Dog Bite Lawyer in Portland
It is no secret that the people of Portland love their dogs. The city has 5.4 dog parks per 100,000 residents, one of the highest dog-parks-per-capita ratios in the nation. While having a dog for a pet can provide many benefits, homeowners and renters insurance providers consider them a liability, and with good cause. Approximately 4.7 million dog bites take place each year in the U.S. and the majority of victims are children. Dog bites are often unpredictable and can lead to serious injuries and permanent disfigurement. They can come from unfamiliar dogs or dogs you have known for a long time.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a dog bite, it is important that you contact a reputable attorney with detailed knowledge of the strict laws and regulations governing dog bites. Our Portland dog bite lawyers at Rizk Law have extensive legal knowledge in this area and are prepared to defend the rights of victims against negligent dog owners. We may be able to help you recover adequate compensation for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our office is located in Southwest Portland within walking distance from the Willamette Park Dog Park.
Learn more about your legal options after a dog bite during a free, no obligation consultation. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs unless you recover compensation.
Call 503.245.5677 today to see how we might be able to help you.
Why Dogs Bite and Injuries This Causes
Dogs may bite for a number of reasons. A dog of any size, gender, or age can bite, especially if provoked. A dog may bite when defending his or her territory, food or toys. Dogs can bite if they are feeling threatened, stressed, startled or scared. Dogs might also bite when they are feeling unwell from an injury or illness. Even dogs playing around can nip and bite when they become overly excited.
Dog bites can inflict a variety of injuries. The type of injury you sustain affects the value of your claim.
Severe dog bite injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Blood loss
- Deep puncture wounds
- Facial scarring
- Permanent disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Psychological trauma
Non-severe dog bite injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Scratch marks
- Bite or teeth marks
In addition to causing injury, dog bites can also spread germs and possibly cause life-threatening injuries, including:
- Rabies – Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and is commonly spread through the bite and saliva of an infected dog. This serious disease is usually fatal once someone starts showing symptoms, but it can be prevented through vaccination.
- Capnocytophaga – This bacterium lives in the mouths of people and dogs. It can spread to someone through dog bites or scratches. Those with weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections are at a greater risk of becoming sick.
- Tetanus – Tetanus is a toxin spread through a bacteria called Clostridium tetani in deep bite wounds. It can lead to painful muscle spasms, rigid paralysis and even death.
- Pasteurella – Pasteurella is a type of bacteria found in more than half of infected dog bites. It commonly causes red and painful infection at the bite site. Those with weakened immune systems may experience swelling joints, swollen glands and difficulty moving.
- MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a staph infection that can be spread by dogs and other animals without showing symptoms. MRSA can cause skin, lung and urinary tract infections, and even spread to the lungs or bloodstream causing life-threatening infections.
Dog bite injuries often require long-term medical treatment that can be costly. The dog bite lawyers in Portland understand how devastating a dog bite can be to your health and finances. Contact us today for a free legal consultation to find out if you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
Being bitten or attacked by a dog can leave you feeling scared and confused about what to do next. If this has happened to you, there are immediate steps you should take afterwards to help secure your health and your right to compensation. Our experienced Portland dog bite attorneys recommend the following:
Treating Your Injuries
The most important thing to do is seek medical attention – even if the injury is minor. There are a few things you can do to treat your dog bite injury while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Place a clean towel over the injury and apply pressure to help stop any bleeding. Carefully wash the bite with soap and water, apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, apply a sterile bandage to the wound and keep the injured area elevated, if at all possible.
Once at the hospital, a doctor will examine your injury to see whether the bite was severe enough to puncture the skin, damaging muscles, tendons, nerves or bones. He or she with conduct a detailed examination and then give you the appropriate treatment to begin your recovery.
Reporting the Attack
Make sure to report your dog bite to the police and your local animal control agency. Provide clear and concise details when talking with the authorities. This creates an official record of what exactly happened, which can be a critical piece of evidence in your dog bite injury claim.
After a dog bite, you should exchange information with the dog’s owner. Write down the breed, color and size of the dog as well as any other identifying features. Ask the owner if the dog has been vaccinated or ever bitten or attacked anyone else in the past. Also take down information about the owner, including his or her name, address, phone number and insurance information.
If any witnesses were present, ask them what they saw and write down what they say. You should also ask for their contact information in the event you may have additional questions or need clarification on anything.
Take pictures of your injuries, the dog, any torn or bloody clothing, and the scene of the attack. This can also include photographs of any property damage or the lack of warning signs or adequate fencing. Documenting this evidence could help your lawyer build a strong case in defense of your best interests.
Contacting a Lawyer
An attorney can review your situation in a free legal consultation to determine your legal options for pursuing compensation. Some cases are resolved through insurance claims, and sometimes it is necessary to file a lawsuit.
The attorneys at Rizk Law are well-versed in the factors involved in a dog bite case and how to establish liability for your injuries. We are ready to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the full value of your claim.
You should make sure to contact us as soon as possible because of Oregon's statute of limitations for dog bite claims. This law says you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you lose the right to file a lawsuit. Our Portland dog bite lawyers can help ensure your case is filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
Contact Rizk Law today by calling 503.245.5677.
Liability for a Dog Bite in Oregon
In Oregon, you can recover economic compensation for a dog bite injury under the legal theory of strict liability (Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 609.115). If you establish that you were bitten by a potentially dangerous dog and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other economic damages.
Under ORS 609.035(6), a dangerous dog is one that:
- Menaces someone without being provoked while not on the premises from which the owner is lawfully allowed to exclude others
- Causes physical injury to a person that is less severe than a serious physical injury without provocation
- Inflicts physical injury or kills a domestic animal without being provoked and not on the premises from which the keeper could lawfully exclude others
Our dog bite lawyers in Portland have extensive knowledge of how to prove liability in a dog bite case and how to apply these legal standards to your specific situation.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Portland Off-Leash Areas
In Multnomah County, dogs must always be leashed when on public property, except for designated off-leash areas. Portland Parks & Recreation offers many off-leash parks for dogs to roam freely. Many of the park hours are flexible, operating from 5 a.m. to midnight, while others have designated schedules.
Fenced off-leash areas include:
- Brentwood Park
- Chimney Park
- Delta Park
- The Fields
- Gabriel Park
- Luuwit View Park
- Lynchwood Park
- Normandale Park
- Sacajawea Park
- Wallace Park
Unfenced off-leash areas:
- Arbor Lodge Park
- Cathedral Park
- Overlook Park
- Portland International Raceway
If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog bite accident, our Portland dog bite lawyers will be able to guide you through your legal options.
Schedule your free, no obligation consultation with us today.
Contact Rizk Law Today for a Free Consultation
It is difficult to handle the negotiation and documentation that accompanies a personal injury claim while you are recovering from a painful dog bite. Our Portland personal injury lawyers at Rizk Law have handled numerous dog bite cases and have gone through the claims process enough times to fight for the compensation you are entitled.
We can discuss your case during a free, no obligation consultation to determine the legal options available to you. If you decide to move forward, our firm will conduct a thorough investigation to collect evidence supporting negligence occurred so we can build a successful claim on your behalf. We do not charge legal fees unless you recover compensation for your injuries.
We look forward to helping you. Call 503.245.5677.