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Fast Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Oregon Dog Bite Laws

According to the most current statistics in the United States, over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually, with 800,000 or more receiving medical attention. In some cases, a dog bite can result in a personal injury claim, in which the dog’s owner must provide financial compensation for hospital bills, medical treatment, or emotional damages. 

Most states have specific laws and local ordinances outlining when a dog owner is liable for a dog bite. These laws, known as “dog bite laws,” vary slightly from state to state

If you live in Oregon and have suffered a dog bite, you might be looking for a personal injury lawyer familiar with Oregon dog bite law. The attorneys at Warren Allen LLP specialize in a range of personal injury cases, including dog bite claims, across the Pacific Northwest. Before you call them to schedule your consultation, read through the comprehensive summary below to learn more about Oregon’s dog bite laws and your legal rights regarding those laws.

Who is Legally Responsible?

First, it’s essential to understand who is legally responsible for the dog’s actions. An “owner” usually owns the dog as property or is the regular custodian caring for it. However, the term can also extend to someone who knowingly allows the animal to stay on or near their premises

An exception to this rule, veterinarians and those who run kennels or boarding facilities might have temporary custody of the dog but are not considered “owners” since their care is usually less than 30 days at a time.

When to Report a Dog Bite

Any time that a dog bite breaks the skin, you suspect the dog might have rabies, or you know the dog has been in close contact with a rabid animal (or an animal suspected of having rabies), you must report the incident to the local health authority. 

Statute of Limitations

Although you do not need to take legal action against the dog owner immediately, you have a limited time to file a personal injury claim in court. Oregon does not have a specific statute of limitations on filing dog bite civil lawsuits, but these cases fall under the “personal injury.” Oregon’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the initial encounter, so you must file your case within two years of a dog bite. 

Even if you do not initially plan on pursuing legal action after a dog bite injury, taking detailed notes about what occurred is always a good idea. Get the dog owner’s information, including name and contact information, proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination status, and the dog’s veterinarian’s contact information. Take pictures of your injury as soon as possible and continue taking pictures throughout the various healing stages. Keep all written notes, records, and photographic evidence of anything related to your injury in a file together.

What Financial Compensation Might Be Covered?

In general, when you file a personal injury claim, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation to cover medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. To support your claim, collect as much evidence as you can. 

  • If you receive medical care, ask for copies of doctor’s notes, pictures, prescriptions, and anything related to your care and recovery from the bite. 
  • If you need to take time off work due to your injury, this time could be considered a loss of income, so be sure to document it.
  • If you cannot perform specific domestic duties (e.g., cooking, driving, childcare, etc.) because of your injuries and need to hire outside help, retain all receipts, invoices, and communication with the service provider. 

Around half of dog bite victims are children who might be more prone to the after-effects of fear and anxiety from a traumatic dog encounter and injury. It’s important to remember that personal injury cases are not limited to physical damages, so if you or your child suffer mental or emotional anguish in the wake of a dog bite and seek professional mental health care or counseling services, keep detailed records of this medical treatment as well.

Strict Liability vs One-Bite 

Washington State is known as a strict liability state (rather than a “one-bite state”) regarding dog bite laws. Strict liability laws hold the dog owner responsible for any bite occurring on public property (unless the victim provoked the dog or assaulted the dog owner) or private property (unless the victim was trespassing). 

Even if the dog has never displayed aggression or bitten anyone, the dog owner will still be held liable and might be responsible for providing financial compensation to the victim. In contrast, a one-bite state does not allow liability to be applied until a history of aggression is established. Oregon is a mixed-liability state. Per Westberry v. Blackwell, an Oregon dog owner is liable for a dog bite injury if they knew or should have known the dog’s dangerous behavior.

Additional Local Ordinances

Certain Oregon cities or counties might have other dog ownership regulations that could affect your personal injury case. For instance, in some counties and all Oregon state parks, dog owners must always keep their dogs on leash in public unless in a designated off-leash area. 

Other laws apply to dogs legally designated as “dangerous” after previously showing aggression or having bitten someone. Owners of dangerous dogs often must meet specific additional requirements, such as confining the dog securely or keeping it muzzled in public.

Get an Expert Opinion on Your Dog Bite Case

Talking to an attorney familiar with Oregon dog bite law is essential if you’re wondering whether you’re eligible for financial compensation due to a dog bite injury. Laws are subject to change, and you need someone up-to-date and aware of local ordinances and regulations that might apply to your case. The personal injury team at Warren Allen LLP would be happy to discuss your case with you and provide legal advice and representation if you live in southwestern Washington, Portland, or other areas across Oregon. Let our team be your team. Contact us to get started today!

What Is the Role of Insurance in Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury cases are common and can include car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, workplace injuries, and dog bites. If you have been involved in an accident that caused you physical, mental, or emotional harm because of someone else’s actions or negligence, you might be entitled to financial compensation from the party at fault. 

Insurance companies and their representatives usually work to settle personal injury claims. Depending on the type of personal injury case, different types of insurance policies and companies might be involved. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Portland, like the Warren Allen LLP team, who specializes in these types of cases, is often a good idea since they can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if you are unable to reach a fair settlement. 

For instance, if you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, ensure they are well-versed in providing solid legal advice and working on all types of personal injury cases, which should include: 

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents (also known as premises liability)
  • Product liability
  • Animal bites
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

It’s important to remember that the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident will likely try to settle the claim as quickly as possible while minimizing the financial impact on their client. Understanding the different types of insurance policies and companies you might encounter and their role in personal injury claims might help you be more prepared to ensure the best outcome for yourself. The information below provides an overview of insurance in personal injury cases, including things to watch out for.

Common Types of Insurance Policies Involved In Personal Injury Cases

Many insurance policies offer some coverage for personal injury claims. The following are a few different kinds of insurance and the costs they might cover.

