What is the value of my dog bite case in Oregon or Washington?
Call us at Clark Law and Associates, LLC, at (503) 238-1010 for an evaluation of your dog bite case. Below are some of the factors we use to consider the value of your dog bite case:
Liability: First, you must prove liability to have a case worth pursuing. In order to determine liability, the lawyers at Clark Law and Associates will consider the following types of factors:
- Oregon State Law, if applicable
- Washington State Law, if applicable
- County statutes
- City Statutes
- Was the dog on or off leash?
- Was the dog on or off of the dog owner’s property?
- Did the person attacked do anything to provoke the dog?
- Had the dog previously attacked anyone?
- Is there enough time to handle your case within the statute of limitations?
- If a governmental agency was responsible for the dog bite, was proper tort-claim notice given?
Types of Damages a dog bite attorney can help you recover as a result of a dog bite:
- Economic Damages: (Available under most circumstances in Oregon under ORS 31.360)
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills if you have a doctor that can state that it is more likely than not that you will need future medical treatment and the cost.
- Lost wages
- Lost business profits if self-employed
- Lost earning capacity if permanently injured and unable to work at all or in the same capacity
- Substitute domestic services, if utilized
- Property damaged as a result of a dog attack
- Medical bills
- Non-economic damages:*
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, which are meant to punish, if you can show criminal intent or extreme recklessness
*Whether non-economic damages are available depends on the circumstances of the attack and the laws of your municipality, county, and state. Dog laws vary by county. In some counties, you have the burden of proving the dog owner should have known of the dog’s propensities for viciousness to recover non-economic damages for your pain and suffering. Fortunately, many municipalities and counties have off-leash dog laws meaning that if a dog is off leash, not on the owner’s property or in a designated off-leash area, the owner is strictly liable for economic and non-economic damages.
What is the value of my dog bite claim? Each dog bite case is individually evaluated. Our dog bite lawyers use the following factors, and possibly other factors, to determine the value of your specific case:
- The likelihood we can prove liability
- The likelihood and difficulty of collecting, even if we win+
- Dog Bite location (Since laws differ from county to county, non-economic damages may or may not be available depending on the county of the dog attack)
- Dog Bite severity
- Permanency of the dog bite
- The possibility of scar revision
- Amount of past medical bills incurred
- Amount of doctor verified future medical bills that are more likely than not to occur
- Past lost wages and any future wage loss
- The inability to perform any activities due to the dog bite
- Amount of recovery time
- The degree to which each party is at fault in relation to the dog attack
+Collections: Assuming we can prove liability, we need to determine if we can reasonably collect if one of our dog bite attorneys wins your case. Hopefully, you were bitten by a dog whose owner has assets, such as a home. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies cover dog bites. If a homeless person’s Pit Bull attacked you, it is unlikely that you will be able to collect, even if you win.
Some counties have a victim’s assistance fund, which can help with your out-of-pocket medical bills if the district attorney’s office accepts your case for criminal prosecution.
If you have questions about a dog bite case in Washington or Oregon, call one of our lawyers at (503) 238-1010 Obtaining representation sooner rather than later is important as it will be too late to obtain compensation if your case becomes time-barred by the statute of limitations or tort-claim-notice requirements if a governmental agency was involved.
It can be challenging to get over the trauma of a dog bite. We, at Clark Law and Associates, LLC, hope you are never bitten by a dog. But if you are we are here. Doggie love to everyone!