It happens every day – on average nearly twice an hour, every hour, every day. An uncontrolled dog somewhere in the U.S. sinks its teeth into a unwitting passerby and an insurance company pays. But here’s a tip from a Tulsa dog bite attorney: There’s more to the dog-bite story than 16,000 nasty bite scars on the bodies of as many innocent victims. Much more.
Those are only the dog bites that result in insurance claims. Far more often – 20 times as often, in fact – a dog bites someone so badly they need emergency-room care, and the dog-owner’s insurance company doesn’t pay. Another 4 million Americans suffer dog bites each year and don’t receive any emergency-room care.
All told, only a tiny fraction of dog-bite victims receive money from insurance companies for their injuries. Yet who is at fault when a dog gets out of control? Do each of 4 million Americans each year somehow provoke a household pet so badly as to justify being bitten? Or are a significant majority of those dog bites the result of dog-owners’ negligence?
Dog Bites Are Leading Cause of Insurance Claims
Dog bites typically account for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims nationwide. Animal attacks result in more homeowners insurance claims than do house fires. The nation’s largest homeowners insurance company paid more than $109 million in dog-bite claims in one year alone. In 2011, insurance companies paid victims more than $29,000 for an average dog bite claim.
When a dog owner carries homeowners insurance, it can be somewhat easier to file and collect a claim when you’ve been bitten by their out-of-control dog. When dog owners don’t carry insurance, a bite victim may find it more difficult to collect damages. But whether they carried insurance or not, if the dog owner could afford to feed, house and care for the dog, chances are they have assets available to pay for whatever damage their uncontrolled dog caused.
Whether you were bitten by a dog whose owner carried insurance or one who had no plan in place to cover their liabilities, when you’ve been bitten by an unprovoked dog in Oklahoma, you have legal rights. A Tulsa dog bite attorney can help you exercise your rights to receive the compensation you deserve.
Oklahoma Dog Bite Law
Oklahoma’s dog bite laws make owners strictly liable for injuries their dogs cause when a dog bites someone without provocation. It’s among the strongest approaches to dog-bite liability anywhere in the nation.
Some “one-bite” states let dogs get away with one bite before the owner is liable. Others require dog-bite victims to show the owner was negligent. Not in Oklahoma. Here — in most cases — unless the victim provoked the dog, if a dog bites, the dog owner is liable. Yet even with a strong, tested law on the books, compensation isn’t a done deal for everyone who is bitten by an angry dog.
Even if the dog’s owner carried insurance, the victim must still file a claim. Without legal counsel, a dog-bite victim might not want to deal with the dog owner who let their pet run wild. Would you climb the steps to knock on the dog owner’s door where dog that bit you lives under the porch?
As with many conflicts that come up among neighbors, its often best to have someone else tell your neighbor they owe you for the damage their pets caused. A Tulsa dog bite attorney can handle your claim without requiring you to go deal with the offending neighbor. Whether your bite leads to an insurance claim or a court action, a Oklahoma dog bite attorney can help keep your stress to a minimum while assuring that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Dog Bite Attorney
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, contact the Tulsa Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation and case evaluation by an experienced Tulsa personal injury attorney, call Tulsa Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa today. Contact your personal injury counselor at (918) 924-5528 or send us a question using the form on the right side of this page.