Automobile Insurance

Most drivers have car insurance that provides liability coverage that helps pay for bodily injury or physical damage you might cause in an accident. Depending on the policy, medical bills, car repairs, pain and suffering, and lost wages might be covered. Some states also require personal injury protection or no-fault insurance as part of your plan. This protection might help pay for medical costs and sometimes lost wages not covered by your regular health insurance, no matter who was at fault in the accident. 

Insurance companies generally use a specific formula and minimum amounts the state sets to determine the settlement amount they offer you.

Business Owner’s Policy And Homeowners’ Insurance

Slip-and-fall incidents most often occur at businesses or on private property. Business owner’s policies combine liability coverage and property insurance; some homeowners’ insurance policies can include personal liability coverage. In both cases, the insurance policy could cover the medical bills of a third party who is injured on the property of the business or home due to negligence, like an icy sidewalk, slippery floor, or a loose board on the porch. 

The insurance company sets coverage limits depending on the plan purchased by the business or homeowner. Any settlement beyond those limits would be paid out-of-pocket by the policyholder. Also, it’s important to remember that claims against insurance policies often raise rates for the policyholder, making them more likely to challenge these claims. An experienced personal injury lawyer on your side is especially helpful if the situation becomes contentious.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Any time you are injured while on the job, your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to help cover any medical treatment or lost wages as you recover. Many workers’ compensation claims are paid in full, even if you are at fault. Typically, when you accept payment, you give up any rights to sue your employer for the incident, including for financial compensation for pain and suffering in the future.

Medical Malpractice Insurance

In the United States, all hospitals have medical malpractice insurance, and many healthcare professionals do as well. These insurance policies provide liability coverage related to claims of medical negligence, products, or services that result in a patient’s injury or death. Medical malpractice cases are complicated, and it’s usually best to consult with professionals before pursuing one. 

What Do Insurance Companies Do In Personal Injury Claims?

As a general rule, when an accident is reported to an insurance company, they assign a claims adjuster who will be responsible for the following:

  • Investigate the accident
  • Gather information and evidence through eyewitness accounts, pictures, police reports, medical records, etc.
  • Assess the extent of damages and injuries
  • Interview and determine the liability of their policyholder
  • Calculate the amount of compensation to be offered
  • Negotiate with you or your representative to settle the claim

Insurance Company Tactics To Be Aware Of

Remember that the insurance adjusters work for the insurance company of the other party involved in your accident, not you. They most likely do not have your best interests in mind. To minimize the financial impact on their employer (the insurance company) and their client (the policyholder), they might employ a few different tactics you should be aware of, including:

  • Offering a low initial settlement amount
  • Pressuring you to settle early, before your medical treatment or car repairs are complete
  • Attempting to shift liability from their client to you
  • Requesting records, reports, or personal recorded statements from you that might be used against you (such as information about pre-existing medical conditions or prior personal injury claims) 
  • Trying to settle your claim before you’ve consulted with a lawyer or pursue litigation

When To Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s always a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Portland before providing recorded statements to an insurance claims adjuster or accepting any settlement offers outright. Many attorneys provide free initial consultations to offer legal advice on protecting your rights. They can also help you assess any settlement offers you might receive and whether you should pursue litigation. 

Negotiating with insurance companies can take time and effort. If you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement with an insurance company, it is in your best interests to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and represent you in court. When you contact the team at Warren Allen LLP, you will have access to a personal injury lawyer in Portland with a wealth of knowledge and experience representing clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be challenging. It helps to have a team on your side. Call today to discuss how Warren Allen LLP can help you!

Personal Injuries and Emotional Distress: Understanding Your Claims

After you incur a personal injury, you often experience physical pain and suffering. What you don’t realize is you may also experience emotional distress. Though you may not be able to see it, emotional distress can be just as traumatic as a physical injury, if not more. 

This article will help explain emotional distress, how it can relate to an accident or injury, and how it might apply to your personal injury claim. 

What is Emotional Distress?

When it comes to a personal injury claim, emotional distress is defined as “mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition.” 

Emotional distress can manifest itself in many different ways, which may not be evident at first. It could even be brushed aside and attributed to physical injury. Knowing the signs and symptoms of emotional distress can help you understand how it’s affecting your mental health. 

Some common signs of emotional distress include, but are not limited to:

  • subtle personality changes
  • crying spells or bursts of anger
  • increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • changes in appetite or difficulty eating
  • increasing physical distress symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains
  • feeling guilty, helpless, or hopeless
  • avoiding family and friends, isolating
  • trouble keeping track of things or remembering

Since some of these symptoms can be masked by physical injury, it is vital to be aware of any emotional changes you may be feeling, regardless of your bodily injury status. Keep a journal and note the changes in your mental health. If you notice any of the signs above, getting the support you need is vital. 

Understanding the Legal Basis for Emotional Distress Claims

Whether it’s a car accident, a workplace incident, or a slip and fall, the impact of personal injuries can extend far beyond physical pain. Understanding the connection between personal injuries and emotional distress is crucial when it comes to seeking compensation for your suffering. 

Emotional distress claims are a subset of personal injury claims that focus on the psychological harm suffered by the victim. These claims assert that the negligent or intentional actions of another party caused significant emotional distress, resulting in mental anguish and psychological trauma. While physical injuries may be more visible and tangible, emotional distress claims recognize the profound impact that psychological harm can have on a person’s well-being. By understanding the legal basis for emotional distress claims, you can better navigate the legal process to seek appropriate compensation.

How Does Emotional Distress Affect You?

Physical Injuries 

The pain, suffering, and lifestyle changes that accompany physical injuries can encompass a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, anger, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our personal injury lawyers in Portland can help you recognize and identify the validity and impact of emotional distress on a person’s mental health and overall quality of life. It’s essential to address these emotional impacts alongside the physical ones when seeking compensation.

