With strict liability, if prescribed conditions exist, then liability also exists. With regard to dog bites Oklahoma is a strict liability state.
Under the law, an Oklahoma City dog owner is liable for all damages sustained when his dog, without provocation, bites or injures any person who is in or on a place he or she has a lawful right to be.
FAQ: Dog Bites Oklahoma
Okla. Stat. tit. 4 § 42.1 covers personal injuries that someone can sustain even if the dog does not bite. For example, if a dog jumps up on someone and pushes that person onto the sidewalk, the owner will be found liable for any injuries sustained even if the dog did not bite.
The statute also describes what it means to be on the property lawfully. Any person who is lawfully performing work, such as postal employees, meter readers, anyone making repairs to any public utility or service, is protected by the statute.
If the owner invites anyone onto the property in any way, that person is also protected. Likewise, if the dog bites anyone in a public place absent provocation, the owner is liable for all damages. Public places include all public streets and sidewalks as well as buildings and parks and the like. (Okla. Stat. tit. 4 § 42.2)
That means that unless your dog bites a burglar or the like or has been provoked, you as the dog owner will most likely be found liable for all injuries sustained by that person.
Provocation and Trespass: Possible Defenses
If a person trespasses, that means the person has no legal right to be there, so trespass is a legal defense in a dog bite case.
The other viable defense is provocation. Provocation can take many forms, but some of the more common forms include: throwing things as a dog, teasing a dog, hurting a dog in any way, including abusing a dog.
The question hinges on actions that cause the dog to act aggressively. In most cases, if someone hurts a dog, even if they didn’t mean to do so, and the dog bites, the owner will have a viable defense in any claims regarding dog bites Oklahoma.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Dog Bite Attorney
If you have been injured, get in touch with our Oklahoma City dog bite attorney today. Your first confidential consultation is free, and there is never any obligation.
For immediate assistance, call the Personal Injury Law Office of Oklahoma City at 405- 716-HURT (716-4878).