dog bite lawyers

Oregon Dog Attack Victim with a Torn Rotator Cuff Injury Receives Settlement

Our client in this unfortunate dog attack was walking his dog on leash through a dog park when he encountered another man walking his dog off leash. The other dog immediately took off in the direction of our client’s dog and attacked it. While trying to rescue his dog from this unexpected dog attack, our client tore his left shoulder’s rotator cuff. The other dog’s owner  apologized for the accident and admitted that his dog had a history of attacking other dogs, but the damage had been done.

Medford Oregon Dog Bite Injury AttorneysOur client was uninsured when this dog attack occurred and he couldn’t pay for the surgery needed to repair his shoulder injury. He called the veteran dog bite and animal attack lawyers at Dwyer Williams Dretke Accident Injury Attorneys to represent him.

Our attorneys contacted the aggressive dog’s owner and got his home insurance information to see whether or not the insurance policy provided for up-front medical coverage for dog bites. This is an increasingly common provision of home insurance policies, and luckily for our client in this case, the aggressive dog’s owner possessed a small amount of dog attack insurance. Unfortunately, that insurance amount was not large enough to cover the cost of the surgery our client needed.

After several rounds of negotiations, our compassionate Oregon dog bite lawyers, led by Arne Cherkoss, were able to settle the case for an amount that covered our client’s future surgery, his anticipated time off work for the surgery, and of course for his pain and suffering. Our client was pleased with the results and went ahead with the surgery to his left rotator cuff so that he could return to life as quickly as possible, having made a full physical recovery.

Dog Bites Represent One Third of Homeowner Insurance Payout Costs

In honor of national dog bite prevention week, recently published data from State Farm Insurance’s Insurance Information Institute reveals that dog bites continue to represent one-third of the payout dollars for homeowner liability claims.  Homeowners’ liability insurance covers you if your dog bites someone visiting your home or if it bites someone when you take it out for a walk.  Insurers paid more than $489 million for such claims last year.

Oregon Dog Attack and Dog Bite Injury AttorneysHomeowners’ insurance generally covers dog liability as part of the policy’s standard coverage, with limits of up to $100,000 or $300,000.  State Farm paid more than $136 million to cover nearly 4,500 dog bite claims last year. The company said it did not refuse insurance based on the dog’s breed, but it urged owners to be responsible with their pets.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurers don’t ask about dogs when initially writing a homeowner’s policy even though some of them exclude certain breeds of dogs from coverage.  Once a dog bite has occurred, however, insurance companies can and do increase your premium.

If you or someone who you love has been injured in an Oregon dog attack and you don’t know what to do next, call the experienced dog attack lawyers at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC today for a free consultation at 541-617-0555.

Dog Bite Accident Claims Are on the Rise in Oregon

In a news release from State Farm yesterday in honor of Dog Bite Prevention week, the insurance company proclaimed that dog bite accident claims are on the rise throughout our state.  According to State Farm’s amalgamated research, almost 5 million people are bitten or attacked by dogs every year across the United States. Drawing from State Farm’s research, dog bites are on a significant rise in Oregon.  Our state ranked 15 for the most dog bite claims. The insurer handled 77 dog-bite claims in Oregon last year, up from 62 in 2011.

In addition to the number of claims, the cost associated with treating these injuries seems to be mounting as well.  State Farm said that it spent $1.2 million helping Oregon customers recover from dog bites. This figure is nearly double what State Farm paid dog accident injury victims in 2008.  Hilliard said there are a number of factors that contribute to the rise in expenses paid – additional claims, medical treatments and severity of the injuries are just a few.

“A dog’s tendency to bite depends on factors like heredity, obedience training, socialization and health,”said Brad Hilliard, State Farm spokesman in Salem. “There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed.”  As a result, he said, “we do not track the type of breed for each claim.”