Psychological Trauma

Psychological trauma resulting from personal injuries can have far-reaching consequences on emotional well-being. Witnessing a traumatic event, such as a serious accident or violence, can cause severe psychological distress. This trauma can manifest as nightmares, flashbacks, and intense fear, affecting daily life and mental health. Recognizing the psychological impact of personal injuries is crucial in understanding the full scope of emotional distress.

Chronic Illness

Personal injuries aren’t always limited to isolated incidents but can also encompass chronic illnesses and conditions. Coping with a chronic illness can take a toll on a person’s mental health, leading to emotional distress. The constant pain, limitations, and uncertainty associated with chronic illnesses can contribute to feelings of frustration, sadness, and anxiety. Acknowledging the emotional burden of chronic illnesses is essential when seeking compensation for the overall impact on one’s well-being.

Long-Term Effects of Emotional Distress on Mental Health 

Emotional distress can have long-lasting effects on mental health if not effectively addressed. Untreated emotional distress may lead to chronic anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. By understanding the potential long-term consequences, it becomes evident that seeking compensation for emotional distress is not only fair but necessary to obtain the resources for proper treatment and support.

Establishing Duty of Care in Personal Injury Cases

To pursue an emotional distress claim, it is crucial to establish the legal concept of duty of care. This concept recognizes that individuals and entities have a legal obligation to act responsibly and avoid causing harm to others. Proving that the party responsible for your personal injury owed you a duty of care is essential in building a solid emotional distress claim.

Causation is another critical element in emotional distress claims. It requires demonstrating that the personal injury directly caused the emotional distress suffered. Establishing this link may involve medical records, expert testimony, and evidence of the emotional impact experienced. By connecting the personal injury to the emotional distress, you strengthen the foundation of your claim.

Determining the Level of Emotional Distress

Emotional distress claims often require meeting a threshold to be eligible for compensation. This means that the emotional distress experienced must reach a certain level of severity, causing significant harm and disruption to one’s life. While the exact requirements vary depending on jurisdiction, understanding the severity threshold is imperative in evaluating the strength of your emotional distress claim.

When it comes to proving emotional distress in personal injury cases, documentation is key. Keep a record of any mental or emotional symptoms you experience after the incident. It’s also helpful to track any changes in your daily life, relationships, or work performance attributed to your emotional distress. Save any relevant documents, such as medical records or therapy session notes, that support your claims.

Seeking legal advice is always advisable to navigate this complex aspect of your case. Our personal injury lawyers in Portland can help you understand how your particular injury impacts your emotional well-being. If you believe you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury, contact Warren Allen, Attorneys at Law, to schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Portland.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: Seeking Compensation and Support

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, approximately 2.8 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually in the United States alone. Although there is a wide range in severity, symptoms, and causes, this type of injury can be a life-altering event for an individual and their family.

You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an accident or someone else’s negligence. Discussing your situation with a personal injury lawyer in Portland, like the expert team at Warren Allen, LLP, can help answer your questions and get you started on the road to recovery.

Types Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

As the name suggests, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that affects how it functions. Generally speaking, there are two major types of TBIs. When an object penetrates the skull and damages brain tissue, it is commonly known as a penetrating or open TBI. Open TBIs often occur in accidents involving machinery or vehicles, like car accidents.

A non-penetrating or closed TBI most often occurs due to an external blow or jolt to the head or body that is forceful enough to move the brain inside the skull dramatically. These types of TBIs are more common in falls or sports. In some instances (e.g., natural disasters or serious accidents), an individual can experience both types of TBI simultaneously.

Common Symptoms

The brain is incredibly complex, so symptoms may not appear immediately but might develop or worsen over time. Sometimes, it can take weeks to know the full extent of the injury as the brain and the body work to recover from the initial trauma.

If you are in an accident or experience a blow to the head, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor, even if you’re not showing any symptoms. However, it’s imperative to seek medical help if you notice any of the following symptoms within 24 hours of sustaining a TBI:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems (blurriness, double vision, unevenly dilated pupils, light sensitivity)
  • Loss of, change in, or decreased consciousness
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Difficulty with memory, concentration, or decision-making
  • Changes in mood (anxiety, depression, agitation, irritability, anger, emotional outbursts, unusual behavior, etc.)
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with hearing (ringing in the ears or sensitivity to sound)
  • Clear fluids from the nose or ears
  • Loss of balance, dizziness, lack of coordination
  • Weakness in limbs or face
  • Sleep issues (excessive or unexplained fatigue, drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep, sleeping more than usual, no energy, lack of motivation, inability to wake up)
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth

Personal Injury Cases Involving Traumatic Brain Injuries

When it comes to the law, the term “personal injury” refers to physical or emotional pain, suffering, or harm resulting from someone else’s negligence or an accident that was not your fault. Many different events can result in a TBI, so if you have been involved in one, you might have a personal injury case.

Some of the most common incidents causing a TBI can include the following:

  1. Vehicular accidents: including cars, bikes, motorcycles, trucks, boats, etc. TBIs may happen from a collision between vehicles, being thrown from a car, or if you are a pedestrian or a cyclist struck by a vehicle.
  2. Slip and fall accidents: especially if the fall includes hitting your head on a hard surface.
  3. Accidents in the workplace: head injuries are common at construction sites or when working with heavy machinery.
  4. Sports or recreational activities: contact sports like football or roller derby and recreational activities like skiing, snowboarding, dirt bikes, or mountain climbing can result in collisions, impacts, falls, and other head injuries.
  5. Medical malpractice: mistakes in medical procedures or other issues while under a doctor’s care can sometimes result in a TBI.
  6. Defective products: when a product like a bike helmet or a car seat is faulty, the user might suffer a TBI when the product does not protect them as it should.
  7. Dog bites: A TBI might occur if a dog attack is severe, especially if the dog bites the face or head.
  8. Premises liability or negligence: if a head injury occurs at a business or even a private property, the property owner might be held responsible if adequate and appropriate safety measures (e.g., warning signs about falling rocks or slippery surfaces, railings, etc.) were not taken.

