Our Oklahoma City dog bite lawyers at Ylla Gosney, Attorneys at Law can help you if you’ve been bitten by a dog at an Oklahoma City dog park. We’ll explain your options and what you need to do to get financial support for your injuries. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
Should You Hire a Lawyer After a Dog Bite?
Dog bites are almost always traumatic. And while many dogs are well-behaved and trained, the possibility that the environment or other circumstances could cause them to lash out at you or a loved one do exist in Oklahoma City–particularly at dog parks, which can be overstimulating.
However, the question as to whether or not you need a lawyer depends on the specific circumstances of your accident. If the incident was minor and didn’t result in major injuries, you probably don’t need to worry about the legal process. However, in the event that your injuries are serious or you have questions about who is responsible, our team can help you:
- Legal support – With our experience, we have a profound understanding of dog bite laws and regulations in Oklahoma. With that, we can make sure that you have the support and guidance you need.
- Evaluating your case – We’ll carefully look at the details of your situation to see how strong it is and if it can lead to a successful result.
- Talking and working with the other side – Our legal team has skilled negotiators who can work hard to get a fair deal for your dog bite injuries without going to court.
- Representing you in court – If needed, we are ready to strongly represent you in court to fight for your rights and the financial support you should get.
- Collecting and showing evidence – We’ll carefully gather and show evidence like medical records and witness testimony to support your case.
- Dealing with insurance companies – Our team is ready to handle all talks with insurance companies, making sure they consider what’s best for you.
- Making things easier for you – Our main aim is to give you peace of mind during a tough time, letting you know that your legal matters are in good hands.
Steps You Should Take
Because a dog bite can be traumatic, it can be difficult to know how to respond. At the same time, there’s things you’ll need to do to protect your claim and your health:
- Seek medical help immediately – Your health comes first. Get prompt medical attention, and document your injuries for any potential claim.
- Find the dog’s owner – If possible, get information about the dog’s owner, like their name and contact details. This is crucial for the claims process.
- Report the incident – Inform local animal control or law enforcement about the dog bite. They may investigate to protect others. You’ll also want to inform management at the dog park so they can take action.
- Gather evidence – Collect evidence, including photos of your injuries, the incident location, and any witness statements. This strengthens your case.
- Document your medical treatment – Keep detailed records of all medical treatments and expenses related to the dog bite, such as hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and ongoing medical care.
No matter how minor or serious your dog bite is, these measures are crucial to making sure that you’re able to get to safety and take care of your injuries. It also has the added benefit of strengthening your potential claim.
Claims Process After a Dog Bite
The reality is that, regardless of a dog’s behavior or training, being in a place like a dog park can be overwhelming for the animal. Additionally, not every owner or person watching the dog takes this responsibility seriously.
In terms of the claims process, it starts like any other injury claim–figuring out liability. The good news here, relatively speaking, is that Oklahoma law makes this rather simple: the dog’s owner is “strictly liable” for any injuries and damage their dog causes. This means that if you get bit at a dog park, the owner is mainly responsible. Given the circumstances, though, the management of the dog park itself could also share some responsibility.
As for your options, they are also fairly straightforward: file an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. Both options allow you to seek financial support from the dog owner’s insurance company for your damages. The process involves the following steps:
- File an insurance claim – Contact the dog owner’s insurance company to report the incident. Provide a detailed account of what happened and the injuries sustained. We can help you in filing the claim.
- Insurance investigation – The insurance company will conduct an investigation into the dog bite claim, reviewing medical records, witness statements, and relevant evidence.
- Claim evaluation – The insurance company will assess damages, considering medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other relevant factors. They typically offer you a settlement.
- Negotiation – If the initial settlement offer is unsatisfactory, negotiations may occur between you and the insurance company. This process aims to reach a fair and reasonable settlement that adequately compensates you for damages.
- File a lawsuit (if necessary) – If negotiations do not result in a fair settlement, and the statute of limitations (one year from the date of the incident) has not expired, you may consider filing a lawsuit. Our team can file the lawsuit on your behalf and guide you through the legal process.
Again, no matter what option you choose, you can recover certain “damages” from the owner or dog park. While this differs from case to case, you can generally recover things like the following:
- Expenses for medical treatment and ongoing care, including physical therapy or rehabilitation.
- Costs relating to the impact of pain and suffering.
- Damages awarded for emotional distress.
- Reimbursement for lost income or earning potential.
- Payment covering any property damage resulting from the incident.
Every dog bite case is unique, and there’s no guarantee of a positive outcome for your claim. However, by working with experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyers, we can ease the burden on you and your family. We handle the day-to-day responsibilities of your claim, allowing you to focus on recovery.
Can You Prevent Dog Bites at Dog Parks?
While dog bites can occur at various dog parks in Oklahoma City, many, if not all, are preventable. Most dog parks are public property, allowing access to anyone, regardless of their dog’s size or temperament. This situation may lead to dog bite injuries, but you can take steps to avoid incidents, along with following city-imposed dog park guidelines for safety:
- Leash requirement – Dogs should be on a leash at all times, especially if they are new to a particular dog park. Allowing a dog to run unsupervised increases the risk of biting incidents.
- Avoiding dangerous dogs – Owners aware of their dog’s potential danger should refrain from taking them to any dog park. Most “dangerous dogs” lack proper socialization or have a traumatic past, making a dog park setting potentially triggering for them.
- History of aggression – If a dog has a history of biting or causing injuries, the owner should not bring them to a dog park, even if the dog is securely leashed.
- Separate areas – Most dog parks typically have separate sections for larger and smaller dogs. It’s essential to ensure dogs are in the appropriate area, preventing potential harm to smaller dogs and others.
Despite these guidelines, dog bites can still occur at Oklahoma City dog parks. When this happens, you can turn to our dog bite lawyers for help.
Free Consultations For Oklahoma City Dog Bite Victims
You don’t have to deal with a dog bite injury alone. No matter how severe your injuries, Oklahoma law allows you to seek support and damages from the dog’s owner. The easiest way to do this is by scheduling a free consultation with our experienced Oklahoma City dog bite lawyers at Ylla Gosney, Attorneys at Law. Contact us to schedule your free consultation and learn more.