Being bitten by someone else’s dog can be an extremely traumatic experience. This is especially the case when the dog bite results in a permanent injury, such as scarring or nerve damage. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you.
As with slip and fall cases or construction site injuries, dog bite cases fall under the premises liability umbrella. This means that if you do file a lawsuit, the dog’s owner is not the one who has to pay. It is an insurance company with deep pockets that bears the burden. Thus, you should never feel guilty or conflicted if a lawsuit is necessary. At Kroll & Johnson, P.C., we have experience with Oregon-based dog bite cases. There is no risk to you, as the initial consult is free, and we do not get paid unless you win your case.
What to do after being bitten by a dog
First, it is important to seek immediate medical attention because dog bites are prone to infection and must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before any sutures (stitches) can be applied. Also, right after you are bitten, make sure you identify the dog and the dog’s owner. This is crucial because any claim must be made against the dog’s owner as it is the dog owner’s home insurance company who actually pays for your injury compensation.
Next, report the dog bite to the appropriate government agency. This is usually an animal control agency or a law enforcement agency. Finally, make sure to take pictures of the dog bite injury. Make sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after suffering the injury so that the proper steps can be taken to begin preparing your case.
Who is responsible for a dog bite?
Most states, including Oregon, have a general rule applicable to dog bites. If a dog has bitten someone in the past, and the owner has actual knowledge of the dog bite, or if the dog has displayed aggressive tendencies in the past and the owner has actual knowledge of it, then the dog’s owner is liable if their dog bites someone. Also, if the dog bite occurs on a premises such as an apartment complex, and the property management company or premises owner knew about the dog’s dangerous tendencies or history of dog bites, then the property management company or premises owner may be liable for any injuries that result from the dog biting someone.
What sort of damages can I recover if I’ve been injured by a dog bite?
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you can recover the following types of damages:
- Damages for pain and suffering;
- Damages for past and future medical bills;
- Damages for lost wages;
- If the injury is permanent, damages for future lost wages;
- Damages for replacement services.
While no amount of money damages will make up for the disruption in your life that a serious dog bite injury will cause, it is the only suitable remedy provided for by the law.