As previously noted, seeking medical help and documenting all symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments is essential if you experience a TBI, no matter the precipitating cause. As brain injuries often have long-lasting or permanent effects, a medical professional should evaluate the extent of your injury and discuss treatment options and what types of impacts you might expect in the future.

How To Get Compensation For A TBI

When you meet with a legal expert, like a personal injury lawyer in Portland, Oregon, at Warren Allen, LLC, they can evaluate your situation, help you build your case, and seek compensation, if warranted.

In general, a personal injury lawyer will assist you in:

  • Establishing negligence – usually, you must demonstrate that you were injured due to someone else’s fault or negligence.
  • Collecting evidence – gathering together as much evidence as possible, including medical records and diagnoses, accident reports, surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, prescriptions, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, pictures of injuries (like dog bite marks) or locations, etc., can all be helpful for your case.
  • Determining damages – a legal expert will be up-to-date on the amount and type of compensation you might be eligible for, such as loss of income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, any physical rehabilitation or long-term care you might need, therapy, counseling, medical care, reduced quality of life, etc.
  • Representing you in negotiations, settlements, or litigation – whether working with insurance companies or other parties involved in an accident, your attorney can best negotiate on your behalf and present your evidence. Parties often prefer to settle out of court, but should your case go to trial, a personal injury lawyer can represent your interests and work for fair compensation.
  • Appealing an unfavorable verdict – if a judge rules against you, your attorney can help you navigate the court system to file an appeal, if appropriate.

Once the court rules in your favor, you will receive financial compensation. This compensation often comes through the other party’s insurance company but sometimes comes in a structured settlement or payment plan rather than a lump sum.

TBI Information And Support Groups

Dealing with some of the long-term consequences of a TBI can be expensive and emotionally draining for individuals and families. Thankfully, some federal and state resources are available that provide additional support. A quick Google search can point you toward many different resources, but the following are some places to start.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists where to get help in your state. The organizations listed provide helpful information about what to expect when you have a TBI, fact sheets, support groups for individuals and families, and other resources as you recover.

Financial Assistance

Suffering from a TBI can be a financial burden. Many families require outside financial assistance between medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, or an inability to work. Federal assistance might be available through the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs.

Benefits.gov is a free website that allows you to search through over one thousand government programs to see if you are eligible for financial benefits and assistance.

Other Assistance

Each state has its own Department of Rehabilitation or Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to help residents with disabilities, including brain injuries, find employment and access resources. The Job Accommodation Network provides contact information for each state office. You can apply in person or online. If accepted, you can work with a case manager who will assist you in seeking employment suitable for you, choosing the best doctors for any long-term care you need, finding appropriate housing, accessing resources to help you live independently, and providing educational resources about your TBI for family members and coworkers.

If you have suffered a TBI due to an accident or someone else’s negligence and want to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Portland to see if you have a case, contact Warren Allen, LLP today. We have years of experience dealing with all types of personal injury cases. Let our team be your team!

What is a Personal Injury Lawyer? When Do You Need One?

Accidents happen. But what if you get hurt in an accident, and it’s someone else’s fault? For instance, if you trip and fall on a broken step in a store and sprain your ankle, can you get compensated for medical bills or wages lost from time missed at work? 

When you’ve sustained an injury as a direct result of the actions or inactions of another person or entity (e.g., government agency, company, workplace, etc.), you might need the services of a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Usually, a personal injury lawyer will work to get payment from the responsible party to compensate you and help you recover.

Although car accidents are usually what first spring to mind when thinking about personal injury cases, there are several different types of cases that personal injury lawyers handle. Keep reading to better understand what these cases entail, as well as the services that personal injury lawyers generally provide to their clients. 

Types Of Personal Injury Cases

The following are short descriptions of the most common personal injury cases. Keep in mind that the term “personal injury” does not always have to mean “bodily injury.” Not just physical injury falls under the umbrella of personal injury, mental and emotional damage count as well.

Vehicular Accidents

The most common personal injury claims come from accidents involving vehicles, including cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, and mass transportation like buses or trains. You might also file a personal injury claim if you were a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.

Slip And Fall Accidents

When one person slips (or trips), falls, and sustains an injury on another person’s property, it’s called a slip-and-fall accident. This type of personal injury case is known as a premises liability claim. The owner of the property, or the person responsible for controlling the property at the time, might be required to provide you with financial compensation for your injuries if you slipped and fell due to their negligence. For instance, if you slipped because the floor was very wet and they did not put up a cautionary sign, the property owner could be held liable. 

Although premises liability cases often involve businesses, individual homeowners can also be held liable if you can prove that you were injured on the property and that the homeowner did not take necessary precautions through appropriate maintenance or signage to prevent the injury.

Product Liability

Manufacturers, designers, and sellers of products have a legal obligation to ensure those products are safe for consumers. If you or your property experience damage when using a product in the way it was intended or as a result of a defective product, you might be able to pursue a product liability claim to recoup money for the resulting damages.

Animal Bites

We love our dogs, but even the best-trained and most mild-mannered dog can bite. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs yearly in the United States alone. Of that number, over 800,000 seek medical care as a direct result.

If you or a loved one has been physically injured by a dog bite (or other domesticated animal) or suffered psychological damage after being bitten, you have two years to file a claim under Oregon’s personal injury statute of limitations.

Medical Malpractice

Healthcare providers devote their lives to helping us stay healthy and recover from illnesses and injuries. However, you might sometimes receive substandard medical care, such as a misdiagnosis, an error during surgery, failure to diagnose a harmful physical condition or illness, wrong prescription, etc. In these cases, it is best to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, especially because a successful lawsuit will likely require expert medical evidence and testimony. 

