What Are My Legal Options When I’m Bitten By a Zoo Animal?

August 15, 2022

In pretty much any area of the United States, the owner of an animal will be held liable in the event that the animal causes injury to someone. This applies to all types of animals, including pets, service animals, or animals kept at a zoo. If you have been injured by an animal at a zoo, it is important that you understand your rights in this situation. You can consult with a local attorney to understand the details of this legal problem.

Risk of Injury at a Zoo

A zoo is often considered a great place to spend time with your family and enjoy learning about animals you can’t see every day. Although a lot of effort goes into keeping a zoo safe, accidents do happen. People have been bitten, attacked, and otherwise injured at zoos. The risk of injury is increased when those visiting the zoo are in close proximity to the animals.

Results of Injury at a Zoo

A zoo attack can result in injuries. In severe cases, it could even result in the death of someone. It is not unheard of for an attack, especially if it was from a larger animal, to result in severe injuries or death. To cut down on the risks of injuries and attacks, zoos must comply with specific safety measures. These safety measures include enclosure heights, building materials used, and staff training. The zoo is also required to have proper safety guidelines posted for visitors.

Zoo Liability

The ownership of dangerous animals creates a serious liability situation. Zoo owners are under strict liability laws. If you are injured at a zoo by an animal, the zoo is 100% liable for your injuries and expenses.

In most cases, the victim does not even need to prove negligence because the liability for wild animal attacks is already understood.

Small Zoos

Some wonder if this strict liability applies to small, individually owned zoos. Yes, it does. Anyone who owns a dangerous animal, puts it on display, and allows others to go near it takes on the burden of responsibility and liability for anything that the animal may do.

Steps To Take After an Injury

If you are injured while visiting a zoo due to an animal bite or attack, you should seek medical attention first and foremost. You should also do your best to record your injuries, either with photos or videos. Keep good records of any medical treatment you receive and any medical expenses you must pay for.

You should consult with a local attorney soon after recovering from your injuries. This professional will be able to help you navigate the liability situation you are facing to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.

It is often recommended that you seek damages from the zoo owner or the animal owner for your injuries and expenses. 

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