As the experienced dog bite and dog attack injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke know, any dog may attack when provoked.  But dog bite injuries are preventable when appropriate steps are taken to keep everyone safe.  These preventative measures include:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by a dog in their own household.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary visits are essential to regulating the health of your dog. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert. If someone approaches you and your dog while out on a walk, caution them to wait before petting the dog, giving your pet time to be comfortable with the stranger

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Oregon dog attack, call our caring and experienced dog bite injury attorneys today at 888-257-9023.  We can help you!

Negligence Found in Dog Attack Injury Claim

Several months ago, Dwyer Williams Dretke PC was contacted by the mother of a young girl who was attacked and bitten by her neighbor’s dog. The girl’s mother sought an attorney well-versed in dog bite liability to represent her injured daughter and to seek damages against the dog’s owner. After hearing the details of the attack, we immediately took the case: our client is a young girl who was suddenly attacked by an unleashed dog roaming in her quiet Eastern Oregon neighborhood. The dog approached our client and bit her while she was riding her bicycle near her home.

Dog bite injuries have the potential to be very serious, especially because the majority of dog bite victims are young children like our client. Dogs attack children instead of adults because children are less commanding and less threatening than adults: dogs treat children like playmates or prey, not masters. Children also move quickly and erratically, which can trigger dogs to herd and attack them according to their natural canine instincts.

This case was a reminder that dog bite injuries have the potential to maim, disfigure, traumatize, and even kill the most vulnerable members of our society with little if any provocation on the victims’ part. In this case, our client did absolutely nothing to encourage the wayward dog’s attention or aggression. She was the quintessential victim, who suffered physical as well as emotional trauma as the result of her neighbor’s failure to contain a potentially aggressive pet.

Interestingly, in this case the dog’s owner assumed responsibility for the accident right away yet she adamantly refused to turn the matter over to her insurance company. As our client’s expert dog bite attorneys we obtained copies of all documents related to the injuries sustained by our client and disseminated them to all interested parties. These documents included the girl’s medical records, the bills that her family incurred during her treatment, and the report our client filed with Animal Control.

The case settled for a generous sum after determined communication with the dog owner. We urged that she turn over the claim to her insurer several times, both in writing and on the telephone, to no avail until we threatened a personal lawsuit. The matter was then quickly resolved by the insurance company. Our client received a favorable settlement that covered her medical bills and compensated her for the pain and suffering that she endured as the victim of a dog owner’s negligence.

Insurance Company Forced to Settle in Dog Bite Case

Oregon is generally a dog-friendly state, but those furry friends we love so much can sometimes cause trouble. In this case, our client was walking his leashed dog near his home one afternoon. He was turning down the driveway to his own home when he noticed another person – a stranger – in his driveway, with an off-leash dog. Our client was very used to seeing other people walk dogs in the neighborhood, and he assumed that the off-leash dog had run off, and its owner had chased the dog, ending up in our client’s driveway.

Oregon   Dog Bite Lawyers, Dog Bite Attorneys Bend Oregon | Dwyer Williams Dretke PC | Oregon Personal Injury AttorneysAs our client approached with his dog – still on leash – the off-leash dog growled and lunged at him, sending him sprawling on
the ground. The off-leash dog was still coming at him, and in the course of defending himself, the off-leash dog bit him, causing personal injury that required medical attention.

Our client filed an insurance claim for reimbursement of his medical expenses, but the carrier denied it, as the owner of the off-leash dog had claimed – falsely – that the dog had knocked our client down but had not bitten him. Unhappy with the course of events, our client decided that he would need the assistance of an Oregon personal injury lawyer to pursue the dog bite injury claim to a more satisfactory conclusion.

Once I was on the case, I immediately contacted the insurance carrier with medical documentation, including bills and chart notes, as well as photos taken after the accident showing the puncture wounds in our client’s hand. I talked with the adjuster, reviewing Oregon law regarding dog bite injuries, which holds owners strictly liable for damages caused by their dogs when negligence is a factor. Because the dog had been off-leash and on someone else’s property, our case for negligence was strong.

I argued the claim through several rounds of intense negotiation, until the insurance company made a settlement offer that was fair for our client.

If you have been bitten or mauled by a dog in Oregon, we can help you, too. Contact us today. One of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555