Statistics Show Increase In Oregon Dog Bite Claims In Recent Years

Recently in Baker City, a pit bull mauled a five-year-old boy to death. The dog attacked the boy at a friend’s home. As such occurrences indicate, the problem of dog bites is getting worse. State Farm Insurance Company released a report stating that dog bite claims in Oregon rose from 62 in 2011 to 77 claims in 2012. State Farm spent $1.2 million paying out dog bite claims that year, nearly double the amount paid in 2008.

Oregon’s one-bite rule

Oregon is one of the few remaining states with a "one-bite rule." In other words, if a dog never bit anyone before, the owner is not held responsible if their dog bites someone for the first time. If, on the other hand, the dog had bitten someone previously, the owner is considered to have been put on notice that the dog is dangerous, and is responsible for any subsequent attack by that dog. Even if the owner puts a chain-link fence around the dog's play area and "Beware of Dog" signs on their property, the owner is still responsible for the dog’s actions if the dog has attacked someone.

Even if the dog had never bitten anyone before, the owner might have been on notice that the dog was vicious and had the potential to bite someone. Such notice of viciousness includes signs such as:

  • The dog growls at people in general.
  • The dog becomes aggressive in certain circumstances, such as while eating, and this is when the attack occurred.
  • The dog jumps toward other dogs or people while on its leash.
  • The dog is a breed considered dangerous, such as a pit bull or Doberman pincher.

Note that if you are found to have provoked a dog into aggression, you will be barred from compensation for any resulting injuries.

A dog bite injury is a serious matter. The Salem, Oregon personal injury attorneys at Harris, Wyatt & Amala are experienced in dog bite cases and can give you the skilled representation your case deserves.

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