The job of an insurance adjuster is to minimize the impact of injuries caused by a dangerous construction site or defective product. Our job is to maximize your lawful compensation based on the extent of your injuries and the short- and long-term effects.
Although animal-attack claims most commonly involve dog bites, many other types of domesticated animals, such as cats, ferrets, rats, snakes and even birds, can also bite humans. Even non-domesticated animals, such as large cats or monkeys and apes ordinarily found in the wild (owned by some people as pets or held in private animal refuges) have been known to attack children and adults. An animal owner’s liability for injuries caused by his or her pet, if any, will vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A lawyer from The Walthew Law Firm in Seattle, WA, who is experienced in dog bite and personal injury law is an excellent source for advice and information in animal attack case.
Proving owners’ liability in animal attack cases
To succeed in most animal attack cases, the injured person must prove that the animal causing the injury was owned and kept by the defendant. In some jurisdictions, the injured person was also required to show that the owner knew or should have known that his or her animal was dangerous, mischievous, vicious or prone to such threatening behaviors. Under current laws in many areas, however, when it is proven that an owner was somehow negligent (such as by not properly restraining or containing the animal), the injured person can often recover damages without proving the animal’s viciousness.
An owner of an animal may be found liable under any circumstances in which he or she had knowledge of the animal’s viciousness but failed to act in order to prevent injuries to others. Accordingly, if an animal exhibits vicious or uncontrollable behavior, the owner should take steps to shield the public from the animal. For example, if an individual owns a dog that is known to attack and bite without provocation, the owner should probably keep the dog safely confined indoors and, while outside, in a yard from which it cannot escape and that others cannot easily enter. If an owner does not adhere to these common-sense guidelines and the animal attacks, he or she may be found liable for the resulting injuries.
Those who keep animals generally considered wild, including lions, wolves, bears, alligators, crocodiles and monkeys, are typically liable for injuries caused by such animals regardless of whether the particular animal is known to be dangerous. Because these animals are generally presumed to have a natural tendency to revert to their wild instincts no matter how well trained or domesticated, their owners are often held “strictly liable” for any injuries they may cause. However, strict liability might not apply if the animal injures someone while it is confined or restrained on its owner’s property, but this is a factually dependent argument that will not apply in every case.
In some states, it is not always necessary for the animal to actually bite or attack the victim to hold the owner liable for an injury. For example, a pedestrian who breaks his or her ankle in a frightened attempt to get away from a fenced-in dog’s snapping, barking, or other aggressive behavior, may nonetheless be able to sue the dog’s owner successfully if he or she can show that the actions of the dog led to the injury.