Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney Provides More Important Answers About Oklahoma Dog Bite Claims

This blog post is the second installment of our two-part series that addresses typical questions the Oklahoma personal injury attorney at Hedrick Law Firm receives. While this post provides answers to typical questions, the best way to obtain information about your unique circumstances is to speak to an experienced Oklahoma lawyer.

Are particular groups of people more likely to be the victim of a dog bite?

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 50% of children under age 12 experience injuries caused by a dog bite. Of those dog bites resulting in fatalities, 48% of those victims are children under age 14. Other groups typically at a higher risk of being victims of dog bites and dog attacks include the elderly, as well as those providing home services, such as meter readers and U.S. Postal Service carriers. In fact, the ubiquitous picture of a U.S. Postal Service carrier being chased and/or attacked by the family dog is grounded in reality, as 5,600 U.S Postal Service carriers are the victims of dog bites every year.

What legal deadlines apply to dog bite or dog attack injury claims in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma, like many states, has legal deadlines for various types of cases. This means a particular lawsuit must be filed within a certain period of time, or the claim may be permanently barred. While issues specific to each case may affect the limitation period, the general rule in Oklahoma is that a person injured by a dog attack must file their lawsuit within two (2) years of the date of the incident. Although two years seems like a long time, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately to analyze your specific scenario and deal with the insurance company while you, or your child, focuses on recovering from the injuries sustained as a result of the dog bite or attack.

What defense strategies might a dog owner and his or her insurance company use?

A common misunderstanding for many individuals is that defense strategies only begin when a lawsuit is actually filed. This is not true. In fact, once a dog bite and/or attack has occurred, the dog owner’s insurance carrier is already evaluating the claim to develop strategies to defend the claim and/or eventual lawsuit. This begins the minute the dog owner or insurance adjuster makes contact with you, seeking information as to the facts of the dog attack itself. While the actual defense strategy or strategies the insurance company might develop depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, some common approaches Melissa Hedrick, our Oklahoma personal injury attorney, frequently encounters include:

  • Trespassing by the victim;
  • Provoking the dog;
  • Trivializing or disputing the injuries suffered by the victim;
  • Unreasonable carelessness of the dog bite victim, an especially common defense where the dog bite or attack occurred in a rural community.

Our Oklahoma dog bite attorney analyzes your situation to determine the tactics the insurance company or dog owner will use to avoid taking responsibility for the injuries you suffered.

If you, or someone you love, has been the victim of a dog bite attack, our Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer, Melissa Hedrick, is here to help. Contact our firm today at 405-361-7844 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.