Oklahoma Dog Bite Laws
Unfortunately, dog bite laws can be inconsistent across states, and it can be hard to prove your case in a personal injury claim. In some states, you’ll find a rule of “premises liability” stating that even when someone is on your private property, you’re still at least partially liable for their safety and this includes being bitten by a dog.
However, since Oklahoma is what’s known as a “strict liability” state, it means dog owners are fully responsible for their dogs, and it’s not up to the victim to prove negligence. You will still have to prove that your injury was caused by a dog bite and that you were on public property or legally on private property. If you can show this, then the dog owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog.
Liability in a Dog Bite Case
As stated above, the only criteria that a victim must meet to prove liability is that the injury was sustained directly due to the dog bite and that they were either lawfully allowed to be on private property or were on public property when the bite occurred. This is the case for all dogs, regardless of breed or previous temperament. If, however, the victim was found to be trespassing or provoking the dog, a judge may find the dog owner free of liability and instead assign blame to the person who was bitten.
In cases where it’s not clear whether there was any provocation or whether the victim was lawfully on private property, a judge could decide that liability be shared. This is called comparative negligence, and both the dog owner and victim would then share responsibility. Typically in cases like this, the victim’s ultimate settlement will be reduced by the amount of fault they had.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
The first thing you should always do after experiencing an injury like a dog bite or anything that results in serious bodily injury is get medical assistance immediately and notify the police. Doing this shortly after the incident can help with your insurance claim and any future personal injury claims.
If your insurance claim doesn’t cover all your expenses related to the bite, you’ll likely need to file a personal injury claim as well. In Oklahoma, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. I can help you make a strong personal injury case that may entitle you to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, or punitive damages.