Dogs and other pets are meant to provide companionship to their owners. While dogs are generally gentle and heartwarming, they can display aggressive and harmful behavior. If a dog feels scared or threatened or lacks sufficient training, it might bite you as a form of self-defense.
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Portland Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog bites are mostly fatal and can result in serious injuries and infection. If you have had a dog bite, we advise you to seek medical attention immediately. After that, you should contact our attorneys at Portland Legal Group for legal advice. We have experienced dog bite attorneys in Portland, and they will help you get compensated for damages.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
When you are attacked by a dog, you can suffer different kinds of injuries. The severity of the injury varies. Dog bites can be so severe that they cause permanent scarring, disfigurement, or nerve damage that makes it difficult for you to operate. Some of the most common dog bite injuries in Portland include
- Nerve damage
- Facial disfigurement and scarring
- Eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputation of fingers and nose
- Severe dog-related infections like rabies
- Fractured or broken bones from falling due to a dog bite
Like any other injury you suffer in an accident, dog attacks can leave you with psychological trauma. As the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy. A dog bite victim can begin to fear dogs even if the attack happened a long time ago. Besides, such attacks can prevent a person from participating in activities they once enjoyed because their relationship with dogs and other pets is ruined.
At Portland Legal Group, we have committed dog bite injury attorneys ready to discuss the details of your case. We will help you seek justice and hold the dog owner responsible for your injuries. When you get in touch with an experienced animal attack lawyer at Portland Legal Group for a free consultation, we can help you distinguish between the different non-economic and economic damages you might pursue in your claim. Our attorneys have handled many similar cases and are ready to help you get justice.
Why Do Dog Bites Occur?
Apart from some rare exceptions, dog bites don’t come out of anywhere. A dog bites due to various reasons, and it uses that as a defense mechanism. From small scratches that barely break the skin to catastrophic dog bites that need medical attention, there are many reasons why dogs might resort to biting as the best response. Like any other living thing, dogs react to different circumstances with specific actions.
Most people fail to notice the warning signs that the dog is about to bite. Dogs try to communicate discomfort or pain before biting by growling, barking, or snapping at the air. Understanding factors that result in dog bites is crucial for your safety and for preventing such instances in the future.
Here are some of the common causes of dog bites and how to notice them.
- Fear: Fear ignites the most aggressive behavior in dogs. When a dog is fearful of someone or something getting close to them or into its space, it might bite. Some of the warning signs before that are constantly barking and growling.
- Startled: If a dog is startled, it can bite. This mostly happens when the dog is sleeping. A dog who is startled may be confused and disoriented about where they are and what happens around them. This triggers them to bite.
- Frustration: When dogs are overwhelmed, they are more likely to bite. Such situations make them agitated and could trigger aggressive behavior. Dogs that feel trapped in a situation that is unpleasant or uncomfortable may bite out of frustration. Mostly, such bites are very aggressive and severe.
- Guarding/Protecting: If a dog has something they value like food, toys, or chews and they don’t want to share with anyone else, they might bite to protect those items from being taken away.
- Pain: Being injured or sick can be scary, stressful, and overwhelming for dogs. Even dogs that are usually calm and friendly can bite when in pain or injured. It is vital to check out for signs of a sick dog to avoid such accidents.
What To Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog in Portland
If you just suffered a dog bite, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Getting treated right away helps prevent infections that could make the bite severe. Here are tips on how to clean a dog bite and recover quickly.
- Thoroughly clean the wound with water and mild soap.
- Try to stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.
- Apply topical antibiotics to prevent infection. Remember that this is only a temporary measure as you wait to see a doctor.
- Carefully wrap the wound with a sterile bandage and keep it clean.
- Watch for swelling, redness, and any signs of fever. Just because an infection didn’t develop right away doesn’t mean it won’t — you must be on the lookout for any signs of infection and treat it on time.
Oregon Laws on Dangerous Dogs
According to Oregon law, a dangerous dog is that which, on two separate occasions within one and a half years, without provocation, has behaved aggressively. The aggressive behavior must be to an extent that an adult or any reasonable person is forced to defend themselves against injuries.
The Oregon public safety law states that if a person sustains substantial bodily harm from a dog attack, the dog keeper or owner is guilty of category D felony. Remember that the dog may not be declared dangerous if its attack is a defensive act against a person attempting to commit a crime. Similarly, the dog is not dangerous if provoked by a person and ends up harming them.
Who Is Responsible for the Dog Bite Injury?
The state of Oregon holds the dog owner responsible for their negligence if it causes a dog bite injury. Dog owners are also held accountable if the dog causes injuries by frightening, tripping, or knocking down the victim. A person that harbors or possesses a domestic animal that he doesn’t know is abnormally dangerous, is subject to liability for any damage done by the animal. It doesn’t matter if the dog owner intentionally causes the dog to harm others or is negligent in failing to prevent the harm. Any injuries suffered in a dog bite should be compensated for by the dog owner according to Oregon laws.
A dog owner is expected to know that their pet has the potential to cause damage to other humans because they behave aggressively from time to time. The owner is responsible for taking precautionary action to ensure that aggressive behavior is prevented through training. Any time a dog owner notices harmful behavior from their dog, they should take the necessary steps to stop it. This is why they are responsible for any dog bite injuries sustained.
Free Consultation With an Experienced Portland Dog Bite Attorney
If you have suffered dog bite injuries, call Portland Legal Group today to speak to an experienced dog bite injury attorney. Our dedicated team of attorneys will help determine the circumstances of your claim and will do everything to ensure you are compensated for damages. We have the best team of attorneys Portland has to offer!
Why Do I Need a Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you or your loved one was bitten by a dog, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any injuries, medical costs, or pain you have incurred due to the incident. A Portland dog bite injury attorney will help you file a claim and convince the jury to rule in your favor. An attorney will also ensure you get fair compensation.
Can a Dog Owner Be Held Liable for the Bite?
The dog’s owner is responsible for a bite according to Oregon laws. A dog owner faces civil liability if their dog bites another person without any provocation from the person. Any injuries resulting from the incident are the owner’s responsibility.
What Evidence Is Important in Dog Bite Cases?
In Oregon, you must produce sufficient evidence when filing a dog bite claim. Important evidence includes a police report, pictures of dog bite injuries, and written facts regarding the incident. The facts could be detailed notes on what happened, the dog’s breed, owner’s name, among other details.
How Long Do I Have To File a Dog Bite Claim in Oregon?
In Oregon, a dog bite falls under the category of personal injury lawsuits. This means that the statute of limitations in Oregon for dog bite claims is two years. From the day of the injury, a person has two years to file a dog bite lawsuit.
Does Renters or Homeowners Insurance Protect Against Dog Bite Injuries in Oregon?
Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies cover liability that results from the holder’s carelessness. This includes cases where the dog bites another person and any lawsuit that might follow.