Have you been bitten by a dog in Edmond, OK? You may be entitled to financial compensation from the dog’s owner and/or other parties.
An Edmond dog bite lawyer from McGuire Law Firm can help you obtain the maximum compensation that you deserve for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Contact us to arrange a consultation at absolutely no cost to you.
How an Edmond, OK Dog Bite Accident Lawyer Can Help Following a Dog Bite Injury
Even friendly dogs can become aggressive for one reason or another and bite. When that happens, your world cna turn upside down in an instant. The consequences of a dog bite injury can last a lifetime – sometimes permanently impairing a victim’s ability to work and doing the things they once loved.
While money cannot guarantee a full physical and emotional recovery, it can lift the financial burden you feel and help to ease your suffering.
Hiring an experienced Edmond personal injury lawyer to lead your pursuit of compensation is a smart choice. At McGuire Law Firm, our dog bite attorneys have a combined 50 years of experience working in personal injury litigation, including for insurance companies. We are known throughout Oklahoma as aggressive advocates who obtain maximum results in severe injury cases.
When you hire our Edmond injury lawyers, you can expect:
- Compassionate legal support and services
- A direct line of communication with your attorney
- An in-depth investigation into the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the dog attack
- A determination of whether the dog has a history of aggression and viciousness
- Careful consideration about who, other than the dog’s owner, might be financially responsible for your injuries
- Negotiations based on evidence and expert testimony
- Reputable representation in court, if insurance companies refuse to extend a fair offer to you
If you or a family member were bitten by a dog, contact our Edmond personal injury attorneys right away to discuss your legal rights and options.
Dog Bogs: An Overview
A dog bite is a physically painful and emotionally traumatic event, whether it affects you or your child. The state of Oklahoma’s dog bite statute states:
“The owner or owners of any dog shall be liable for damages to the full amount of any damages sustained when his dog, without provocation, bites or injures any person while such person is in or on a place where he has a lawful right to be.”
A visitor has a “lawful right” to be on the property if they are invited by the owner, delivering mail, reading a meter, or hired by the property owner or tenant to work on the property. A specific exception to Oklahoma’s dog bite statute applies in rural areas and places where the postal service does not deliver mail.
Homeowners’ insurance often covers dog bite injuries, but obtaining fair compensation is not automatic. It may be necessary to file a lawsuit in order to obtain financial compensation from liability coverage. An attorney who understands Oklahoma dog bite laws can help you protect your legal rights and recover compensation.
In 2019, the insurance industry paid out $797 million in dog bite and dog-related injuries.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average payout for a dog bite claim in 2019 was $44,760, up from $39,017 in 2018.
In 2019, 17,802 dog bite injury claims were filed against homeowners’ insurance companies, up slightly from 17,297 the prior year.
Common Dog Bite Injuries in Oklahoma
Dog bites have been called a major public health issue disproportionately affecting children. Children and toddlers account for 70% of all bite-related fatalities, with younger children aged 5-9 most at risk. In 2018, 40 people were killed by dogs in the United States.
Dog bites can take different forms and lead to numerous injuries, including:
- Skin lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Crushed bones
- Torn ligaments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with about 350,000 people being treated in emergency rooms.
Dog Bite Injuries and Scarring
A dog bite to the face can cause permanent scarring. Victims may require future plastic surgeries and scar treatment, months and even years following a bite. Visible scars can also be extremely psychologically damaging, causing fear, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dog Bite Injuries and Infections
Dog bite injuries may be categorized as abrasion, laceration, puncture, or crush. When a dog bite pierces the skin, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause an infection. According to Sepsis Alliance, when a dog bites, an infection can be caused by bacteria on the skin, and bacteria in the dog’s mouth.
Symptoms of possible infection of a dog bite wound include:
- A warm feeling around a bite wound
- Difficulty moving the affected part of the body
- Drainage around a bite wound
- Pain that lasts more than 24 hours
- Redness/swelling around a wound.
If you are bitten by a dog, you should wash the wound as soon as possible and seek medical attention promptly. Check with the owner to confirm the dog’s vaccinations are current. If a dog is not vaccinated, speak to an emergency care provider and explain which vaccines a dog did not have.