Workplace Accidents

Although accidents at work are generally covered under workers’ compensation insurance, you may still be eligible to make a personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. If a third party, like an employee from another company or a manufacturer of a defective product was involved in the incident, you could file a personal injury claim against them. Working with legal representation will ensure you receive everything due to you from the at-fault parties. 

What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do For Clients?

Personal injury lawyers work to get you compensation for a variety of damages. Some of the most common include medical expenses (surgery, prescription medication, emergency transportation, etc.); lost income from time missed at work; out-of-pocket expenses like a car rental while yours is being repaired; and more intangible costs like pain and suffering; mental anguish; and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Depending on the type of claim, personal injury lawyers will have different responsibilities. In general, though, they might:

  • Gather evidence to support your claim – Police reports, witness statements, photographs of the scene, medical reports, etc.
  • Work with insurance companies on your behalf – Analyze insurance policies and handle all communication. An intermediary is especially helpful when dealing with the defendant’s insurance adjuster.
  • Prepare complaints – If the defendant’s insurance company refuses to work with you toward a fair settlement, your personal injury lawyer will set out the legal arguments about why the defendant is responsible for the accident and the damages you seek.
  • Represent you in court – If your case eventually ends up going to trial, it’s best to have a personal injury lawyer represent you since they will be familiar with the law and court procedures.

Get The Help You Need

When you’re already dealing with physical or emotional pain and trauma, it can be overwhelming to face medical bills, calls from insurance agents, physical rehabilitation, counseling, loss of wages, and more. You don’t have to do it alone. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Portland, call the team at Warren Allen, LLP. We will work to get you appropriate compensation and the best resolution to your situation.

What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer in Portland Do for Me?

Accidents happen when we least expect them, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. Dealing with injuries, medical bills, and the stress of navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with the intricacies of personal injury law. That’s where a personal injury lawyer in Portland can be your strongest ally. In this article, we will explore how these legal professionals can assist you in handling your personal injury case and securing the compensation you deserve.

Legal Expertise and Guidance

A personal injury lawyer is a legal professional with specialized knowledge and experience in handling cases related to personal injuries. They are well-versed in the laws and regulations specific to Portland, Oregon, and have a deep understanding of how the legal system works in personal injury cases. By hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney, you gain access to their expertise and guidance, which is crucial for navigating the complexities of your case.

Case Evaluation and Investigation

One of the initial steps a personal injury lawyer will take is to evaluate your case. They will carefully review the circumstances surrounding your accident, collect evidence, and assess the extent of your injuries. This thorough investigation is essential for building a solid case and determining the parties responsible for your damages. Gathering evidence, such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements, can significantly impact the outcome of your claim.

Expert Handling of Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are known for their tactics to minimize payouts to injury victims. When dealing with the aftermath of an accident, you may need to be in a better position to negotiate with these companies effectively. A skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to handle insurance adjusters and will advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.

Accurate Calculation of Damages

Determining the actual value of your personal injury claim can be a complex task. There are various types of damages you may be entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical costs. A personal injury lawyer has the experience to accurately calculate the total damages you have suffered and will seek compensation accordingly.

Legal Representation in Court

While many personal injury cases are settled outside of court, some disputes may require litigation. A personal injury lawyer will be prepared to represent you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached with the responsible party. Their courtroom experience and advocacy skills will protect your rights and ensure you have the best chance of a favorable verdict. The steps of a settlement that a personal injury lawyer in Portland will take for you include preparation for a trial, filing the lawsuit itself, the discovery phase (where each party will gather evidence for the case), pre-trial motions to dismiss specific evidence, and the courtroom representation itself. This will include their expert coverage of cross-examination and defense, the post-trial proceedings, or any settlement reached during the process.

Contingency Fee Arrangement

One of the most significant advantages of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Portland is the typical contingency fee arrangement. This means you do not have to pay any upfront fees for legal services. Instead, your attorney will only receive payment if they successfully secure compensation for you. This arrangement allows access to quality legal representation for individuals who may need more financial means to pay for legal services upfront.

Focus on Your Recovery

Dealing with a personal injury case can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. When you have a personal injury lawyer handling the legal aspects of your case, you can focus on your recovery and well-being. Knowing that a dedicated legal professional is fighting for your rights can provide much-needed peace of mind during a challenging time.

Settlement Negotiation Skills

Personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators. They understand the tactics used by insurance companies and the strategies required to secure a fair settlement. By enlisting the help of a lawyer, you increase the likelihood of obtaining a settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses.

Trial Experience

In the event that your case does go to trial, having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side is invaluable. Trial proceedings can be complex, and having a lawyer familiar with courtroom procedures and a successful track record in litigation will greatly benefit your case.

Each courtroom has its own unique dynamics and protocols. Experienced personal injury lawyers are familiar with the intricacies of the courtrooms in Portland, where they have likely handled previous cases. They understand how to navigate the courtroom environment, interact with court personnel, and conduct themselves professionally, contributing to a smoother trial process.

Trials are dynamic and unpredictable, and unexpected situations may arise during the proceedings. An experienced personal injury lawyer is well-versed in handling unforeseen challenges and can quickly adjust their strategies to counter any unexpected developments.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Besides going to trial, a personal injury lawyer can explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration. These methods can be less time-consuming and costly than a full trial and may lead to a satisfactory resolution for all parties involved.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can significantly benefit your case if you’ve sustained a personal injury in Portland. And no one in Portland will fight for you like the attorneys at Warren Allen Attorneys at Law. From providing legal expertise and guidance to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court, we will fight for your rights and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

With our help, you can focus on your recovery while knowing you have a skilled advocate working on your behalf. Remember that the statutes of limitations apply to personal injury cases, so it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and pursue your claim effectively.

What To Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog

The number of dogs in the US has steadily increased over the past two decades: roughly half of US households now own a dog. With that number of dogs living amongst humans, it’s more common than you think for someone to suffer a dog bite. This might sound frightening, but statistics show dog bite incidents have decreased over the years.

