Dog Bites and the Law
Dog bites are more common than you may think. Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with around 800,000 being bitten seriously enough to seek medical treatment. Oregon is no exception. In most situations, a dog owner is liable for their pet’s behavior, meaning you absolutely can sue for medical expenses and other damages incurred as the result of a dog bite, particularly if the bite was allowed to happen due to owner negligence.
Specific laws regarding dog bites can vary from city to city, county to county, and even from park to park. For example, some dog-friendly public parks have separate “off leash” and “on leash” areas, and a dog owner’s liability may be limited depending on where the dog bite occurred.
Dog Bite Facts
- More than half of all dog bite victims are children. (According to the CDC, dog bites represent a greater risk to modern day children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined.)
- Any dog can bite — and any sized dog can cause injury.
- Most dog bites are preventable.
- Treatments for dog bite victims represent a segment of the medical industry surpassing 1 billion dollars annually.
- Most legal cases involving dog bite injuries are settled out of court.
What To Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog
A dog bite can be an extremely painful and traumatic experience. Your first concern should be protecting yourself in all possible ways.
- Don’t panic. Staying as calm as possible may reduce the likelihood of a repeat attack.
- Remove yourself from the situation/get away from the dog — call for help if necessary.
- Document (photograph) all injuries and the scene where the bite occurred.
- Seek treatment for your injuries.
- Do not make any agreements with the dog owner or their legal representatives.
- Contact a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, seek medical treatment and then contact Shlesinger & deVilleneuve to have your case reviewed.