Dog bites can happen when you least expect them, turning a routine walk or visit into a painful incident. Medical bills, scars, and lost wages can quickly add up, and dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, our team of experienced Hillsboro dog bite attorneys is here to support you during this difficult time, providing the legal expertise and compassion you need to seek the compensation you deserve.
We know that every dog bite case is different, and you can expect a supportive and personalized approach to your claim. Our focus is on holding responsible parties accountable and ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Whether you’re dealing with a single bite or a more severe attack, our Hillsboro dog bite attorneys are here to fight for your rights and help you move forward.
Why Hire Our Hillsboro Dog Bite Attorneys?
The aftermath of a dog bite incident can be an emotionally and physically challenging experience. In these moments, you need a legal team that not only understands personal injury law but also empathizes with the pain and distress you may be enduring. That’s precisely what you’ll find at Harris Velázquez Gibbens, your trusted partner in Hillsboro, Oregon, for dog bite cases. When you work with us, you benefit from the following:
- Experience: Our Hillsboro dog bite attorneys have years of experience dealing with dog bite cases. We have a proven track record of successfully representing our clients in similar situations.
- Expertise in Personal Injury: Dog bite cases fall under personal injury law, and our team has a special focus on this field. We know how to build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, take your case to court to secure the compensation you deserve.
- Compassion and Understanding: We approach every case with empathy and understanding. We know that a dog bite can be a traumatic experience, and we are here to support you.
- Thorough Investigation: Our attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into your dog bite incident. We gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to ensure that we have all the facts needed to build a solid case.
- Negotiation Skills: We are skilled negotiators who will work tirelessly to secure a fair settlement on your behalf. We have a reputation for achieving favorable outcomes through negotiation, saving you time and stress.
- Trial Experience: While many cases are settled out of court, our attorneys are fully prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. We have a strong litigation team with a proven record of success in the courtroom, ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.
In Hillsboro, dog bite victims trust Harris Velázquez Gibbens because we combine our legal acumen with genuine care for our clients. We understand that the days and even months after a dog attack can be a trying time, but with us in your corner, you can look forward to a brighter future.
Call 503-648-4777 now for a Free Consultation. If you call during business hours, we’ll connect you to a qualified attorney.
Oregon Dog Bite Laws Explained
Oregon’s dog bite laws are primarily governed by ORS Chapter 609. Unlike some states, there is no ‘one bite rule here- if a dog has shown dangerous or aggressive behavior in the past, the owner can be held liable if it bites again. Generally speaking, dog bite cases fall into three categories, each handled differently based on the dog’s history and/or the owner’s negligence.
History of Aggression
When a dog has a history of aggressive behavior, such as biting, attacking, or other dangerous actions, and the owner is aware of it, they are strictly liable. Strict liability means the victim doesn’t need to prove negligence. Sometimes a “Beware of Dog” sign can establish awareness of prior aggression.
Violation of Local Animal Control Law
In this second category, a dog with no history of aggression but not under proper control (e.g., not leashed) in an area with a local leash law can lead to a negligence claim. Many counties and cities require dogs to be leashed or controlled in public. A skilled dog bite attorney will investigate local ordinances to determine if the owner acted unlawfully.
No History of Aggression or Violation
The third category applies when the dog has no prior aggression history and the owner didn’t violate any local leash laws. In such cases, the owner is strictly liable only for the economic damages resulting from the attack.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in a range of injuries, varying in severity from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma that may require extensive medical treatment. These injuries can have both immediate and long-term consequences for victims. Understanding the common types of dog bite injuries is essential in recognizing the potential risks associated with such incidents.
- Puncture Wounds: Dog bites often cause deep puncture wounds due to the sharp teeth of the animal. These wounds may be prone to infection, as bacteria from the dog’s mouth can be introduced into the body.
- Lacerations: In addition to puncture wounds, dog bites can result in lacerations or cuts, which may require stitches or surgical closure to heal properly.
- Bruises and Contusions: The force of a dog bite can cause bruising and contusions at and around the bite site. These injuries may be painful and discolored.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: A dog’s powerful jaws can exert enough force to fracture or break bones. This commonly occurs in areas like the hands, arms, or legs when trying to defend against the dog’s attack.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries, including muscle and tendon damage, are common in dog bite cases. These injuries can lead to pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
- Nerve Damage: Dog bites may damage nerves, causing numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area. In severe cases, nerve damage can lead to permanent disability.
