A settlement of $325,000 was reached for a Clackamas County hiker who was injured when a teenager's off-leash dog ran into her while she was hiking a local trail.
The hiker and her husband were coming up a trail when a dog came running down the trail. The dog was not on a leash. The dog leaped onto the hiker, knocking her to the ground. The hiker fell awkwardly and dislocated her elbow. The hiker took an ambulance to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a dislocated elbow and ulna fracture. She had significant nerve pain related to the elbow dislocation but chose not to undergo surgery.
The dog owner's family had homeowner's insurance with State Farm. State Farm initially made no offer of settlement. They claimed that the dog never contacted the hiker and that the hiker's fear of dogs caused her to react in an unreasonable way and fall. The hiker hired another lawyer who handles dog bite cases. The lawyer negotiated with State Farm and was only able to get them to offer $69,000. The hiker then parted ways with that lawyer and retained Chad Stavley to take over the case.
Chad filed a lawsuit in Clackamas County Circuit Court and began building the hiker’s case. There were disputed facts and differing opinions about the medical care received and the potential need for surgery. The court set the case for trial. Shortly before the trial, State Farm increased its offer significantly. The case settled for almost five times more than the prior lawyer's offer.