In Georgia, we often hear stories of people being injured in dog bite attacks. It much less common to hear about wild animal attacks in Georgia, but surprisingly, they happen all the time. While dogs may account for a majority of injuries and fatalities caused by domesticated animals, the threats posed by large carnivores, venomous snakes, and wasps and hornets are ever-present. The risk of death from these types of animal attacks is much higher than from dog bites, and they often present more complex legal issues that are not explicitly addressed by statutory provisions under Georgia law.
I Have Been Attacked by a Wild Animal, What do I do First?
If you have been attacked by a wild animal, it is always important to identify the animal that bit you. The type of animal that attacked you may determine your course of medical treatment, such as if the animal has poisonous venom. Seek medical attention for your injuries. Document all injuries that you incurred from the animal attack and all ensuing treatment..
What Damages can I Recover in a Wild Animal Attack Case?
In any animal injury case, the victim of the attack will seek compensation for medical expenses. This includes costs for immediate medical treatment, such as an initial hospitalization and medical care for the attack, as well as coverage for future medical visits and expenses, such as those required to treat scarring, disfiguration, and disability associated with the attack. Victims of animal attacks also often exhibit signs of emotional distress from the trauma associated with an animal attack.
Can the Owner of the Property Where My Attack Occurred be Held Liable?
The answer will depend on the set of circumstances under which your wild animal attack occurred. The liability for a wild animal attack is much less clear than in the case of injuries caused by dogs. To really understand when a property owner will be held liable for a wild animal attack on their property, it is important to understand premises liability and how it applies to wild animal attacks.
Premises Liability and Wild Animals
A property owner is required by law to use reasonable care while managing and maintaining the premises for dangerous conditions. They have a duty of care to those people they invite onto their property to keep them safe from dangerous conditions. This can include a duty to protect visitors from wild animals that the property owner keeps intentionally or in some cases wild animals that are known to commonly frequent the property or live on the property.
Contact an Experienced Animal Attack Attorney
Premises liability cases, especially in the case of wild animal attacks, are complex and present unique challenges under Georgia law. The outcomes of wild animal attacks can have serious consequences, including permanent disfigurement, psychological trauma, and in extreme cases, death. Navigating the murky legal waters of premises liability and wild animal attacks is almost impossible without the proper legal guidance. The attorneys of Jonathan R. Brockman, a personal injury law firm, have the experience necessary to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.