Certain breeds have a reputation for being more aggressive or biting more often, but a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association shows this is unlikely. Instead, the AVMA suggests that a better way to decrease dog bites is to enforce “non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws, with an emphasis on chronically irresponsible owners,” and prohibit dog fighting, among other things.

Laws and breeds notwithstanding, dogs are still animals and can lash out if frightened. Even if dog bites are not as common as we fear, it is still essential to be mindful of the risk and be cautious around dogs we don’t know. Ask to pet any unfamiliar dogs and respect the owner’s answer.

It is equally important to have a plan of action if an injury occurs, including first aid and contacting a lawyer if a dog bite is severe. Knowing what action you can take following a bite, including hiring a dog bite lawyer, can help ease anxiety or fear in the moment.

Here are steps you can take following a dog bite:

When a Dog Bite Occurs

If someone is bitten, stay calm and get some distance from the dog. Dog bites can be painful and scary, especially for children, but it’s important to remain level-headed. Most dogs won’t bite unless they’re agitated or stressed, so it’s good to give the dog some space to calm down; this will also help prevent further injury.

It is crucial to get medical attention if needed, but “it doesn’t necessarily have to be that second, minute or even within an hour” says Dr. Drigalla, an emergency medicine physician. You have some time to assess the situation calmly and apply first aid.

Medical attention is still essential in many cases, so Dr. Drigalla also says that “waiting a couple of days is a bad idea.” We’ll go over more details about seeing a medical professional shortly.

Clean Wound and Apply First Aid

As a first step, when a dog bite occurs, you will need to check the bite itself. Ensure your hands are clean before handling the wound, and check if it’s actively bleeding. If it is, apply pressure with a clean cloth, gauze, or tissue, and hold it there until the bleeding stops.

If there is no active bleeding, or when the bleeding has stopped, make sure to clean the wound with mild soap and water. It is also recommended that you rinse the wound with warm water for several minutes.

After cleaning the bite, apply antibiotic cream if at all possible. It might not be necessary for all scrapes and cuts, but it is vital for dog bites. The University of Rochester Medical Center says to apply it if the wound is dirty because of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth that can be introduced if the skin is broken. If you don’t have antibiotic cream, follow the rest of the first aid steps and keep the wound clean.

Finally, apply a clean bandage, and change it if it gets dirty or wet.

Get Information From the Dog Owner

You will need to get information from the owner (if possible) when a dog bite occurs. The AVMA recommends that you:

  • Request proof of rabies vaccination
  • Get the owner’s name and contact information
  • Contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination records

Your doctor will want this information so they can decide how to proceed with treatment. This information can also be important if the injury is severe and you need advice from a lawyer, which we will cover later.

If the dog is a stray or the owner is not nearby, consider calling your local animal control to ask for advice. They may want more information about the situation.

See a Medical Professional

The next step is to seek medical attention. You are encouraged to see your provider or visit a walk-in clinic, even if the wound isn’t severe, due to the risk of infection. If you have diabetes or are immunocompromised, that risk of infection is even higher.

The Cleveland Clinic states, “Roughly half of dog bites introduce bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, and pasteurella, as well as capnocytophaga.” A tetanus infection can also be a concern, so you may need a booster if you haven’t had a tetanus shot within five years.

Of course, another consideration is rabies. Mandatory dog vaccination programs have lowered the chance of rabies – only around 60 to 70 dogsare reported rabid in the US each year – but the disease is fatal if contracted and is not worth leaving up to chance. After a potential exposure, washing and thoroughly rinsing the wound is vital, but you will still need to see a medical professional for further treatment.

Contact a Personal Attorney if Necessary

Finally, consider contacting a personal injury attorney. If you aren’t sure if you have a case, the attorneys at Warren Allen clarify: “If you were injured in an accident and you were found not to be at fault, you have a case for personal injury.”

Of course, taking legal action is not always necessary, but you can always seek advice from a lawyer regarding a dog bite. Keep track of details of the incident, such as the dog owner’s information, and record your injuries and recovery via writing or photos. An attorney may be able to help you receive compensation, so reach out to Warren Allen today and let us help you!

How To Prepare for a Personal Injury Deposition

If you have been injured in an accident and have filed a personal injury claim, you may have to give a deposition. Though it is an important step in building a personal injury case, there are ways to prepare for an effective deposition. Preparation is key, as a deposition is an opportunity for both parties’ attorneys to gather evidence. Your attorney is your ally and will be with you throughout the entire process.

It’s natural to have questions regarding your personal injury deposition. You may wonder how to prepare for a deposition or even what a deposition is. The more comprehensive your preparation, the more effective your deposition is toward a positive outcome.

Below is a guide to help you understand what to expect and how to prepare:

What Is a Deposition?

Before delving into how to best prepare, it’s essential first to understand what a deposition is. Depositions typically occur in an attorney’s office and are recorded by a court reporter responsible for providing transcripts. A witness (deponent) is asked questions under oath by the attorneys to preserve the witness’s testimony and gather facts about what the witness knows. The attorneys use this information to gather evidence and prepare for trial.

Lawyers from each side are present and have opportunities to ask questions. It’s important to answer these questions carefully and truthfully; the deposition could be used in court, and false statements can have civil and criminal penalties. Under most circumstances, a deponent is obligated to answer all questions. Your attorney will search out favorable evidence, while the opposing attorney will seek evidence favorable for their client. The preparation leading up to your personal injury deposition will better ensure you are not surprised by their questions and are poised to answer truthfully and cautiously.

Review the Facts

One of the best ways to prepare for a deposition is by reviewing the facts of your case with your attorney. You must answer questions correctly and accurately. Review pertinent details surrounding the accident, any injuries, and treatment received. You’ll need to include what happened and the timeline of events and resulting injuries or pain and suffering.

