Being bitten by a dog can be an unfortunate and very unpleasant experience—whether it happens to a child or to an adult. Understanding the rights that you have under Oklahoma law if you’ve been bitten by a dog can be important for protecting your rights now and into the future. Individuals who have sustained a dog bite injury may not realize that these bites can be severe and can lead to numerous medical complications.
According to research, 800,000 dog bites every single year in the United States are severe enough to prompt medical treatment. Seventeen of these lead to fatalities every year. Fifty percent of all American children have a negative interaction by being bitten by a dog prior to the age of 13. It’s important to note that every dog has the potential to bite. While most don’t, others may choose to bite a child or an adult due to dominance, fear, aggression, or being annoyed and pestered to the point of reacting.
Regardless of the cause, you may be entitled to recover compensation after speaking with a personal injury lawyer. A dog bite can complicate a victim’s life with medical bills, reconstructive surgery—depending on the nature of the injury, stress from the experience, and bite marks that never go away. Far too many people underestimate the many ways that a dog bite accident can forever change your life. An incident like this leaves physical and mental scars. Children may be especially susceptible to suffering psychological ramifications after a dog bite injury, requiring medical treatment.
What Should I Do After I’ve Been Attacked By a Dog?
After a dog bite happens, write down notes about your interpretation of what happened. Take pictures of the injury and keep any evidence—including torn clothing, as this could become important in a personal injury lawsuit down the road.
If you are thinking about moving forward with a dog bite injury lawsuit in Oklahoma, you need to understand several important aspects of cases. First of all, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. You must file a lawsuit in a timely manner in order to recover damages.
Oklahoma Statute 12-95 allows you up to two years to file a lawsuit, but it’s a good idea to talk to a dog bite lawyer well before this point in time. The statute of limitations stipulates that after this time period has passed, the court has the right to bar you from ever filing a lawsuit.
Do I Have to Show the Owner Was Negligent?
One of the most important things to understand about a dog bite lawsuit is that there’s a good chance you will not even need to show that the dog owner was negligent in any way in your case. This is because in Oklahoma, the strict liability rule means that an owner is automatically liable as long as you were lawfully on his or her property when the injury happened.
This is outlined under Oklahoma Statute 4-42.1, which states, “…the owner or owners of any dog shall be liable for damages to the full amount of any damages.” If you have questions about whether or not you are entitled to file an Oklahoma dog bite injury lawsuit, it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable attorney sooner rather than later.
An attorney can help you figure out your next steps and help you gather evidence to support your claim if you do move forward with legal action. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Oklahoma City dog bite lawyer if this applies to you.