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How Much is My Oregon Dog Bite Case Worth

Table of Contents
January 18, 2024

How Much is My Oregon Dog Bite Case Worth

People are often curious about the potential value of their dog bite case.  Without hearing the facts of your case and understanding your injuries, no dog bite attorney can tell you what your case may be worth.  

But we can explain the difference between a dog bite case with potentially high value and one that has low value.

We can give you information including all Oregon jury verdicts related to dog bites and dog attacks since January 1, 2014, and we can also point you in the direction of our verdicts and settlements in dog bite cases.

How to Value Dog Bite Cases

red nosed pit bull, pit bull, pit mix

Valuing a dog bite case is not much different than valuing any personal injury case. You start by how confident you are that you can prove that the dog owner or other responsible party was negligent.  There are two ways to prove liability in Oregon.  You can prove "strict liability" but showing the dog was dangerous and the dog's owner knew it or you can show that the dog's owner violated a local leash law.  

Causation is not usually an issue in dog bite cases so we won't address it at length here.  But basically, you have to prove that your injuries were caused or made worse by the dog bite or attack.

Then you have to look at the injuries and damages.  What injuries were caused by the attack  and what are the financial and human impacts of those injuries? Obviously, the more serious the injury the more money will be needed to repay medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. In serious injury cases you may also have future medical expenses and lost wages. When dealing with the human impact of the injury we think about what you have been through and will have to go through in the future as a result of the dog bite. The greater the impact the injury has on a person's life, the more money it will take to make up for the harm.  

Lastly, you have to believe that any judgment is collectible. This is very important. If the dog owner is a homeowner, they normally have homeowner's insurance. Homeowner's policies typically cover dog bite incidents even when the incident happens away from the home.  

Dog owners who are not homeowners often have no insurance or a small renter's policy, and no assets. Those cases may not be worth the expense of pursuing because there is little chance of collecting a dog bite settlement or verdict.

Oregon Dog Bite Jury Verdicts

One of the first things you can look at is jury verdicts.  No two cases are the same but looking at past verdicts can give you information on what types of dog attack cases have resulted in dog owners being held responsible, and which ones have not. Then you can look at the amount of money that has been recovered.  

In Oregon, there have only been seven jury trials for dog bites or dog attacks since January 1, 2014.  Five have resulted in the victim recovering money and two have resulted in the victim losing and not recovering any compensation.

  • Travers v. Scheffer, Multnomah County Case No. 1401-00913 - $404,044.75
  • Shertzer v. Davis, Yamhill County Case No. 14CV02458 - $108,607.47
  • Wyrick v. Williams, Multnomah County Case No. 21CV19662 - $49,300.87
  • Peck v. McMullen, Jackson County Case No. 17CV38647 - $20,001.49
  • Perez v. Anderson, Yamhill County Case No. 14CV08432 - $18,417.6
  • Halseith v. Harris, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV36264 - Defense Verdict
  • Brown v. Alberti, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV35390 - Defense Verdict

Our Settlements - Dog Bite and Dog Attack Cases

  • $325,000 - Clackamas County case where Plaintiff was knocked to the ground by an off-leash dog in a park and needed to have elbow surgery.  
  • $300,000 policy limits dog bite settlement  - Eastern Oregon case where Plaintiff was bitten in the face by a neighbor's pit bull requiring surgery.
  • $300,000 policy limits dog bite settlement - Seattle case where woman was bitten in the face by her boyfriend's bulldog.
  • $300,000 policy limits dog bite settlement - Southern Oregon case where a child was bitten in the face by a pit bull. The dog owner was visiting from out of state.
  • $275,000 dog bite settlement for a child bit in the face by an off-leash pit bull in a public location.  
  • $250,000 dog bite settlement for a woman bitten on the leg by a dog with a bite history.  The total medical bills were only $1,700.
  • $140,000 dog bite settlement for a woman bitten by a pit bull in her Portland neighborhood.  
  • $120,000 dog bite for a woman bitten on the arm by a pit bull in her Portland neighborhood. The dog was not on a leash.
  • $100,000 policy limits settlement for a woman bitten in the face by a dog owned by a family member.

What is An Average Dog Bite Settlement?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 17,597 dog bite claims in 2022 in the United States and the average dog bite settlement was $64,555.00.  

It is important to note that this is for all claims including people that did not consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer.  If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dangerous dog, you should get a consultation with a lawyer who has experience holding dog owners responsible for dog bite injuries.

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