When an Animal Injures a Human

People have always interacted with animals on many levels. We rely on animals for food and for mental, emotional, and physical support. Animals contribute physical labor in addition to unconditional love. Sometimes people merely enjoy their beautiful and often majestic presence.

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Unfortunately, some animals may cause injury or harm to their human handlers. If you work or play around animals, or simply enjoy creature encounters, here's what to know regarding injuries from animals.

Injuries Occur in Many Venues

Any organization with animals runs the risk of humans being injured by said animals.

Farms and Ranches

A large portion of injuries from animals happen on farms, ranches, and similar places where animals live and work. Researchers found more than 75,000 agricultural workers sustained injury from animals within a five-year period.

Farm animals are capable of inflicting harm in different ways. For example, dairy cows can step on or crush victims during milking or birthing. Steer may gore victims trapped inside a cattle chute or other enclosure during branding or feeding. All large animals like horses, donkeys, and sheep may kick, bite, ram or butt humans and inflict serious harm. 

Petting Zoos

Many injuries occur at petting zoos where children are likely to be present. Children are more susceptible to injury and death due to their smaller size and lack of strength and experience, making them more likely to get hurt when they work with or even visit farm animals.  Over 23 million children visited farms in 2014, and animals were the leading cause of injuries sustained.

A petting zoo may contain smaller animals like poultry, rabbits, or miniature pigs and horses. However, the potential for injury still exists. Petting zoo residents may scratch, bite, and kick guests. Even mobile petting zoos that bring an animal experience to a child's birthday party carry risk. Animals feel stress in the presence of noisy people that poke, pet, and molest them.

Additionally, pony rides at a fair or carnival can be dangerous when a child falls off and is trampled.

Exotic Sanctuaries

Some people may feel they rarely interact with animals and have little or no chance of injury. However, you do not have to visit a local farm or petting zoo with your children to do so. Many exotic zoos or animal sanctuaries contain the potential for a deadly experience.

An increase in the popularity of exotic animal encounters raises the risk of injuries and fatalities from big cats like cougars and tigers. Big cats are also popular for photo shoots and event hires. Numerous instances involve guests that are bitten, scratched, severely wounded, and killed when big cats escape their enclosure or handler despite safety precautions.

What to Do if You Are Injured

You can avoid becoming a victim of an animal injury when you do not visit farms and zoos. However, this is simply not possible in every instance. Some people work with animals or are around animals for other reasons. Only visit or seek employment at a business with animals that have strict animal safety policies. Then, only interact with an animal in recommended ways to limit or lower the possibility of an injury.

Sometimes the worst case scenario happens and an unfortunate injury occurs. If you are seriously harmed, get immediate medical help and then:

  • Notify on-site personnel of the event
  • Take photos of the injury and the animal at fault
  • Record names and contact information of witnesses

Medical help has more importance than just keeping you healthy. You need to establish a detailed record of all medical services like ER visits, tests, and exams as further proof of an injury's severity.

Then, contact an attorney with experience in animal attack claims for advice. You do not need to speak with the animal owners or representatives from their insurance company or attorney. You can rely instead on your own trusted legal representative for the help you need. Contact Palmetto Injury Lawyers if an animal experience leaves you or a loved one with injuries.

How to Handle Your First Settlement Offer After an Accident

The first offer from an insurer is usually not the best deal, and it's not likely their final offer. Insurance companies know you have bills to pay, and that even a small amount of money may sound attractive to someone who has just been in a wreck, but remember they are also in business to make a profit, and they want to retain as much money as they can.

This article guides you on things to do when an insurer gives you the first offer.

discussing first settlement offer

Do Your Homework

The first offer you get from an insurer may seem  attractive because it includes your initial healthcare bills. However, you need to pay attention to your present and future financial needs as you do your calculations. The biggest risk is when you settle before you are fully healed. Keep in mind, once you enter into a full and final settlement, the claim is closed and there will be no further payments even if you need to go back to the doctor.

The injuries and the pain from the accident might take months, if not years, to heal. You may need future medical treatment if your injuries don’t heal properly. Make sure you get compensation for the pain and emotional distress, regular checkups, physical therapy, and the inability to work. You should only accept an offer that can keep you going for an extended period.

You need to present reliable evidence of your financial needs to the insurer. Remember that most insurance firms hire experienced personnel who know how to make you feel like their offer is legitimate and fair. Stick to your grounds, and pursue rightful compensation because you never know how the accident might affect your future.

Work With an Attorney

Work with a seasoned lawyer who has a history in insurance claims. The skills and experience of the lawyer can help you secure a desirable offer. The insurance company may challenge you, or dismiss your concerns if you are alone. Since attorneys are familiar with the tactics insurance officers use to devalue a claim, you should let your attorney take the burden off your shoulders.

Maintain Effective Communication With Your Lawyer

You should talk with your lawyer regularly to be on the same page as you pursue injury compensation. Never let your lawyer be caught in surprise during negotiations. Effective communication ensures that your attorney is prepared to protect your rights and interests. 

Negotiate After Recovery

This is a tip that most people don't take into consideration. You may not be in the right mental or emotional state to negotiate or deal with claims immediately after the crash. Therefore, take time to recover before you commence claim negotiation. This ensures that your judgment is not clouded and you have enough time to fight for your rights.

Reject Any Unreasonably Low Offers

Your attorney knows how to reject a low ball offer with respect in a letter or during negotiations. Discuss with your lawyer a realistic settlement value. Rejecting the first offer doesn't make you look stubborn; it shows you're ready to fight for what you deserve.

Insurance adjusters are trained to negotiate claims and they do it every day. You need to trust your attorney since they know what constitutes reasonable compensation. The attorney can handle the negotiations part until you receive an appropriate amount.

FAQs About PTSD After Car Accidents

Tragically, after motor vehicle accidents, many people suffer from PTSD. This disorder can be scary, uncomfortable, and potentially debilitating. You may incur costly doctor's bills, you may not be able to work, your personal relationships may suffer, or you may face other damages related to your PTSD. 

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