There are 89.7 million dogs in the United States as of 2017. What happens when one of those dogs bites you? Dog bites can lead to serious injuries. Those serious injuries can lead to an expensive medical bill and missed work. There can be long-lasting pain and suffering and psychological impact.. In extremely rare cases, loved ones may need to pursue a wrongful death suit against a pet owner.
Oregon has no dog bite law on the books, so dog bite laws have been formed by case law or decisions rendered by the courts. Oregon employs what is commonly referred to as the one-bite rule. In order to establish liability against a dog owner, the injured party needs to prove that the dog owner knows of or has reason to believe the dog has “dangerous propensities.” This knowledge can be shown by a history of the dog biting others or a history of the animal treating other animals or people aggressively. This can usually only be shown by proving a previous bite. What that often means is that Oregon allows each dog to get away with one free bite.
Do Your Research After a Dog Bite
To determine if the dog has bitten others, consider talking to neighbors, posting questions on neighborhood applications and on other social media platforms. If the dog bite occurred at a dog park, consider spending time there to ask others about the dog in question. Consider speaking with the police to determine if there are official reports of the dog biting someone else previously.
Even if there is no previous dog bite recorded, you may still have a legitimate claim if the dog owner failed to exercise reasonable care to ensure the dog does not attack others. If the dog owner was negligent in some way, you might still be able to recover damages.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney for Help
If you have been bitten by a dog, call the attorneys at Shlesinger & deVilleneuve today to schedule a consultation.