If a dog attacked you or a loved one unprovoked, you might be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered. Dog bite attacks can be both physically and emotionally damaging, depending on how severe the accident was and its impact on the victim. On a psychological level, some people may get traumatized by dog attacks and may have a hard time interacting with dogs afterward or may attempt to avoid the area where they got attacked.
You do not have to continue living in fear or pain after a dog bite attack. An Oklahoma dog bite lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you fight for justice and build a personal injury case against the dog owner. Call our legal team now at (800) 816-0755, and we can begin investigating your attack to see if it could have been preventable. If we find that the dog owner behaved negligently, we can help you fight to hold them liable for your damages and potentially recover awards to compensate you for your losses.
Dog Owners Who Let Their Dogs Attack Others Will Get Punished
In Oklahoma, dog owners are legally responsible for their dog’s behavior, according to Oklahoma Statutes (Okla Stat. Ann.) §4-42.1. This is especially true if the dog had a known history of aggression, as stated in Okla. Stat. Ann. §4-42.4. If the dog owner knew that the dog had previously injured, bitten, or threatened a person and still allowed the dog to be in a situation where it could attack another person, they might get charged with a misdemeanor.
A dog bite misdemeanor can lead to the following punishments:
- Up to one year in county jail
- A $5,000 fine
- Liable for punitive and compensatory damages
If the dog attack led to a person’s death, the dog owner might get charged with a felony, which can lead to the following punishments:
- Up to five years in prison
- A $25,000 fine
- Liable for punitive and compensatory damages
It is also against the law for a dog owner to send their dog after a law enforcement official. Doing so may also lead to sentences of prison time and fines.
Vaccinations and Animal Quarantine
If you or a loved one were bitten by an aggressive dog, you must report the bite right away in case the dog has rabies. You can file a complaint with your local county health department or animal control office. If you do suspect the dog had rabies, seek medical attention immediately.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, pets who have recently attacked someone may get checked for rabies and put under animal quarantine. If their vaccinations are up to date, they may have the option to quarantine in their personal homes for ten days. However, animals who are not vaccinated or whose vaccinations have expired will have to be quarantined in a licensed veterinarian clinic or animal control facility.
Unfortunately, if the dog was a stray animal, the costs for quarantining the dog will fall on you. However, you and your Oklahoma dog bite lawyer may list this as one of your financial damages when pursuing compensation.
You May Be Able to Receive Multiple Compensatory Awards for Your Losses
When filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you may pursue multiple forms of compensatory awards, depending on what kind of damages you suffered during and after the attack. Compensation can generally fall under two categories: economic losses and non-economic losses. However, if your case involves wrongful death or criminal charges, you may also be able to pursue awards based on those damages.
Economic losses generally apply to any instance when you had to spend or lose money because of your injuries. You may be able to win awards for:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Rabies vaccinations
- Animal quarantine fees
- Property damage
- Lost income or wages if your injuries prevented you from working
- Reduced or lost earning capacity if your injuries affect how you can earn income or prevent you from working altogether
- Psychological treatment if the attack caused you trauma
Non-economic losses apply more toward general losses, as in physical and emotional pain you might feel after an accident. These losses do not have an assigned monetary value, so awards are meant to reflect your overall loss from the attack. These losses may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment in favorite activities
- Physical disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent disability
- Mental health consequences, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Your legal team may suggest other losses to list in your demand letter.
You Must File Your Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit Before the Statutory Deadline
In personal injury law, the statute of limitations acts as a deadline for when claimants must file their lawsuits against an at-fault party. If a claimant fails to meet their statutory deadline, their case could get dismissed, and they may not be able to receive compensation for any damages they suffered.
In Oklahoma, you generally have two years to file a lawsuit for a dog bite injury, according to Okla. Stat. Ann. §12-95. One of our team members can review your case to see if you are within your filing period and explain your legal options in a free consultation. If you choose to work with us, our legal team will take appropriate measures to file your case on time.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to Help You with Your Dog Bite Injury Case
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have been serving clients for over 35 years, and we would be more than happy to take you on as our new client. We have helped people who suffered dog bite injuries get the compensation they needed to recover from their losses, and we want to do the same for you. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Oklahoma, call our law firm for a free consultation about your case, and one of our team members can explain your legal options to you.
Call (800) 816-0755 today to learn more about how an Oklahoma dog bite injury lawyer can use their resources to help you with your case. Our lawyers also work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about paying any attorney’s fees unless your case gets settled or wins compensatory awards in a trial.