Recently, I had the opportunity to visit one of our local wound clinics. Upon discussion with the staff, I was surprised to discover that more patients are treated for cat bites compared to those of dog bites. We often hear of dog bite injuries, but what about cat attack injuries?
The courts see domesticated cats in a much different way than dogs. A dog typically will react when afraid or territorial. With cats, even the most gentle and friendliest can scratch or bite. Because of their sharp teeth and claws, it isn’t uncommon to get a scratch or bite from a playful cat. Cat attacks aren’t as frequent as dog attacks, but cat bite injuries can prove to be quite devastating as cat teeth love puncture marks that can introduce bacterial and cause severe damage.
So what happens if you’re injured by a cat? Can you sue? The short answer is yes, but when an injury is caused by a domesticated animal there are a few liability factors that are called into play.
Strict Liability – Utah is considered a strict liability state. This means when a dog bites someone, the owner is fully liable for the injuries where the dog is “vicious” or not. When it comes to cat injuries, there are not laws holding cat owners strictly liable for cat bites. So it will be a matter of determining if the owner or responsible party acted negligently.
The One Bite Rule – in the case of dogs, owners will receive a warning for the dog biting someone. If another bite happens, the dog can be put down for aggressive behavior. In the state of Utah, a dog can be put down if there is a record of the dog being involved in a violent attach on three separate occasions,
Negligence – if the owner of the cat is aware of aggressive behavior and does not take the proper precautions to keep the cat indoors or away from others, they will be considered negligent. Especially if the cat is known to be aggressive and hostile in the presence of people, it is the legal responsibility to keep others safe, even to visitors in the home.
If you are injured by a cat bite, you may not only have the physical trauma, but emotional trauma to deal with as well. It would be to your benefit to contact a personal injury attorney. At McMullin Injury Law we can help you understand your rights and advise you on your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. Filing a lawsuit by the victim can be essential to account for the damages including those for medical bills, lost wages, lost time, and therapy or rehabilitation expenses. Having a skilled attorney on your side can make all the difference. We can also help explain the laws to the animal owner and inform them of the process. These animal injury cases are brought against their homeowners insurance policy. This means, that their liability portion of their insurance pays out the claim and they don’t have to pay a dime out of pocket.
If you’ve been injured by an animal bite, call McMullin Injury Law for a free case consultation.