What is Oregon’s “One Bite Rule?”

Dog bite injuries can lead to significant setbacks for a victim. Injury victims should have a way to recover compensation if their injury was caused by another person’s dog, but there are specific laws in place regarding these incidents. Oregon subscribes to the “one bite rule” concerning dog bites, which is different from how other states handle these claims.

What Does the One Bite Rule Mean?

The “one bite rule” in Oregon is somewhat misleading, mainly because the dog need not previously have bitten somebody in order for this rule to apply. When we examine ORS 31.360, we can see that recovering compensation after a dog bite occurs involves the victim proving that the dog owner knew or had reason to believe that the dog had a propensity for aggression.

Often, establishing that the dog owner knew that the dog had a propensity for aggression involves showing that the dog has previously bitten or attacked somebody.

Evidence Needed to Prove a Dog Bite Claim

Proving dog owner negligence can be challenging, particularly when it comes to establishing that the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog was potentially dangerous. Additionally, even if the injury victim cannot show that the dog had previously bitten or attacked somebody, they still may be able to show that the dog owner or possessor of the dog was negligent.

In order to do this, it will be necessary to show that the owner or possessor knew or should have known that the dog would cause an injury and that they failed to take reasonable care to control or confine the dog. For example, if the dog owner allowed the dog to be “at large” and off-leash in violation of local regulations, this would be considered negligence per se (negligence through the violation of a law).

We strongly encourage any dog bite injury victim in Oregon to work with a skilled attorney who has experience handling these exact types of claims. A Portland personal injury attorney will understand the dog bite laws in this state, and they will work diligently to recover the evidence needed to prove liability. This includes statements from my witnesses, photos from the scene of the incident, video surveillance from nearby cameras, clothing worn when the attack occurred, etc.

Types of Compensation Available for the Claim 

There may be various types of compensation available for dog bite victims in these situations. An attorney will work diligently to recover both economic and non-economic compensation, which can include the following:

  • Total coverage of medical bills arising due to the dog bite incident
  • Compensation for any physical therapy or rehabilitation needed
  • Lost wage recovery if a dog bite victim is unable to work
  • Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
  • Scarring and disfigurement damage compensation
  • Loss of quality of life damages

The overall amount of compensation paid to a dog bite victim in Oregon will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each particular claim. An attorney will enlist assistance from medical and economic experts to help calculate an adequate amount to request from the negligent party, the insurance carrier, or a personal injury jury.