Make sure to review the strong points of your case. Is the defendant liable? How have the injuries affected your life? Think through the injuries and how they impact your daily life. Record your experience, keep detailed notes, and review statements and medical records. The opposing attorney will try to poke holes in your case, but your attorney can help you understand how to answer questions meant to discredit your testimony. Reviewing the facts of the case keeps these facts at the forefront of your memory. It enables you to answer truthfully without allowing the opposing attorney to confuse the details with leading questions.

Listen Carefully and Pause Before Answering

Listen to the entire question before answering. It’s essential to fully understand the question before answering. Listen, pause, then answer. Pausing allows you time to think through your response and allows your attorney to object if necessary.

If you do not understand, ask for clarification. Don’t answer a question you don’t understand, as this can lead to false information or misrepresenting the facts. If you are in doubt, ask for clarification or rephrasing. If you did not hear the question, ask the attorney to repeat it. Remember to stay calm; you have a right to understand each question, and taking the necessary time is okay.

Don’t Volunteer Information

Only answer the question that is asked. Once you answer, stop talking and wait silently. Though you are under obligation to answer asked questions, you are not obligated to explain your answer unless explicitly asked to. Answer the question that is asked and refrain from volunteering additional information.

Keep your answers brief, and refrain from adding information that the attorney did not request. If an attorney needs an explanation, they will ask for it. If the answer is a simple “yes,” then respond with “yes” and quietly wait for the next question.

Answer Truthfully

A personal injury deposition is under oath, so you must answer truthfully. Lying or trying to distort the facts in your favor can harm your case. Answer truthfully and keep to your original answer. Changing your testimony can be detrimental. If the opposing attorney repeatedly asks similar questions, keep to your testimony. They can use this tactic to sway your testimony so you eventually give a different answer.

If you do not know the answer or don’t remember, simply say so. “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” are acceptable and appropriate answers. If you are unsure about a particular detail, don’t guess or make assumptions, as this can harm the case. If you genuinely don’t know or cannot remember, respectfully say so.

Communicate With Your Attorney

Your personal injury attorney represents your interests, so it’s important to communicate with them honestly. This is especially true if you have concerns regarding your case. If you believe there have been any mistakes in your testimony, communicate this to your attorney during the break. Let your attorney know if you forgot to mention an important detail. These can be clarified after the break, on the record.

It’s also important to note that questions can be asked regarding your background beyond the accident. These include your education, credit history, personal relationships, prior accidents, etc. These are typically not admissible, but if there is anything problematic in your background, notify your attorney so they can advise you how to answer.

Remember, your attorney is your ally in your personal injury deposition. When you need legal representation in Oregon or Washington, contact the team at Warren Allen LLP. We provide solid advice and representation to help you receive compensation. Equipped with the right attorney, you can stay calm and professional, knowing you are thoroughly prepared for a successful deposition.

How Do I Get Compensation for a Dog Bite

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has sustained injuries from a dog bite. Though an animal attack can be a traumatic experience, having people supporting you through the process can ease unnecessary stress. Working with an experienced dog bite lawyer means they can take the lead so you can focus on healing.

It also ensures you follow all the necessary steps in a timely manner, so you don’t lose out on the compensation you may be owed. Read on to learn what these steps are so you can get your medical bills covered, along with other losses:

Seek Medical Treatment

After a dog attack, there are two critical steps to take: seek medical treatment and representation. With every emergency, make sure to put your health and safety first. Once you are safely removed from the threat, have your injuries assessed by a healthcare professional. Don’t delay visiting urgent care or the emergency room or calling 911 if necessary.

Left untreated, dog bites can lead to severe or even fatal infections. It’s crucial you seek medical attention so a professional can determine the severity of the bite, as well as treat symptoms while preventing infection.

Other serious symptoms may include uncontrollable bleeding, swelling, oozing from the wound, fever, pain, and possible nerve or bone damage from a deep wound. Aside from infection and nerve or bone damage, you may be at risk of tetanus, rabies, or sepsis. Make sure you get proper care for the dog bite immediately to avoid further harm.

Document Everything

In order to seek restitution, make sure to document all details and keep copies of any relevant paperwork. Record the particulars of what happened, when, and where it happened. Include as many details as you can remember. This will help your case in proving the dog owner was liable for your injuries. Not all states have the same laws in regard to dog bites, so it’s important to document everything to help determine liability.

Keep records of all losses directly related to the dog attack. These losses can include economic losses, non-economic losses, and punitive damages. If you also suffered any property damage, medical bills, or lost wages, record these details and gather documents as evidence.

Remember, not all losses are economic. You can seek compensation if you have experienced any pain and suffering or emotional distress. Punitive damages may be rewarded if the dog owner is found to exhibit willful or malicious behavior. Keep a journal of your experiences, including photos and written accounts. A comprehensive record will be your ally alongside an experienced attorney.

Collect Evidence

In conjunction with your written account of the events, gather as much evidence corroborating these details. If there were any witnesses to the incident, collect their names and contact information. Take photos and videos from the scene of the attack. Include photos or videos of the dog as well as the location of the attack. Document your injury and any torn clothing. If there is any physical evidence at the scene, such as torn clothing or blood, take photos and keep the clothing.

Are there prior animal control reports or videos displaying aggression from the dog? Is there testimony that the dog was roaming loose? Is the fence broken, showing the dog could have escaped? Record all pertinent details.

In addition to evidence from the scene, keep copies of all medical bills and records as well as bank account statements and pay stubs for any lost wages. These documents will aid you in your case when determining how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Notify Authorities

It will help your claim, as well as help prevent future attacks if you notify Animal Control. Reporting the attack will also create an official report that can be used as evidence in your case. A simple internet search will lead you to the correct division and number for Animal Control. Or, if you are unsure, call the police.