Types of Dog Bite Injury Cases We Handle
At the McGuire Law Firm, we handle all types of dog bite and dog attack personal injury cases, including:
- Dog bite cases involving aggressive large breed dogs such as Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Chow Chows.
- Dog bite cases involving small aggressive dogs such as Chihuahuas, Jack Russell Terriers, and Dachshunds.
- Dog bite cases where the dog has a history of aggressive behavior and has previously bitten someone.
- Dog bite cases where a dog has escaped a yard or not safely contained in a yard.
Whether you are an invited guest, a visitor, or on a public street when you are attacked, you have legal rights and may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Dog bites are uncomfortable situations – not just physically. They are often emotional events, and victims may be family members, neighbors, or close friends – or young children.
Many people make several critical mistakes after a dog bite:
- Not seeking medical treatment immediately, because they hope that the injury isn’t serious
- Not reporting the dog bite because they don’t want anything to happen to the dog
- Not taking photos of the bite because they are not considering suing someone they know.
If you are bitten by a dog and the bite is anything more than very minor, photograph the wound promptly, report the bite, and seek medical attention.
Finally, contact a lawyer. It is understandable to be unsure about pursuing a lawsuit after a dog bite, and getting a lawyer may feel like an aggressive measure. However, dog bite claims are not resolved between friends and neighbors, they are negotiated with an insurance company.
Not hiring a lawyer can mean accepting far less compensation than a person deserves. A lawyer can level the playing field and ensure a victim and their family receive full compensation for their injuries.
Negligence vs. Strict Liability in Edmond Dog Bite Cases
Some states have a “one free bite” rule where a dog owner is only deemed negligent if it has bitten before. In Oklahoma, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog. There is no requirement of negligence to be successful in an Oklahoma dog bite claim.
There are two exceptions to the strict liability rule:
Provoking a dog: Examples of provoking a dog would be throwing things at it, harassing it, abusing it, or taunting it.
Trespassing: If you trespass onto someone’s property and are attacked by their dog, you cannot sue for your injuries.
A third exception to Oklahoma’s strict liability statute is §4-42.3, which states that the strict liability act does “not apply to rural areas of this state” or to “cities or towns that do not have city or village United States mail delivery service.”
Laws Regarding Dangerous Dogs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has specific laws requiring insurance for owners of dogs that are deemed “dangerous.” The state may determine a dog to be dangerous if it has attacked other dogs or caused severe injury to a person without provocation on public or private property, or has previously been found to be potentially dangerous.
Oklahoma defines severe injury as an injury that causes broken bones or lacerations or requires cosmetic surgery or multiple sutures/stitches. If the dog has been deemed “dangerous” in Oklahoma, the owner is required to carry at least $50,000 in liability insurance.
Oklahoma’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Like all states, Oklahoma has a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time you have to file a claim for personal injury or wrongful death.
In Oklahoma, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the incident. Once this statute “runs out,” a claim will no longer be valid and will be dismissed by the court.
If you have questions about how Oklahoma laws apply to a personal injury case, contact McGuire Law Firm to discuss your case.
Damages Available in a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim
Medical bills for a dog bite can easily be tens of thousands of dollars, and may require medical care and painful treatments for months and years to come. The consequences of dog bite injuries can be temporary or permanent, including:
- Physical pain
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Time lost from school or employment
- Fear and anxiety.
Dog bite injuries in Oklahoma can happen any day of the year, to any person, without provocation. At McGuire Law Firm, we’ve seen firsthand how dog bite injuries can cause physical and non-physical injuries. We fight hard to help our clients, giving them support, resources, and healing.
Get a Free Edmond Dog Bite Lawyer Case Evaluation
At McGuire Law Firm, we offer a free consultation to discuss your legal rights following an Oklahoma dog bite.
Having handled many dog bite lawsuits in Edmond, Oklahoma City, and across the state, we are familiar with Oklahoma’s dog bite and premises liability laws, and where doctrines and standards of strict liability and negligence apply.
If we represent you, we will carefully prepare your claim and negotiate for maximum compensation with the insurance companies. Call us at (405) 369-6422. If we handle your case, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.