WEST PALM BEACH ANIMAL BITE LAWYERS
Animal Responsibility for Owners
When we explore animal attacks and the types of animals attacks that can occur, one of the main questions people will always have is who is the blame. A dog worth for example will be liable for a lawsuit for an animal attack if any of the following things are going to be true:
- The victim is able to prove that the injury occurred due to negligence of the owner. An example of this can be an owner talking on the phone and not paying attention to their pet.
- There are many states that have a liability law stating that the owner of a dog is responsible financially for the injuries received by the victim.
- The victim is able to prove that the owner knew of the dog’s temperament. If the owner knew the dog could be aggressive but allowed them off the lead near others anyway, this is grounds for the victim to sue.
Dog owners however are able to avoid some of the responsibility for a dog attack if they can prove one of the legal defences for dog bites. For example if the victim provoked the dog or scared it, and the dog simply reacted to this, the owner is not at fault for this attack.
Animal Attacks Causing Injuries
There are many animal attacks that result in an injury. This can range from a dog bite to a stomp mark from a cow or even an attack from a wild or zoo animal. If you are involved in an attack that results in an injury it is important to know that this allows you to claim for compensation, speak to a personal injury lawyer to start this process.
In the US nearly a quarter of adults own a dog or another animal and as such the frequency of accidents or attacks can be high. Most animals will never hurt you however if the animal is provoked or scared, or if the animal is aggressive, they may attack and this could be something that results in an injury. Some animals might be warned against to the public and there are certain breeds of dog described as dangerous for this very reason.
The III (Insurance Information Institute) estimated in 2017 there were nearly 1,345 dog bite claims with a potential value of $60 million and this figure has risen in recent years and continues to rise.
If you are attacked and injured by an animal of any sort you may be able to seek some compensation. This is where animal bite lawyers will come in and ensure that you are protected and get the compensation you deserve to treat your injuries. The only roadblock you may see with a pet owner is if they have insurance that protects them against these claims.
If you have been bitten and injured by a dog or another animal and you are unsure whether you can make a claim, it is important for you to contact a specialist lawyer and see if they can help provide you with counsel. You only have 4 years to begin a claim after the injury happens so be sure that you put a claim in as soon as you are ready to in order to see a return.
Types of Injuries due To Animal Attacks
There are countless animals in the world and there are also many different injuries you could sustain after coming in contact with one of these animals. Below we are going to discuss some common animals to attack and the injuries that you may receive from these animals.
Dogs are the most popular pet in the world and they are owned by over a quarter of adults. As a result it is important for you to consider the likelihood of being attacked by a dog and gaining an injury from one. Most animals attacks reported are by dogs however a lot to the time the dog has been either provoked or frightened and has tried to defend themselves.
The most common injury you will see from a dog is a bite. Dogs have very powerful jaws and some breeds such as boxers and Staffordshire bull terriers can even lock their laws and cause further injury to you or a loved one.
A dog bite can range from almost a scratch to a very serious injury and the most important thing you need to do is get to a medical professional and have the wound cleaned and stitched up.
When you suffer from a dog bite you will likely be able to get compensation from the owner because it is their responsibility to ensure that their dog is kept on a lead and in a calm condition.
Horses and Other Domesticated Animals
Horses are herbivores and this means you are very unlikely to be bitten by one. The main injury you may face with a horse is a kick or a buck if you are riding on their back and both of these cause cause serious injury. A horses legs are incredibly powerful and a kick could break ribs, cut skin and even knock you unconscious. One of the most serious injuries you may suffer from a horse is being thrown from their back if they are spooked. This can cause many injuries including a head injury that could result in pressure on the brain. The owner of the horse will always be held accountable for this.
Other domestic animals such as cats, small mammals and fish might bite or starch you, however as these animals are smaller and generally more docile, the worst you may end up with is a bloody finger.
There are a lot of different laws around the world about keeping wild animals as pets, and in countries such as the USA you may be able to keep foxes, wildcats, and even monkeys as pets. There are a whole myriad of injuries you can suffer from a wild animals such as bites and scratches and it is important that you always exercise caution when around animals such as these. Again in cases like these the animal owner will be held liable and if the animal seems to be too dangerous they might be taken and relocated somewhere they will be able to thrive safely such as a zoo or a conservation site.
What To Do After an Animal Attack
Dealing with an animal attack is likely something you have never considered, and it can be something that scares you to your core depending on the severity. First of all we have some tips to follow if it looks like an animal is about to attack:
Whatever you do when you are face to face with an animal who looks to strike, don’t run. Most animals will instinctually enter hunt mode if you start running from them and this escalated the danger you face by a mile.
Don’t stare them down
It doesn’t matter what the movies might say – you should never stare down an angry animal. Animals don’t talk as we do so they often use eye contact as a point of communication. Staring is a sign of dominance and it is essentially like you are picking a fight. You should never risk a stare down because the animal may not give up and they may get more angry.
Make yourself big
A good tactic to take when facing an animal is to make yourself big by puffing out your arms and chest and make loud grunting noises. It might take you hack to your caveman days but it should help do the trick.
After an attack the first thing you need to do is call for help. Once you have done this you should take the contact details of the owner of the pet or of any witnesses who may be able to help later. Also, take photos of your injuries so that people can see this in court and it will help them make a decision on your compensation.
Seeking An Animal Injury Lawyer
Now is the time to look for a trusted injury lawyer in the animal injury field to handle your case. When choosing a lawyer you must stay open minded and be sure to narrow down a few options first. Meet with your lawyers face to face and ensure you have a good working and personal dynamic, this is essential for a successful case.
Animal Attack FAQ’s
Q: If another dog bites me in my house, do I have a claim?
A: this will depend on state laws as well as the circumstances of the attack. If you can price the owner knew that the dog could be aggressive, you could have grounds to claim.
Q: If a stray dog bites me, can I make a claim?
A: If you have been bitten by a stray dog you most likely will not have a claim because no one owns this animal. Often stray dogs are very much like wild animals so there isn’t much you can do.
Q: If I visit a house to perform work and I’m bitten, so I have a claim?
A: if you have been invited to a house to perform work such as DIY and you are attacked, you do have a claim. The owner has a responsibility to take action to keep the dog away from you if needed and to keep the dog calm.
Q: If a police dog bites me do I have a claim?
A: If a policeman is using reasonable force when making an arrest you won’t have a claim. But if the police officer has used unreasonable force, you do.