Oklahoma City Dog Bite Lawyer
If you are bitten by a dog in Oklahoma City, you have rights. At Dan Davis Law, we can help you protect them. Our Oklahoma City dog bite injury attorneys can guide you through the legal process in the pursuit of the financial compensation that you deserve. Our injury attorneys in Oklahoma City don’t charge any attorney’s fees unless we win. Contact us for help with your dog bite injury case today.
Why Choose An Oklahoma City Dog Bite Lawyer From Dan Davis Law?
- We have over 25 years of experience pursuing Oklahoma City injury cases.
- Dan Davis Law is a family-owned, family-run law firm in Oklahoma City.
- Our Oklahoma City injury lawyers are motivated by a deep and abiding desire to help others.
- Our attorneys have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for past clients.
- We can go wherever the prospective client is for a free initial consultation.
Causes of Dog Bite Injuries
We like to think of dogs as “man’s best friends” and in most cases, they are. But it’s also important to recognize that a dog is an animal. Animals do not have the ability to carefully measure consequences but instead act on powerful instincts. A dog may lash out and bite if it feels endangered or threatened, even if its human companions don’t understand what the dog finds frightening. Whether a dog has a history of biting or has never bitten before, the following triggers are the most common causes of dog attacks:
- The dog is startled or frightened
- The dog feels protective of their owner, food, or a special toy
- A dog feels sick, has an injury, or is elderly and feels vulnerable
- A young dog may be playful but over-exuberance causes them to bite painfully
- A dog has a history of abuse
- A dog has been trained to be aggressive
- A child plays too roughly with a dog
All of the above circumstances are good predictors of dog attacks, but it’s important to understand that sometimes dogs bite for no reason that a human can perceive. From the moment an owner buys or adopts a dog, they are responsible for any harm caused by the dog, even if the dog’s actions were impossible to predict.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?
When a dog bites, the injuries inflicted can be severe and painful. Serious dog bite injuries can result in permanent physical damage and lasting psychological trauma, such as a fear of dogs. In the worst cases, such as attacks involving children, dog bite injuries can be fatal.
Some of the most common injuries associated with dogs include:
- Puncture wounds
- Scrapes and deeper lacerations
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Face and eye injuries
- Hand injuries
- Bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Diseases and infections
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Wrongful death
Victims can also suffer injuries from incidents other than bites, such as a dog jumping on them and knocking them down, resulting in the brain or spinal cord damage. If this is the case call our brain injury lawyers in Oklahoma City today. Dog-related injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical treatments, as well as result in lost wages from missed shifts at work. In the event of a fatal dog attack, surviving loved ones will suffer funeral and burial expenses, great mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
If a fatality is involved in a dog bite case, please contact our Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyers.
What Are Oklahoma’s Dog Bite Laws?
In Oklahoma, a dog bite injury victim can hold a pet owner financially responsible (liable) for related medical bills and property repairs in most circumstances. Oklahoma has a strict liability dog bite statute, meaning that pet owners are responsible for the injuries and losses of their dog’s cause – as long as the dog attacked without provocation and the injured person had a lawful right to be in the place where the incident occurred.
In Oklahoma, it is not necessary to prove that the owner knew or had reason to know of the dog’s propensity for viciousness to hold the owner accountable for the bite injury. In a state that uses a one-bite law (§4-42.4)
, on the other hand, this is a requirement before an injured victim can hold a pet owner liable. As long as you were not trespassing on private property and did not provoke the dog, you are eligible for financial compensation from the pet owner in Oklahoma (or, more often, the owner’s insurance provider).
See how a dog bite injury can also be related to an Oklahoma City premises liability case, and how a premises liability lawyer in Oklahoma City can help.
Can a Landlord Be Responsible for a Dog Bite?
