Did a dog bite or attack you? Did that attack result in an injury requiring medical treatment? The Tulsa dog bite injury lawyers from Abel Law Firm know how to pursue financial compensation in a case like yours.
Dogs are powerful animals that can severely injure or even kill an unsuspecting victim. A dog bite can inflict lasting psychological trauma and expensive medical bills. When you get bit by a dog, the injury could range from minor to debilitating. Seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent additional problems from developing. Even a small wound could lead to a staph infection if left untreated.
The owner of a pet must ensure other people’s safety and prevent the possibility of injury. That means bringing it to the vet for shots, using a leash in public, and always maintaining control. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
At Abel Law Firm, we believe in seeking justice for our clients. You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s poor decisions. Call us today at (405) 239-7046 to discuss your case.
Dog Bites Can Lead to Serious Injury or Death
It’s frightening when a dog attacks you. You assume the dog will behave when the owner is nearby, however, animals are unpredictable. Usually, you don’t see the attack coming.
Children, adults, and the elderly could all suffer injuries from a dog bite. Whether small or large, the dog’s jaw and teeth are powerful. They can cut through skin, muscle, and even bone. When anyone gets attacked, they could sustain any number of injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Ligament damage
- Loss of limb
- Nerve damage
In extreme cases, a dog attack could result in death. Those who experience fatal injuries are typically young kids and senior citizens. Individuals with certain medical conditions could also suffer a fatal outcome.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bites Me?
It’s essential to recall every detail surrounding the attack. Write down the date, time, and location the dog bite occurred. Take note of your surroundings and anyone who witnessed it happening. If you’re in a public place, file an incident report with management and get their contact information.
Before you leave the scene, you should locate the dog owner. Write down their name, phone number, and specific information about their dog, such as the age, breed, and when it last received vaccinations. Take photos of your injury, and hold onto any torn or bloody clothing as evidence.
Go to the hospital or an urgent care facility to undergo an evaluation by a doctor immediately. You might need to get shots or take medication. Proper care will prevent your injury from becoming infected or getting worse. You should follow their orders if the ER physician recommends additional treatment, such as continuous wound care or surgery.
How Do I Show the Dog Owner Caused My Injury?
Oklahoma law states that the owner is automatically responsible for any injury that occurs as long as you were legally allowed on their property. That means you were a guest at a public place like a restaurant, or your friend invited you to their home. Professionals performing job-related duties, such as construction workers, postal workers, or repairmen, also qualify as legal guests on someone’s property.
It’s not likely you’ll have to prove their role in the attack; however, providing sufficient evidence could help your case. Additionally, a dog’s prior behavior doesn’t matter regarding liability. Even if it’s the first time it ever attacked someone, you could still file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the owner.
The only circumstance you’ll need to prove is that the dog bit you. Your medical records will show the injury you claim resulted from the attack. You could also obtain the statement of any witnesses.
Dog Bite at a Private Residence
If a dog bit you at someone’s home, you could potentially pursue compensation from their homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners and rental properties hold general liability insurance for an injured individual’s expenses.
General liability policies include bodily injury limits. Those limits could cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury. You could receive compensation for your total costs depending on the coverage available.
Dog Bite at a Public Place
If a dog attacked you at a restaurant, store, or other business, you might be able to hold the owner or property manager responsible. Before you seek any treatment, let management know about the incident. Tell them you want to file an incident report and make sure you obtain a copy of it. Ask for their insurance information or the number to request it.
All businesses are responsible for ensuring the safety of their patrons. If someone gets injured, it’s possible to pursue legal action for their involvement. In a dog bite case, you must justify your reasoning for seeking compensation from any business. It must show how their decision to allow a dog on their property somehow led to your injury.
If you file an insurance claim, you could claim various damages. Damages are losses suffered as a result of an accident or injury. In a dog bite case, you could reimburse your partial or total costs depending on the bodily injury limit on the policy.
Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Actual expenses, such as medical bills, qualify as economic. When it comes to non-economic, it’s a little harder to prove. The emotional trauma or physical pain you experience after a dog attack usually doesn’t provide tangible evidence. However, records from a medical professional may provide sufficient evidence.
Under Oklahoma law, you could seek compensation for the resulting compensatory damages:
- Medical bills: Medical expenses related to the injury, such as physical therapy, surgery, and prescriptions.
- Emotional distress: Emotional trauma experienced because of the incident, such as stress and fear. Psychological diagnoses, including PTSD or anxiety, also qualify for compensation.
- Physical pain and suffering: Significant or severe physical pain resulting from the injury.
- Loss of income: Wages you ca unable to earn because the injury prevents you from working. You could also seek compensation for future salary if the injury resulted in a disability.
- Disfigurement: Permanent scarring or another injury that alters your appearance in some way.
- Loss of affection or companionship: Compensation sought by an immediate family member for the injury’s negative impact on their relationship with the victim.
If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In Oklahoma, the owner is responsible for any injury their animal causes, so as long as you were legally on the property, we could build a strong case in your favor.
Choosing a Law Firm to Help You
Abel Law Firm knows how overwhelming it is to pursue compensation in a dog bite case. It’s a complicated process with strict deadlines and state laws. If you never filed an insurance claim or lawsuit before, it’s impossible to understand how to navigate your way through it.
When you hire one of our Tulsa dog bite injury lawyers, we will walk you through each step. You won’t have to do much during your case. We’ll handle everything for you so you can focus on treating your injuries. We’ll file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, gather all necessary evidence, and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement.
Most people who try to handle their dog bite case independently accept a low settlement offer from the insurance company. They don’t realize they’re not obligated to take the first offer. There’s always room for negotiation. Additionally, denied claims could get reopened with the right submission of evidence.
How Much Experience Does Abel Law Firm Have?
We’ve represented victims of dog bites since our firm opened over 40 years ago. Martindale-Hubbell gave us an AV rating, the highest rating from the peer review system. Our attorneys have more than 130 years of experience between them. Senior Partner Ed Abel received various honors and recognition from legal associations nationwide.
We use all the resources to secure the maximum compensation available. Whether negotiating with an insurance company or fighting the other party in court, we depend on our decades of knowledge and skills.
Our results show the millions of dollars we recovered for our clients over the years. No two clients are alike, and no two cases are alike. However, legal procedures stay the same. We use our past experiences to reach a favorable outcome in future cases. Our proven methods help us meet and exceed our client’s goals.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Abel Law Firm offers free consultations, so there’s no risk in discussing your dog bite case with us. We proudly serve clients throughout Oklahoma and seek the justice they deserve. Our Tulsa injury lawyers are ready to take your call. Call us at (405) 239-7046 today.