An Oklahoma County woman faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine after several of her mixed-breed Pit Bull Terriers escaped from her property and attacked a neighbor. Ulonda Jackson, 48, has been charged with a failure to restrain a dangerous dog, a misdemeanor under Oklahoma dog bite law.
The charges stem from a May 31 incident in which the dogs attacked Mary Wolf, 48, outside her nearby home. Wolf was forced to take shelter in her vehicle for more than 20 minutes before help arrived. Wolf was bitten and clawed in the attack, which resulted in large scarring on her legs.
A police officer who arrived on the scene recognized the dogs from an attack on a child earlier in the month. In that incident, three of Ulonda Jackson’s dogs bit a 7-year-old boy, who required stitches for his wounds. Jackson was warned that her dogs could not legally roam freely. She told authorities that she would get rid of the dogs, but within a few weeks, the dogs were loose and free to attack Mary Wolf in her own yard.
While Ulonda Jackson faces criminal charges as a result of her failure to keep her dogs safely confined, it is not clear whether Mary Wolf or the family of the young dog bite victim have retained the services of an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer. Because Jackson was negligent in restraining animals proven to be dangerous, she could be held liable for the damage caused by her dogs. Furthermore, dog bite law in Oklahoma upholds strict liability, meaning that the owner is liable for any injuries the dog inflicts, regardless of whether or not the dog has previously displayed any aggressive tendencies.
Oklahoma City and Tulsa personal injury attorneys are instrumental in helping Oklahoma dog bite victims receive compensation for their injuries. Such compensation includes reimbursement of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and psychological counseling necessitated by the trauma of a vicious attack.
Victims of aggressive dogs in Oklahoma need to understand that criminal charges against owners of these animals are not the last resort. A civil case can help victims regain some of what they have lost physically, emotionally, and financially as a result of a canine attack. A personal injury attorney in Tulsa or Oklahoma City will provide a dog bite victim with the tools necessary to hold the dog owner accountable for the damages caused by a savage animal.
Fri, July 16, 2010
by Lawter & Associates filed under