It has long been said that dog is man’s best friend, and for many people that is true. Most dogs make great pets that are loyal to their owners. They frequently live inside the house and are treated like members of the family. In fact, Americans now spend more money on pets than ever before. According to Fortunly, dogs are actually the top influence on the homes that millennials purchase.
But we all know that some dogs are not friendly. In fact, some dogs are downright dangerous. Unfortunately, some dogs have a history of biting and harming people. When a dog attacks or bites, it can cause serious injury and even death.
Which brings us to the question addressed in this article – can a dog bite victim in Oregon receive fair compensation?
Dog Bites in the United States
According to Petpedia, in 2020 there were more than 90 million dogs in the United States, which lived in approximately 84.9 million households. Petpedia also reports that more than 4 million dog bites occurred. The publication notes that during the pandemic, there has been a 300 percent surge in dog bites. DogsBite.org reports a higher number, claiming that approximately 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs.
The good news is that, according to Petpedia, about 81 percent of dog bites do not require medical treatment. The bad news is that for those who are injured, the injuries can be severe.
DogsBite.org reports that almost 20 percent of dog bites become infected. More than 800,000 dog bites need medical attention every year. More than 1000 people are treated in emergency rooms every day for dog bite injuries. In excess of 27,000 dog bite victims required reconstructive surgery in 2018.
Recovering Fair Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Given the rising number of dog bites and the seriousness of many resulting dog bite injuries, it is not surprising that the medical bills and other related expenses can be high. For those who are hospitalized, DogsBite.org reports that the average cost is $18,200.00. Of course, this does not include other costs such as ambulance costs, lost wages, rehabilitation services, and follow-up medical care. Victims are estimated to suffer between $1 billion and $2 billion in losses every year. Finally, dog bites even lead to wrongful deaths in some cases.
Thus, it should not be surprising that dog bite settlements and recoveries have also increased. According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), the average cost for a dog bite claim was $50,425 in 2020, up 12.3 percent from the prior year. Across the nation, the cost per claim on average increased 162 percent between 2003 and 2020. The iii noted that settlements, jury awards, judgments, and medical costs all were trending higher.
It appears that both insurance companies and the judicial system appreciate the gravity of dog bite injuries. In fact, in 2019, insurance companies paid out $6.89 million in Oregon alone for dog bite cases. As in most personal injury cases, the key is to first prove the liability of the dog owner. Second, documenting and proving damages is essential.
Call with Questions
The experienced Oregon personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield help injury victims every day. We know the law that applies to dog bite cases, and we’d be happy to put our experience to use with a free consultation. If you have questions about financial recovery after a dog bite, give us a call today.