Facing an Animal Attack – Not Just in the Wild Anymore

January 17, 2013  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

These days, many people own some sort of pet whether it be a cat, dog, ferret, bunny, guinea pig – you name it and someone has it as a pet. Many animals that were previously known as wild animals are now becoming household pets. The fact of the matter is that some animals just cannot be domesticated, no matter how hard their owner tries. When this happens, there is bound to be an animal attack.
Picture the Possibilities
Even the most docile looking animals are prone to bite when they get scared or feel threatened. Some even bite just for the sake of biting, with no intent to do harm. After all, they are animals. You can suffer an unprovoked animal attack at almost any time.
Imagine all the circumstances: walking down a Minneapolis suburb street and passing an unleashed dog, petting a cat that wandered onto your property, scratching the head of your friend’s pet rabbit, helping your neighbor catch their pet guinea pig, etc. The potential situations are really limitless.
It really could happen to anyone at anytime, virtually anywhere. Maybe you even have already suffered from an animal attack. If you have, don’t waste any time in taking action.
What You Can Do
As soon as you are bit, scratched or attacked in any other way, you should first try to get away from the animal. Once safely away from it, call the authorities right away. If you are seriously injured, you should immediately call an ambulance for medical treatment.
It is important that you file a police report on animal attacks right away unless your injuries prevent you from doing so. You should inform the police officer of the events leading up to the attack and the injuries that you sustained as a result. You should also give any information on the owner of the animal if you know that information. If not, give them a detailed description of the animal and where you were when it happened.
The authorities then can start looking for the owner of the animal, or if already known, can gather more details on the case. In the meantime, you should seek medical attention from your doctor or the hospital if not already taken by ambulance.
Depending on the animal, you could suffer personal injury such as:

  • Bites
  • Fractures
  • Cuts, bruises and scrapes
  • Head injuries
  • Damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles
  • Facial damage

Some of these injuries could be apparent right away but others may not present symptoms until hours, days or even weeks later. This is why it is so critical to visit your doctor right away following accidents. First of all, most injuries heal better if they are treated right away rather than waiting until down the road. Secondly, if an animal’s teeth or claws penetrated your skin, you could contract a disease or infection from them.
The one disease that people worry about getting from an animal bite is rabies. Rabies must be treated before symptoms present themselves, otherwise it is fatal. If you wait until you start feeling sick, it can be too late. There are also many different bacterial infections that you can contract which can cause further damage to your health.
Fight Back
If you are injured as a result of an attack by an animal, you can be left with huge medical bills. In addition, your injuries could prevent you from working temporarily or even permanently and can cause a financial hardship. If you become disabled, you may not be able to do the activities you once enjoyed, and they may even prevent you from being able to care for yourself. Your quality of life and potential earnings could be negatively affected.
You shouldn’t have to carry this financial and emotional burden alone. Owners are often held responsible for these types of attacks due to negligence on their part. An animal attack lawyer can determine if you have a case and what needs to be done so that you are made whole.
At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, we have animal attack lawyers who have dealt with these cases in Minnesota before and who can help you every step of the way. Many times a settlement can be reached in these situations; otherwise, lawsuits will be brought before a court of law. If you receive a judgment in your favor, you could be awarded medical fees, loss of pay and pain and suffering.
Call us now for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney so that you can start taking the steps to finally fight back.