Animal bites are common accidents that occur thousands of times every year and can result in serious injuries.
While these injuries are typically caused by dogs, there are a range of additional animals that can bite if given the opportunity. If the animal has an owner, the owner may be liable for your injuries, which means that your medical bills and other expenses could be covered.
In the event that you’re bitten by an animal, it’s important that you understand what your next steps should be.
What to Do When An Animal Bites You
The very first thing that you need to do once you’ve been bitten by an animal is to seek medical attention. An animal bite can cause a wide range of health problems that include a severe injury, an infection, and possibly death if the injury is left untreated and the animal was suffering from a disease. After you have received the medical attention that you need, you can focus on your legal options, which a personal injury lawyer will be able to inform you of. When you first meet with an attorney, you will need to provide them with extensive information about how you were injured. This information should also include the phone number and name of the person who owns the animal. If you have yet to obtain such information, a neighbor or witness to the attack may be able to provide you with the info you require. Make sure that you get the names and numbers of any witnesses as well.
When is the Owner Liable?
If you want to receive compensation for the injuries that you incurred from an animal bite, you will need to be able to prove that the owner of the animal was at fault for the bite. It’s possible that the owner will be held strictly liable, which means that the owner of the animal will automatically be held responsible for the bite no matter what caused it. It’s also possible that the owner will only be held responsible for the injuries if they knew that their animal was dangerous. However, it can be difficult to prove that an owner knew that their animal was potentially dangerous.
Other Parties That Could Be Held Liable
There are some situations that could cause someone else to be held liable for the animal bite as opposed to the animal’s owner. For instance, animal keepers at a pound or kennel could be held liable if one of the animals that they are overseeing bites someone. If the animal owner is under 18, their parents may be held liable. Landlords could also be held responsible if they knew that one of their tenants owned a potentially dangerous animal.
Possible Damages to Recover
The amount of damages that you may be able to recover depends on how severe the bite was. The main forms of compensation that apply to animal bites include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.