Animal Attacks: A Comprehensive Legal Guide

You’ll frequently hear about animal attacks in the news. These unexpected incidents can happen to anyone, young or old, wealthy or needy. This article explains this occurrence and how common it is. We’ll also discuss steps victims can take in case of an animal attack and the legal implications for pet owners.

Are Animal Attacks Common?

Do you live in a state where bears roam around? Are there numerous guard dogs in your neighborhood? The answers to these questions may give you an idea of whether you’re at risk of an animal attack.

Now, let’s discuss some statistics. According to a study published by PLOS Biology, carnivore attacks have seen an increase, particularly in lower-income countries. Tigers and lions caused the most dangerous attacks, with 65% proving fatal. Meanwhile, almost half the attacks by canids (wolves, coyotes, dogs, foxes, etc.) were deadly. Surprisingly, only 9% of bear attacks resulted in death.

In places such as Europe and North America, animal attacks are increasingly common. The rise in numbers and severity may be because humans and animals lack adequate experience of co-existing in the same environment. In these developed areas, most attacks fall into an “unprovoked but not predatory” category. They occur when an individual rests, perhaps as the animal intends to test the person as prey.

Legal Considerations for Victims

An animal attack can be frightening and lead to a lengthy and painful recovery period. Hospital bills may exceed your expectations, too. If you find yourself in this unfortunate incident, it’s vital to remain calm. Ensure you gather all the relevant information pertaining to the attack. This includes photos and contact details of the parties involved.

Seek medical treatment immediately after the incident because animal bites can cause severe infections. And if you plan to pursue compensation for your injuries, you should file an incident with the appropriate authorities, whether that’s Animal Control or your police department.

As a victim, you may qualify for compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain. You should always seek legal advice after an animal attack. A qualified lawyer should be able to answer animal attack FAQs with ease. In some instances, such as dog bites, a personal injury lawsuit will allege negligence on the pet owner’s part. In other cases, no proof of negligence is necessary.

Whichever way the story goes, you, as the victim, should never prematurely claim responsibility for the bite. Doing so may result in a case not going your way.

Legal Considerations for Pet Owners

People are responsible for the actions of their pets, with a few exceptions. Depending on where one lives, an animal owner is not liable if an attack occurs against a criminal or is the result of provocation.

How do you shield yourself against liability if you have a pet dog, for example? First of all, you should consider getting an insurance policy covering dog bites on your property. It’s important to note that insurance policies may exclude pit bulls and other dangerous and aggressive dog breeds.

Prevention is better than cure. If you have a dog, consider fencing up your space to reduce liability. It’d be easier to argue a case of trespassing if your pet were in an enclosed area.

An Animal Attack Is a Serious Matter

Animal attacks can cause much distress and pain for the victim. It also makes a pet owner question their decision about welcoming an animal into their household. No one wishes to experience the physical and mental anguish of being bitten by a dog or another animal. Therefore, knowing what to do in such an incident is vital.