How To File A Dog Bite Claim In Oregon

Dog bite injuries are often severe, and they can leave victims with significant scarring and disfigurement. If you or somebody you care about has been bitten and injured by a dog, then you may wonder whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your losses. Every state is responsible for setting laws regarding dog bite incidents and a liability. In Oregon, recovering compensation in the aftermath of a dog bite can seem complicated. Here, we want to review the general dog bite laws in this state and the process a victim can take to obtain compensation for their losses.

Oregon’s dog bite law

Many states around the country follow what are called “strict liability” laws when it comes to dog bite incidents. In these states, a dog’s owner can be held liable for any dog bite injuries regardless of whether or not that dog has ever bitten anybody before or is known to be aggressive. However, Oregon is not a strict liability dog bite state.

In Oregon, dog bite laws only impose liability on a dog owner if the dog is potentially dangerous. Under Oregon’s law, a “potentially dangerous dog” is defined as a dog that does any of the following:

  • Inflicts physical injury on a person
  • Menaces a person while the dog is not on the owner’s property
  • Injures or kills a domestic animal while the dog is not on the owner’s property

In all three of those situations, the dog must not be provoked to taking the actions that it does. If a dog is provoked, it may ultimately not be labeled “potentially dangerous.”

Oregon does operate under a “one bite” or negligence rule. This means that a dog owner who does not know or does not have a reason to know that a dog may act aggressively cannot be held liable if the dog does end up biting and injuring a person. However, after a dog bite incident has occurred, the owner is officially “on notice” about the dog’s potential to cause harm to others in the future. If the dog subsequently bites somebody else, the owner may be held liable for injuries.

The dog bite law in Oregon applies to injuries caused by an actual bite as well as other injuries that a dog may cause. For example, if a person walking down the roadway is knocked over by a large dog and is injured, the dog’s owner could be held liable for any injuries, so long as the injuries occur under the same circumstances mentioned above.

How long do you have to file a dog bite claim?

Oregon sets a certain time limit on how long an injury victim has to file a claim against a dog’s owner in the aftermath of a bite incident. The statute of limitations for an Oregon dog bite case is two years from the day the injury occurred. Failure to file a case within this two-year window will likely result in the injury victim being unable to recover any compensation at all.

Dog bite injury severity

Dog bite injuries can be severe. It is not uncommon for victims to sustain significant soft tissue damage, including lacerations and puncture wounds, as well as deeper injuries to the tendons, muscles, veins, and arteries. Dog bite injury victims often sustain significant scarring and disfigurement that can alter mobility and affect a person’s general mental health. Contact our Portland personal injury attorneys today.