Dog bite incidents are unfortunately very common and can result in costly medical bills and emotional trauma. Dependent upon state law, the victim of such attacks can try to recover in a variety of ways. Some states are more favorable to victims than others, and Oklahoma is one of those states.
The dog bite statute in Oklahoma holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries as long as the victim was not provoking the dog or trespassing.
Strict liability holds dog owners completely liable for the full amount of damages if their dog bites a person who is in a place where he has a lawful right to be and if the dog is unprovoked.
Simply stated, Oklahoma strict liability law makes a dog owner responsible for causing damages regardless of their intent, negligence, or fault. Dog owners will be held liable for all injuries their dog causes, even if they didn’t know or couldn’t know that the dog may bite in an injurious manner.
Defenses: Trespass & Provocation
The two defenses that can excuse dog owners from liability are the provocation defense and trespassing defense. If a victim was provoking the dog and was bitten because of it, the dog owner will not be held liable for the resulting injuries. Examples of provocation include: poking the dog repeatedly, throwing things at it, harassing it, and abusing it.
If the victim is guilty of trespassing upon the dog owner’s land and consequently was bitten, then the trespass defense could apply. This defense limits property owners’ liability for attacks and sometimes bars recovery all together.
If you or a loved one has been injured, talk to a Oklahoma dog bite lawyer.