- Infections: Dog bites can introduce harmful bacteria into the body, increasing the risk of infection. Common infections include cellulitis, abscesses, and sepsis.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: Even after wounds have healed, dog bite victims often experience scarring and disfigurement, which can have lasting physical and emotional effects.
- Emotional Trauma: Dog attacks can be traumatic experiences, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in some cases.
What to Do After Being Attacked By a Dog in Oregon
Experiencing a dog attack can be a traumatic event, and knowing what to do in the aftermath is crucial to protecting your health, well-being, and legal rights.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health and safety should be the top priority. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly, as dog bites can introduce harmful bacteria into the body, increasing the risk of infection. Follow the advice of medical professionals regarding wound care, vaccinations, and potential treatments for injuries like fractures, lacerations, or nerve damage.
- Report the Incident: Contact local law enforcement or animal control to report the dog attack. Provide them with details about the incident, including the location, description of the dog, and any information about the owner if known.
- Document the Incident: Document the scene of the attack, if possible, by taking photographs of your injuries, the dog, and any relevant surroundings. These photos can serve as valuable evidence later. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the incident, as their statements could be important in the future.
- Obtain the Dog Owner’s Information: If you can, obtain the contact information of the dog’s owner. This information will be crucial if you decide to pursue a legal claim for damages.
- Contact an Attorney: Call a Hillsboro personal injury attorney experienced in dog bite cases. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Remember that your well-being is of utmost importance. By taking these steps after a dog attack in Oregon, you can protect your health and legal interests as you work toward recovery.
How Can a Hillsboro Dog Bite Attorney Help Me?
Dog bite lawyers are well-versed in the laws and regulations governing dog bite cases in your area. This includes liability rules, negligence, and defenses available to dog owners. They can also assess the strength of your case based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the dog owner’s liability, and the circumstances of the incident.
Other advantages include:
- Dog bite lawyers have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, obtain medical records, and collect other essential information to build a strong case.
- Most dog bite claims are paid through the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to seek a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- In some cases, multiple parties may share liability for a dog bite incident, such as the dog owner, property owner, and caretaker. A lawyer can determine all potentially responsible parties and hold them accountable.
- If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful or if a fair settlement cannot be reached, a dog bite lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. They have experience in litigation and can present your case effectively.
Overall, a dog bite lawyer’s primary role is to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Hiring an experienced attorney can significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome in your case.
How Long Do I Have to File A Dog Bite Claim in Oregon?
In Oregon, there is a specific time limit within which a dog bite victim can file a lawsuit. At present, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means that a lawsuit must be initiated within this time frame. If the dog owner is facing criminal charges related to a bite or other animal-related injury, there are different deadlines.
Due to these varying timeframes, it is important to consult with an experienced Hillsboro dog bite lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. By retaining an attorney, you can ensure that all relevant deadlines are met, preserving your right to pursue compensation.
What Compensation Can I Get in a Dog Bite Claim?
If you’ve been injured in a dog bite incident, the compensation you may receive can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of your injuries. Here are common types of compensation that may be available in a dog bite claim:
- Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for all past and future medical bills related to your dog bite injuries. It covers expenses such as hospitalization, surgery, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced as a result of the dog bite. This is often a subjective assessment based on the extent of your suffering.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: If the dog bite resulted in permanent scarring or disfigurement, you may receive compensation for the physical and emotional impact of these lasting changes to your appearance.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work or have reduced your earning capacity, you can seek compensation for lost wages, including both past and future income that you would have earned.
- Property Damage: In some cases, a dog may have damaged your property during the attack, such as tearing your clothing or damaging personal belongings. You may be compensated for these losses.
- Psychological and Emotional Trauma: Compensation may be available for psychological and emotional trauma resulting from the dog bite, which can include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Speak to a Hillsboro Dog Bite Attorney Today
At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, our Hillsboro dog bite attorneys support attack victims during their most challenging times. We understand that dog attacks can happen unexpectedly, leaving victims with physical and emotional scars, medical bills, and lost wages. Our personalized and compassionate approach to each case ensures that you receive the legal guidance and care you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.