Oklahoma Dog Law: Who Is Liable In A Dog Attack?

Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are incredibly adorable and loyal, but these dogs could be vicious and harm you without proper guidance and training, resulting in life-threatening conditions. Consequently, you might be wondering what Oklahoma laws say about a personal injury sustained from a dog attack. But first, you need to be familiar with some terms. 

can you sue someone for a dog bite
can you sue someone for a dog bite

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What Is A Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous Dog?

A dog is considered ‘potentially dangerous’ if it bites a person even without provocation. On the other hand, a dog is considered ‘dangerous’ if it has previously inflicted severe physical injury (broken bones or lacerations) on a person, even in the absence of provocation. If you’ve been attacked by a dog in Oklahoma, here are some things you need to know and consider. 

What Should You Do After An Attack?

Your safety should be your top priority immediately after a dangerous encounter with a dog. If you’ve been attacked, make sure to get away from the dog as far as possible. Call 911 for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital to have your wounds treated. 

It is also critical to take care of the following details as soon as you are able: 

  • Get information about the dog’s owner. 
  • Report the incident to your local animal control office.
  • Take photographs of your injuries. 
  • Gather statements from eyewitnesses.
  • Note what happened prior to and after the dog attack.

Who Should You Sue In A Dog Attack?

If you’re a dog attack victim, you may sue the dog owner. According to Oklahoma law, dog owners are strictly liable for damages when their dog, without provocation, bites any person. However, the victim must be in a place where he had a lawful right to be at the attack. 

If you were trespassing on private property when the owner’s dog bit you, you should think twice about suing. 

What Is Strict Liability?

Strict liability, which is observed in Oklahoma, means that even if the dog has never been dangerous or shown any signs of viciousness, the dog’s owner is liable for the injury caused, provided the victim did not provoke the dog.

Hence, a dog owner should always be mindful of possible legal consequences if the dog is let loose, regardless of whether the dog is friendly or potentially dangerous but more so if the dog is dangerous. 

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Owner Of A Dangerous Dog?

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Owner Of A Dangerous Dog

To prevent instances of a dangerous dog inflicting harm on any person, city ordinances in Oklahoma require its owner to:

  • Confine the dog indoors or outdoors in a secure enclosure.
  • Muzzle the dog and restrain it with a leash or chain when outside the enclosure.
  • Post a visible warning sign of the presence of a dangerous dog. 

In addition to the above, the owner must register the dog with the state and maintain liability insurance.

What Is The Liability Of The Owner Of A Dangerous Dog?

Suppose a dangerous dog that’s outside its enclosure and isn’t restrained by a responsible person causes injury to any person. In that case, the owner shall be liable for damages sustained by the victim. This means paying for medical treatment and other necessary procedures. The victim should also be compensated for any missed wages due to the injury. Additionally, the owner may have to pay a stiff fine and/or face jail time.  

In extreme cases where the dog attack caused the victim’s death, the fine shall be much higher with the possibility of imprisonment of up to five years. 

However, a dog owner may avoid liability if any of the following circumstances is present:

  • The victim provoked the dog.
  • The victim had no legal right to be in the place where the attack occurred. 

Is There A Deadline For Filing A Dog Bite Case?

In Oklahoma, the deadline for filing a lawsuit for personal injury due to a dog bite or attack is two years. This time limit is usually counted from the date of the injury. 

The law prescribing a deadline for filing any case in court is known as the statute of limitation. Other states may have their statutes of limitation on dog bite cases.  

Hence, you should consult an attorney specializing in personal injury caused by a dog bite and file a lawsuit as soon as you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries. Bear in mind that the court will not hear your case if you file it beyond the deadline. 

Final Words

If you’re a dog lover, you may find almost all dogs, regardless of breed, to be adorable and good-natured. Nevertheless, you may be bitten or otherwise injured, especially if the dog is not used to people other than its owners. In some cases, you may fall victim to an aggressive attack, which could cause mild to serious injuries. 

In Oklahoma, victims of a dog bite or attack may be entitled to legal compensation depending on the circumstances. But for your safety, it would be best to keep a good distance from any dog you find in public, whether it looks vicious or not. 

Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big, burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies—he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy cuddling!

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