedures and workload in the court system
  • Whether either party appeals the court’s decision

Cases of this sort may take anywhere from several months to several years to settle. It ultimately depends on the specifics of the incident. Initiating the legal process as soon as possible after a dog bite can help avoid delays that may jeopardize your claim and prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

What Is Oregon’s Dog Bite Law?

Oregon assigns strict liability to dog owners for economic losses caused by the owner’s dog bite claims. In other words, a dog owner is responsible for medical bills, lost income, and other “objectively verifiable monetary losses” caused by the owner’s dog bite.

According to Oregon dog bite laws, the victim of a dog attack does not have to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner in order to recover money lost (usually medical costs) due to the bite. However, proof of dog owner negligence opens the door for the victim to pursue non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Is the Dog Owner Responsible for Injuries from a Dog Attack in Oregon?

Again, under Oregon’s strict liability statute for dog attacks, the dog’s owner is responsible for the economic cost of injuries resulting from an attack. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property or intentionally provoking the dog.

A Gresham animal attack attorney can review your case to determine your options for recovery and then pursue them accordingly.

What If the Person Bitten Is Partly Responsible?

Depending on circumstances, a dog bite victim could still recover compensation even if they are partially at fault but damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the victim. However, the victim must prove the dog and dog owner were at least 50% at fault or pain and suffering damages will be barred. Complexities of dog bite law make it more important than ever to seek assistance from an experienced dog bite team.

What Are Common Injuries in Dog Bite Cases?

A wide variety of injuries can result from dog bites. Some of the most common include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Facial injuries

A dog bite case can also result in psychological and emotional injuries. It is not uncommon for a dog attack victim to experience post-traumatic stress, anxiety around other dogs, nightmares, depression due to severe injury or disfigurement, and other emotional effects.

Contact a Gresham, OR, Dog Bite Lawyer

If you have endured pain and anguish from a dog bite, you may be facing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Depending on the circumstances, the dog’s owner may owe you compensation for medical expenses and other losses arising from the attack.

Rizk Law understands the challenges associated with dog bite injuries, and our team is here to help you pursue the compensation, justice, and closure you deserve. We will take care of every element of your case, from preparing your claim to handling all communications with third parties, filing paperwork, and meeting important legal deadlines. Our job is to take this burden off your shoulders while you focus on healing.

Contact Rizk Law today to arrange a free initial case evaluation with an experienced dog bite attorney in Gresham.