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.

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