Sometimes rental property owners don’t allow tenants with dogs to rent their properties out of concern for liability in the case of a dog bite. But in the vast majority of dog-bite injury claims, a landlord isn’t held liable for the injury. Instead, a dog’s owner is at fault, even if the property on which the bite occurred didn’t belong to the owner but to a landlord. Only under limited circumstances can a landlord bear liability for a dog bite, for instance:
- If the rental property owner proveably knew the dog was vicious or had a history of biting and they had the authority to remove the dog or evict the tenant but failed to do so
- If the landlord cared for the dog or harbored the dog during the tenant’s absence
- If the land owner knew the dog had the potential to bite and failed to correct fencing defects that allowed the dog to roam, resulting in an attack
It can be difficult to prove that a rental property owner bears any liability for a dog bite injury, but if the claim is valid, the damages could be covered under the property owner’s liability insurance.
What Should You Do After a Dog Bites You?
- Get the pet owner’s name and contact information.
- Talk to eyewitnesses for statements.
- Report the dog bite injury to your local county health department or animal control office.
- Call the police if the situation is an emergency.
- Go to a hospital in Oklahoma City immediately.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment orders.
- Take photographs of your injuries as they heal.
- Keep copies of medical bills, pay stubs, and receipts.
- Call the pet owner’s homeowners insurance company to file a damage claim.
- Contact an attorney if you have any trouble obtaining fair financial compensation.
What Happens to a Dog That Attacks Someone?
How authorities respond to a dog attack may depend on the severity of the attack and whether or not the dog has bitten anyone before. For instance, in most cases, if a bite victim notifies law enforcement, they may instruct the local animal control agency to collect the dog and quarantine it for 10 days. During the quarantine period, the dog is checked for rabies and other infectious diseases before being returned to the owner, often with a warning to secure the dog.
If the dog has attacked and bitten before, the jurisdiction could list the dog as potentially dangerous or vicious. When a pet receives this classification, the owner may be instructed to ensure the dog is kept in a secure, fenced-in area. If the dog attack caused significant injuries to the victim, authorities may require the owner to carry liability insurance of $100,000 dollars or more in order to keep the dog.
If a dog has caused injuries multiple times, or if it committed a severe, unprovoked attack resulting in grave injuries or death, the authorities may put the dog down. Also, law enforcement officers arriving on the scene of a dog attack in progress have the authority and duty to shoot the dog in order to save the life of the victim.
How an Oklahoma City Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one were attacked and bitten by a dog, a lawyer from Dan Davis Law can help you recover your economic damages, plus compensation for your pain and suffering. A skilled attorney understands how to investigate the circumstances of the case, prove liability on the part of the dog’s owner, and calculate the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the attack. Proving liability in Oklahoma requires the plaintiff (injury victim) to demonstrate the at-fault party’s negligence by showing evidence of the following:
- That the dog’s owner had the duty to prevent the dog from causing injury
- That they were negligent in that duty
- That the negligence caused your injury
- That you’ve sustained real damages from the injury
Once your attorney from Dan Davis Law shows the dog owner’s liability by a preponderance of the evidence, they will draft a compelling demand letter to the appropriate insurance company with a list of your damages. Typically, some back-and-forth negotiation takes place with your attorney strongly advocating for your rights and best interests throughout the process in order to secure an ample settlement. If the insurance company denies the claim or undervalues it, your Oklahoma dog bite attorney stands ready to argue the matter in courtroom litigation to maximize your chances of obtaining a substantial jury award.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Oklahoma City?
A successful dog bite claim or in-court litigation can recover the economic damages you’ve suffered as a result of the dog attack plus compensation for intangible damages like pain and suffering. A typical settlement or court award recovers damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Any future medical expenses such as for reconstructive surgery
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Any other appropriate non-economic damages such as disfigurement, PTSD, or emotional trauma
While non-economic damages like pain and suffering and disfigurement are intangible and less easily calculated, they cause significant harm and deserve compensation. Financial compensation can’t erase pain but it is the only means available in civil court to redress significant harm suffered after a terrifying dog attack.
Contact An Oklahoma City Dog Bite Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has recently been bitten by a dog in Oklahoma City, we can help you bring a cause of action against the pet owner or another party in pursuit of financial compensation for your past and future losses. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us or calling (405) 930-4210 to learn more about how we can help you with a dog bite injury claim. These are serious incidents that require serious attorneys. Dan Davis Law is here for you in your time of need.