Oregon Dog Bite & Animal Attack Attorneys

As owners of animals, we have a duty to make sure our animals don’t cause harm to others in the community.  To enforce this duty and increase safety, many communities have gone as far as implementing safety rules such as requiring pets to be on a leash in public spaces.  Safety laws like these prevent needless injuries like dog bites, the elderly and children being knocked down, and other animal attacks.  Safety in our community depends on animal owners acting responsibly and following common-sense laws and safety rules.

There are two types of claims in Oregon to help community members hold people accountable when their actions cause an animal attack or dog bite.  These claims force individuals to compensate victims for the harm they have caused.

The most common personal injury claim for an animal attack or dog bite in Oregon is negligence.  To prove a claim of negligence in an animal-attack or dog-bite case in Oregon, you must prove three things.  First, the attorney must prove that the offender was the possessor or owner of the animal.  Second, the attorney must prove the owner didn’t use reasonable care to prevent the animal or dog from causing harm.  Finally, the attorney must show that the owner knew or should have known the animal or dog would cause the harm if the owner did not control the animal or dog.

Proving that an owner knew or should have known the animal or dog would cause harm requires an investigation into the underlying facts of each case.  Our dog bite animal attack lawyers start any investigation with a review of public records from police, health, and animal control agencies for prior similar incidents.  In some cases, it is necessary for our attorneys to hire a private investigator to interview witnesses, neighbors, and other parties that may have important information.   

The second personal injury claim that can be made in Oregon for an animal attack or dog bite is a "strict liability claim."  Four things must be proven to establish liability with a strict liability claim for an animal attack or dog bite in Oregon.  First, the lawyer must again prove the offender possessed the animal.  Second, the lawyer must prove the animal or dog had dangerous propensities abnormal to its class. Third, the lawyer must show the owner knew or should have known of those abnormal dangerous propensities.  Finally, the lawyer must prove that the harm and injuries were caused by the abnormally dangerous propensity.

Proving an animal or dog had a dangerous propensity abnormal to its class also requires an investigation into the facts of the specific case.  Our lawyers investigate whether or not the type/breed of animal is known for aggressive behavior or if the specific animal in question was abnormally dangerous.

With a strict liability claim, unlike negligence, the attorney doesn't have to prove that the offender failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the animal or dog from causing injury.  At first this law seems odd until you look at the public policy reasons for it.  In our communities we want to deter people from possessing animals that are abnormally dangerous.  To do this we require owners of dangerous animals to take responsibility for any harms these animals cause in our community.  Depending on the facts of your personal injury case it may be advantageous for your lawyer to pursue one claim or both.

If you have any questions or want to consult our Oregon dog bite and animal attack attorneys about a case, please do not hesitate to call.  We are centrally located in Oregon and take cases across the state including the cities of:  Albany, Corvallis, Portland, Philomath, Salem, Eugene, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Newport, Waldport, and Lincoln City. 

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