Dog Bite Lawyers in Gresham
While dogs are often friendly and many of us consider them to be part of the family, sometimes they bite or attack and cause serious injury. When this happens, victims may not know what to do and whether they may have legal options.
The Gresham dog bite lawyers at Rizk Law understand what dog bite victims go through and want to help. Our firm has a successful track record of recovering favorable compensation for personal injury victims. If we validate your claim in a free consultation, our experienced team of legal professionals is prepared to guide you through the legal process, pursuing maximum compensation. Our founder Richard Rizk is president of the South Portland Business Association.
There will be no legal fees unless you receive compensation, and you are under no obligation to take legal action when you meet with us in your free legal consultation.
Call Rizk Law today at 503.245.5677 or fill out a Case Review form.
Am I Eligible to File a Dog Bite Case?
According to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 609.115, dog owners are strictly liable for medical expenses and other damages if their dog bit or attacked someone and the dog fit the legal definition of a dangerous dog. You do not need to prove the owner was negligent, and this negligence caused you to be attacked or bitten.
According to Oregon law, a dog is considered dangerous when it:
- Menaces someone without provocation, provided the dog is not on property from which the owner can lawfully exclude others
- Causes a personal injury without being provoked – the injury must be less severe than a serious physical injury
- Injures or kills a domestic animal without being provoked while off the property where the owner can lawfully exclude people
Menacing refers to behaviors that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, such as:
While some states only hold dog owners liable for a bite if the dog had bitten someone in the past, Oregon may allow you to seek compensation if you were menaced but not attacked.
It is important to note that trespassers will likely not be able to hold the dog owner liable for injuries suffered from a bite or an attack. You also cannot recover compensation if you provoked the dog into attacking, such as by teasing, throwing things at the animal or doing something else to anger the dog or make it become defensive.
It can be difficult to prove the owner was negligent without the help of a qualified Gresham dog bite attorney. At Rizk Law, we have extensive knowledge of dog bite laws and how to build strong cases for victims.
What Happens if You Were Attacked by Your Friend’s Dog?
You can still seek compensation if you knew the dog that attacked you, provided the dog fit the definition of a dangerous dog, you did not provoke the dog and you had the right to be on the property. (If you were invited over by your friend, you were legally allowed to be there.)
While victims may not want to take legal action against their friend, it is important to note these claims are often resolved through insurance company settlements. It is unlikely you will be suing your friend. Your lawyer will be dealing with your friend’s insurance company.
How Much Compensation Could I Recover for a Dog Bite?
There are two main types of compensation that could be available if you were attacked by a dog: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial expenses related to your injury that have a definitive monetary value, and they may include:
- Any past, present or future medical bills
- Doctor appointments
- Surgery costs
- Hospital stays
- Medical tests such as blood work, urine samples, etc.
- Imaging tests such as CT scans or MRI’s
- Prescription costs
- Medical devices and equipment
- Transportation costs for medical appointments
- Cost of hiring a caregiver
- Loss of income from missing work
- Loss of earning capacity if you cannot return to work
- Property enhancements due to your injury
- Property damages related to the attack
Non-economic damages are the physical and emotional damages personal injury victims may suffer, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our attorneys understand the physical, mental, emotional and financial damages that dog bite victims may face, which is why we are committed to aggressively pursuing maximum compensation.
Have a question about your claim? Give us a call anytime at 503.245.5677.
What Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Do to Help?
The Gresham dog bite lawyers at Rizk Law have the resources to build a strong case. We are prepared to thoroughly investigate and gather evidence. If necessary, we can consult industry experts to help strengthen your case.
We can also handle all communication with the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to protect the value of your claim. Referring insurance companies to your lawyer can be an important step, as insurers are trained on manipulating injury victims into accepting lowball settlements or making statements that lower the value of their claim.
Injury victims who hire legal representation usually secure larger settlement awards compared to those who try to represent themselves.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Dog Bite Claim?
As with other personal injury claims, dog bite claims are governed by Oregon's personal injury statute of limitations. You can think of this law as a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Once the deadline passes, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.
Oregon's statute of limitations is just two years from the date of the injury. Once the injury occurs, the clock starts ticking. Two years may seem like a long time. However, time can go by very quickly.
The sooner you contact our firm for a free consultation, the more time we will have to investigate and build a strong case in your favor.
What to Do After a Dog Bite or Attack
If you or a loved one was injured in a dog attack, there are some important things you can do to protect your safety and help preserve your injury claim:
- Get to a safe place – It is important to get to a safe place to avoid being attacked again.
- Seek immediate medical attention – You should have your injuries examined and treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Even small wounds could lead to a serious infection. It is important to have medical documentation of your visit if you plan to pursue compensation in an injury claim.
- Take pictures – If you are able, it could be important to take pictures of the dog and your injuries, along with any other details that may help prove your claim, such as broken gates or poorly-secured enclosures the dog may have escaped from.
- Collect the dog owner’s information – If the owner of the dog is on the scene, ask for his or her contact information, including name, address and phone number and when the dog was last vaccinated.
- Record witness contact information – Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw the attack. Sometimes credible witnesses can hold significant weight in an injury claim.
- Report the attack to local authorities – After you move to a safe location and address your injuries, you should report the attack to the local authorities. If your attack occurred in the Gresham area, it is important to notify Multnomah County Animal Services. Doing this could help prevent the dog from attacking again and obtaining a copy of the report they complete could help validate your injury claim.
- Reach out to a licensed attorney – It could be in your best interest to contact a licensed attorney after the dog attack, especially if you are seriously injured. An attorney can determine if you may have a valid claim and pursue maximum compensation if you do.
Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Dog bite victims could suffer a wide variety of injuries that may require extensive medical treatment, such as:
- Puncture wounds
- Sprained ligaments and/or tendons
- Fractures, particularly in the arms and legs
- Excessive scarring
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Disfigurement, particularly to the face and head
- Nerve damage
- Neck injuries
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Physical injuries from a dog bite are one thing but there can also be emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which occurs when you become anxious in situations that remind you of the attack. If you are permanently disfigured from the attack you could also have psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety in social situations.
Seek Legal Help from a Gresham Dog Bite Attorney
The attorneys at Rizk Law have recovered millions on behalf of injury victims throughout Oregon. Senior attorney Richard Rizk is a former insurance defense lawyer, so he knows the tactics insurers tend to use to deny or devalue claims.
Schedule your no-cost case review to discuss your legal options and get answers to your questions. We charge no fees up front and we do not bill you for our services unless we secure compensation for your claim. Your information is kept confidential and there is no need to make a commitment to our firm, even after your free case review, so you have nothing to lose.
Our office is in Portland at 434 South Iowa Street, which is only a 20-minute drive from the Adventist Health Portland hospital.
Dial 503.245.5677 today for legal help. Free consultation.