Hillsboro Dog Bite Lawyers
A dog attack can last a matter of seconds, but the damages inflicted in that short time can be devastating. Victims often need long-term medical treatment and often miss time from work. Many victims also suffer long-term emotional trauma.
At Rizk Law, we understand the extensive harm a dog attack can cause, and we are prepared to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Our experienced lawyers have in-depth knowledge of Oregon’s dog bite laws, and we have a history of results for our personal injury clients.
Our firm was founded in 2001 by Richard Rizk, a former insurance defense and coverage lawyer who knows the tricks insurance companies employ to deny or devalue insurance claims. Rizk also has a 10.0 superb rating from Avvo, an organization that helps people find qualified lawyers.
Contact our firm anytime, day or night, to schedule a completely free initial consultation with no obligation to file a claim. If we represent you, there are no fees to pay unless we first achieve a recovery on your behalf.
Schedule a FREE consultation today: 503.245.5677
How Do I Know if I Have a Dog Bite Injury Case?
To find out whether you have a valid dog bite case, we encourage you to speak with a licensed attorney. There are many factors that we will likely need to review.
Strict Liability Claims
In Oregon, most dog bite claims are built around the legal theory of strict liability. Under state law, you may be able to obtain economic compensation if you can prove you were bitten by a dangerous dog. You would not need to show the dog bite/attack resulted from the owner’s negligence.
Strict liability usually applies if a dog has a “known propensity” or history of aggressive or menacing behavior toward domestic animals or people. If your lawyer can prove one of these two things, the owner could be held liable even if he or she took steps to try to stop the attack from happening.
State law describes what it means for a dog to have a propensity for aggressive behavior. The dog must do one of three things:
- Menace a person without provocation while off the owner’s premises
- Physically injure a person without being provoked – the injury must be less severe than physical injury
- Physically injure or kill a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s or keeper’s premises
You will not be able to pursue a case if you provoked the dog. Examples of provoking a dog may include yanking on its tail, kicking it or waving something in its face. If you do these things the animal could feel threatened and bite in self-defense.
The owner may also claim you provoked the dog if it exhibits normal behavior for its breed and class. For example, if someone sneaks up on almost any dog when it is eating, it will likely growl or snap at them.
Your lawyer may also be able to file a claim for negligence if your lawyer can prove negligence contributed to the attack. For example, if the attack happened in a park, public property or somewhere else besides the owner’s property, and the dog was not on a leash, the owner would be in violation of Washington County law. Dogs must be restrained by a leash that is a maximum of seven feet in length and under the control of someone who can physically handle the dog.
Rizk Law has the resources to launch a thorough investigation of your situation to gather evidence and determine the laws and legal theories that may apply. For nearly two decades, we have been representing injury victims in Oregon and have helped them obtain compensation. Those who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.
Call Rizk Law at: 503.245.5677 to learn more.
What if You Were a Trespasser on Private Property?
If you were trespassing on private property, then you will likely not be eligible to pursue a claim. However, in some cases, especially if the trespasser was a young child who may not have realized that he or she was on private property, the owner may still be liable for damages. It is important to talk to a lawyer to learn more about whether you may have a case.
What if I was Attacked by a Friend’s Dog?
This is not a factor in whether you can pursue compensation for your damages. Knowing the dog does not exclude you from filing a claim.
While you may feel that filing a claim against your friend would hurt your friendship, it is important to note you will likely be filing a claim against your friend’s insurance company. You would not be filing a claim against your friend.
Damages That May Result from a Dog Bite
Under Oregon law, victims may also pursue a civil lawsuit for the purpose of recovering compensation for the damages they suffered. The amount and type of compensation depends on the circumstances that led to the attack, the severity of your injuries and other contributing factors. If you are eligible to pursue a case, you may be able to pursue both economic and non-economic damages.
These are tangible damages that result in out-of-pocket expenses:
- Reasonable and related medical costs
- Physical therapy
- Emotional counseling
- Mobility assistive devices, such as crutches
- Cosmetic surgery
- Lost wages if the victim was unable to work while recovering
- Prescription drugs, such as for pain or to prevent infection
These are the non-tangible physical and emotional damages a victim may suffer.
- Pain and suffering damages
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In Oregon, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim is two years from the date of the injury; the same as for filing any personal injury claim. While this sounds like a long time, your attorney will need time to build a strong argument on your behalf.
We strongly recommend that you contact one of our Hillsboro dog bite lawyers to get started with your dog bite case as soon as possible. We can handle all third-party communications, including with your insurance company.
Complete our FREE Case Evaluation form today.
Common Injuries Resulting from Dog Bites
Dog bite victims can suffer long-term or permanent physical scarring and disfigurement along with emotional or psychiatric damages, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Common dog bite injuries may include:
- Punctured skin
- Broken bones
- Torn or pulled ligaments or tendons
- Sprains, strains and soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Head injuries
- Perforated organs
- Neck injuries
If you suffered serious injuries after being bitten by an aggressive dog, we encourage you to seek medical care immediately from Tuality Community Hospital or another nearby medical institution in Hillsboro or Washington County.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Many people initially experience fear or shock after a dog attack. However, it is important that you act quickly to help protect yourself. This includes:
- Seeking medical attention immediately
- Cleaning your wounds to prevent an infection
- Identifying the breed of the dog that attacked you
- Reporting the dog that bit you to Washington County Animal Control
- Identifying witnesses who saw the dog bite you
- Collecting the dog’s owner’s contact information
Documenting the wound with pictures and keeping a daily injury journal describing your pain and suffering may help to strengthen your argument if you intend to pursue the dog owner for damages.
Once you have taken steps to ensure your health and safety, you should also consider contacting a dog bite lawyer in Hillsboro to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are prepared to review your circumstances to determine if the dog’s owner is at fault and can be held liable for the damages you have suffered.
Contact Our Hillsboro Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you have been attacked or bitten in an unprovoked attack by a dog, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Our licensed attorneys at Rizk Law have a successful track record of representing injured victims in Portland and the surrounding area in Oregon. We have recovered millions on behalf of our personal injury clients. We are committed to helping our clients pursue maximum compensation for damages after suffering a personal injury due to another’s negligence .
Contact our firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your legal options for recovering compensation after being bitten by a dog.
Call Rizk Law today: 503.245.5677