Claiming Damages For Dog Bites

An Oklahoma City toddler was reported to be in critical condition after being bitten multiple times by a dog. Police believe that the child was taking food to the dog just before the bite and that the child was unattended at the time of the accident.

Oklahoma’s dog bite law

Oklahoma law imposes strict liability upon a dog owner whose dog attacks a third party — provided that the victim is not a trespasser and that the victim does not provoke the dog. In addition, owners of dangerous dogs (dogs that have caused severe injury) must leash and muzzle their dogs and post $50,000 in liability insurance. Failure to register and muzzle a dangerous dog is a misdemeanor.

Claiming damages

To claim damages for harm based on a strict liability statute, you need to establish that:

  • The person who caused you harm violated the statute.
  • You suffered actual damages.

In Oklahoma, you may be able to recover damages even if the dog owner has exercised reasonable care to prevent the dog bite injury.

Injuries can include compensation for economic harm such as hospital bills and physical therapy, non-economic harm such as pain and suffering and, in certain cases, even punitive damages if the dog owner was reckless — for example, in a case in which the owner violates the leash law and their dangerous dog harms a third party.

Common dog bite injuries

Dog bite injuries can include broken bones and lacerations, severe nerve damage, permanent scarring, infection and disease. In addition, given the traumatic nature of dog bites, it is fairly common for dog bite victims and, in particular, children to suffer lasting psychological harm.

Who is affected?

Statistically, boys between the ages of five and nine are the most likely to suffer dog bite injuries. The risk of dog bites decreases with age. In addition, men are more statistically likely to be bitten by dogs than women.

If you or a family member suffers a dog bite injury in Oklahoma, you may be able to claim significant damages for your harm. The experienced and aggressive Oklahoma City dog bite attorneys at Cunningham & Mears, PC stand ready to help you recover the damages you deserve.