Partner With an Attorney

As mentioned earlier, another critical step in getting help after a dog bite is hiring an attorney. The right dog bite lawyer will be well-versed in dog bite laws for your state and experienced in personal injury cases similar to yours. Their knowledge and skill will be your strongest ally when seeking fair compensation. They will know the actual value of your claim and represent your interests so you don’t settle for less than what your claim is worth. They will negotiate accordingly and help you avoid quick settlements or insurance companies trying to minimize how much you receive.

A skilled attorney will guide you through the entire process, making sure you know what to file and when so you don’t miss deadlines or necessary paperwork. They can also talk to the adjuster on your behalf and help you with your statement. An attorney will give you peace of mind as they expertly navigate your claim and help you compile a comprehensive case. They are also knowledgeable in local dog bite laws, which factor into the value of your claim. Does your state have a one-bite rule? What are their laws for contributory or comparative negligence? Did the dog bite your child, and is the owner trying to blame them for trespassing or aggravation? These laws can be complex and intimidating. Let your dog bite lawyer take the lead with expert knowledge and solid legal advice.

The Bottom Line

Shop around for an experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with local dog bite laws. Keep written records and supporting evidence of the injury, treatment, and any relevant loss.

When you are ready to file a claim, contact the expert team at Warren Allen LLP. Our firm is ready to advise and represent you so you can receive fair compensation and the best resolution possible. Contact us today, and we’ll help you go through your options.

What Information Does My Personal Injury Attorney Need From Me?

If you were seriously injured in an accident, you will want to ensure financial compensation for your out-of-pocket costs by hiring a personal injury attorney. An accident could come from falling on someone’s property, a motor vehicle collision, getting bitten by someone’s pet, or other personal injury situation that may have caused you to become hurt and seek out expensive medical assistance to treat your injuries.

If you are working with or planning on working with an attorney to seek financial compensation for your personal injury claim, you’ll need to know what important information your attorney in Portland, OR may need from you.

We’ve listed below some important things you should know about a personal injury claim, and what sort of things you’ll need to provide to your attorney:

Why Choose a Personal Injury Attorney?

When hiring a personal injury attorney, not only will you be able to claim any medical expenses caused by your injury, but you may also be able to receive compensation for property damages. You could also receive damages to offset any earned income you may have missed out on due to being unable to work while you heal from your injuries. Even if you have purchased insurance that may help cover the costs of your medical bills and any damages to your property, you may benefit from obtaining legal counsel to ensure you receive the largest settlement that you are entitled to.

Insurance companies are for-profit entities that will try to pay out as little as possible in order to squeak out a profit despite your insurance claim. They do not have your best interests at heart when offering a settlement claim for your injuries. Small accidents with minor injuries may be easy to settle without a personal injury attorney to help guide you through the process. However, serious injuries may not be fully compensated if you are left without legal representation. This could leave you with expensive medical and property bills that you would have to pay for if the agreed upon settlement was not enough to cover the financial burden.

Provide Your Attorney All Incident Reports or Law Enforcement Reports

Typically, when there is a car accident or a physical injury, a call to the police is made for the safety of all involved. Not only is everyone’s safety protected when a call for help is made, but a police officer writes an official record of what happened. This report can help you when attempting to recoup your losses after the accident has passed and you are left with all the bills to sort through and figure out how to pay.

It is very important that you provide your attorney in Portland, Oregon or wherever they reside, with copies of all incident reports taken at the scene of the accident. Oftentimes, police reports will document any eyewitnesses who are on scene and able to back up your claims of what happened. These eyewitnesses can testify on your behalf to ensure you receive financial compensation for any incident that was not your fault.

In addition to any police reports, you would want to obtain copies of any incident reports that may have been logged if your accident happened at a place of business. Oftentimes, businesses

will have their own incident reports taken from employees’ recounts of what happened in case there is a need for proof of the incident for either insurance purposes or for legal claims. Obtaining copies of any and all incident reports for your attorneys can be helpful in discovering potential new leads or new evidence to back up your claim.

Take Pictures and Send Them to Your Legal Team

Taking photos of your injuries at the time of the incident can help back up your case and should definitely be provided to your legal team. You should continue to take photos of your injuries as they heal, showing your path to recovery, to help demonstrate your inability to work and earn income during any convalescence period.

Pictures of the scene of the accident or injury can help show how the incident occurred and can back up your case.If you were in a car or bicycle accident, or pedestrian crossing accident, be sure to capture the roadways, showing the layout of the lanes and signage. Taking pictures of the emergency response at the scene of the accident can be helpful as well.

If you are claiming restitution for any property damage, taking pictures of the damage at the scene of the accident can be extremely helpful as well for your lawyer to have in order to strengthen your claims. Make sure to do this before any cleanup occurs, if possible.

Keep a Recovery Journal and Provide a Copy to Your Attorney

In order to show how your injuries have impacted your day-to-day life, it is a good idea to start a recovery journal. You can track the progress of your injuries as they heal, and how you are feeling each day.

You can log each medical appointment, as well as the outcome of each doctor’s visit. Demonstrating how your injuries have affected your life is your responsibility, and having a recovery journal can help your attorney provide proof of your damages.

Provide Any Bills and Any Insurance Information

If you have reached out to an insurance company (either yours or the other party’s) to try and recover your losses, it is important to keep copies of your correspondence with each insurance company and provide a copy of your logs to your attorney. You will also want to provide your legal team with the insurance company names, any associated policy numbers, and any schedules of coverage if available.

You must provide proof of your financial losses in order to prove damages and recoup your losses legally. If you have made any medical bill claims with your insurance company, it is important to provide the explanation of benefits (EOB) received for any medical visit processed through your insurance company. You want to provide proof of your out-of-pocket expenses, and having the EOBs available for your lawyer to review is very important.

For more information on what specifically your state requires in the case of a personal injury claim, reach out to a lawyer located near the site of the accident. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon or surrounding areas, contact Warren Allen LLP today!