Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Victims Bite Back Against Animal Attack

Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal? If you have, or you know anybody who has been attacked or bitten, then you or that person definitely has a claim for damages.

It does not matter whether the animal that bit or attacked you is wild or domesticated. So long as that animal is in the care of somebody else, that person will be liable for your damages.

A wild animal by definition is an animal in the state of nature. In most states, an owner or keeper of a wild animal will be strictly liable for any harm it causes whether or not the owner knew of the animal’s dangerous propensities. If you get bitten inside a petting zoo, that zoo may be liable. It does not matter also if the animals have been well trained like in animal shows. Similarly, the fact that the owner takes much care to prevent harm to others, so long as the animal in his or her possession hurts somebody, that somebody has a right to damages.

On the other hand, a domestic animal is defined as an animal that has been domesticated or habituated to live among humans. As with owner or keeper of wild animals, an owner or keeper of a domestic animal will be strictly liable for the harm it causes if two elements can be established: (1) Owner has reason to know the animal has a specific propensity to cause harm; and (2) Harm caused by the animal was due to that specific propensity.

Please be minded that in certain situations, people will be held responsible for damage even though they did not act negligently or intend to cause any loss or harm. This is called “strict liability”.

The strict liability theory may apply to people who keep wild animals, such as tigers or snakes, in their possession or care. Even though safety precautions such as cages or fencing may be in place, the keeper of the wild animals would be held legally responsible in the event of harm caused when the wild animals escape.

If you have been bitten or attacked by an animal, you can definitely to file a case of personal injury on the basis of animal attack.