We Represent Oregon’s Dog Attack Victims
Dogs can be loving companions that bring you companionship and happiness. Nevertheless, dogs are animals whose basic instincts are wild. Even seemingly docile dogs can occasionally behave in unexpected ways and sometimes man’s best friend will attack, bite, or maul innocent passersby.
Throughout the United States, approximately 100,000 hospital visits are made by dog attack victims every year, and an astonishing 5 million U.S. men, women, and children are attacked or bitten by dogs during the same time period. Young children are the most common victims of dangerous dog attacks and fatal dog maulings, in large part because dogs see them as playmates rather than masters and also because children move so erratically, thus dogs equate them with prey. Children are especially vulnerable to severe injury as a result of dog attacks and bites precisely because of their small size and because their less-than-fully developed bones and muscles are weak.
If you, your child, or someone who you know has been the victim of a dog attack or bite and has sustained serious injuries or wrongful death as a result, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke, LLP can help you obtain just compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. We have offices conveniently located throughout the state of Oregon, in:
Oregon’s “One Bite Rule”
Many Oregonians have the misconception that a dog owner is only liable to a dog bite victim if the dog has previously bitten someone. This is sometime referred to as the “scienter” requirement, or – incorrectly – as Oregon’s “One Bite Rule”. Yet that definition is an oversimplification of our state’s One Bite Rule. What that law really states is that dog owners may be subject to strict liability if they had reason to know of the vicious tendencies of their dogs prior to those dogs attacking or biting victims who bring suit.
Dogs need not have bitten anyone in the past to post a generally known threat. It may be sufficient to establish that a dog owner should have known of his or her dog’s vicious nature if a neighbor has indicated that the dog has a history of lunging at passersby or and otherwise trying to attack people who approach it. If a dog acts vicious, regardless of the manner in which that aggression took shape, then the dog’s owner is considered to have had constructive knowledge of the dog’s viciousness and is strictly liable for injuries inflicted by the dog.
Strict liability based on the One Bite Rule means that a dog owner with knowledge of a dog’s aggressive tendencies is liable regardless of how careful the owner is to prevent injuries to others. In other words, a dog owner with knowledge of a dog’s vicious tendencies may be liable for any injuries caused by the dog, regardless of the owner’s fault.
Leash Law and Running-At-Large Ordinance Compliance
Even if an owner has no knowledge of any vicious tendencies of his or her dog, the owner may still be liable if the dog attack or bite results from the owner’s negligent care for or eye on the attacking dog. Negligence is “the failure to take ordinary care to prevent accident or injury to others”, but may also be based on a violation of statute law designed to safeguard potential victims. The most common basis for claims of dog bite negligence in Oregon is dog owners’ failure to comply with leash laws and running-at-large ordinances.
Dog Attacks are Unique And They Need to Be Litigated That Way
Proper application of the One Bite Rule in dog attack, bite, or mauling cases requires an experienced Oregon dog bite lawyer to investigate the specific circumstances of an attack to determine whether or not a dog has an evidenced history of aggression. This may be evidenced by such things as the owner telling people that the dog bites, the owner aggressively restraining the dog or holding it back when people visit, the dog lunging or growling at strangers, etc. Dog attack cases are very fact specific so it is important to work with an experienced Oregon dog bite law firm like Dwyer Williams Dretke, LLP.
Experienced Oregon Dog Bite Attorneys Can Litigate Your Claim
Dog attacks can result in permanent disfigurement, broken bones, damaged muscles and nerves, internal organ damage, and even wrongful death. The accident or personal injury law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, LLP has recovered tens of millions of dollars for our dog attack and dog bite clients. We are dedicated to providing compassionate but aggressive representation of dog attack victims throughout Oregon. We will carefully investigate your dog attack case so that we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, loss of services and companionship of a spouse, and other appropriate damages.
If you have been injured from a dog attack, we urge you to call us today at 541-617-0555.