It isn’t just dogs that can attack people; cats, birds, and other domestic animals can easily attack and bring about serious injury.
Regardless of the animal, being attacked and injured by an animal can be a terrifying and painful ordeal. There are injuries that require healing and medical bills that need to be paid. There is certainly the potential for a case settlement, but how can you determine whether or not your case is strong and may be successful?
A strong animal attack case should be able to prove the following:
No Provocation Occurred
When provoked, taunted, or abused, animals may instinctively attack. The plaintiff must be able to prove that he or she was not provoking the animal to attack at the time the injuries occurred. This can be done through statements given by witnesses.
Also, the plaintiff must have not been negligent of his or her own safety at the time of the attack. For instance, accidentally walking onto the animal owner’s property could place some burden of the blame onto the plaintiff, thus resulting in a potential drop in compensation. The same is true if the plaintiff was warned by the owner not to approach the animal but did so anyway.
The Animal’s Owner is Liable
Secondly, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the animal in question was without a doubt the property of the alleged owner. In certain states, the animal’s owner is always liable; however, some states do not have these laws in place. If this is the case in your state, you must also be able to prove that the owner knew of the animal’s aggressive nature or past incidents of hostility and failed to take proper precautions or was negligent of the animal.
According to Florida law, owners may be held liable even without prior knowledge that the animal may attack someone. Also, the statute of limitations for animal attacks in Florida is four years.
The plaintiff will also have to prove that he or she was not trespassing on the animal owner’s property at the time of the attack. If it is proved that you were trespassing at the time, any rights to compensation may be dropped or reduced.
Strengthening Your Case
Here are a few ways you can help your lawyer strengthen your animal attack case:
- If you are the victim of an animal attack, it is important to document your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries over the course of the recovery period, especially if you find them progressing in severity.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Doctors will monitor your condition over time and will be able to provide the necessary records and paperwork to strengthen your animal attack case.
- Actively try to contact witnesses that may have seen the attack and take their statements.
- Save the clothing you were wearing during the attack or any other physical evidence that could help support your claim.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience with animal attacks right away. It’s important not to hesitate because important evidence must be gathered as soon as possible.
The expert team of personal injury attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo is very experienced in the area of dog bite/animal attacks and is ready to tackle your case if you’ve been injured. We’re prepared to take all necessary steps to make the rocky road to recovery as smooth as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.
For more information about how we’ve successfully helped others, read a few of our client testimonials.