What if I was attacked by an animal at work? You are probably asking this question because you were injured as a result of being attacked by some kind of animal at work, and you want to know what you can do to be compensated for your injury.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 1992 thru 1997, animals inflicted or contributed to 375 fatal work-related injuries. During that time period, it is estimated that around 75,000 nonfatal injuries took place. On average, 63 fatal injuries and 12,500 nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving animals occur each year at work.
Danger of attack
The problem is that whenever a worker’s job causes them to be near or in the vicinity of an animal, the danger of being attacked is possible. Accidents may occur, things may go wrong and being attacked by an animal may occur even when an animal is on a leash, in a cage or apparently restrained. The result may be a severe, disabling injury or illness to a worker who is doing their job for their employer.
In most instances, workers are attacked by dogs on the job, but other domestic animals like ferrets, cats and birds may attack a worker who is trying to do their job for their employer. Exotic, wild animals, such as bears, wolves, tigers, lions and other big cats may also attack a worker.
Workers outside may be attacked by a poisonous snake or insects. Workers who have to go into the ocean may be attacked by a shark or other ocean denizen.
In most instances, bite injuries are usually the result of a worker being attacked by an animal on the job. However, there are other severe injuries, illnesses, infections and complications that may occur. Some of these include:
Rabies from bites by raccoons, dogs, squirrels or skunks
Bacterial diseases like brucellosis or campylobacteriosis from infected wounds
Anaphylactic shock from toxins of stinging insects
Pneumonia, nervous system, heart or liver damage and flu-like symptoms from parrot fever (psittacosis)
Bacterial or viral pathogens like LaCrosse encephalitis, Lyme disease or West Nile disease resulting from stings and bites by insects and spiders
Cat scratch fever resulting in fatigue, listlessness, fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and, in severe cases, bacillary angiomatosis (growth of tumor-like blood vessel clusters).
The risk of being attacked by an animal is present in most kinds of work, but there are some jobs that involve a higher risk of animal attack. Some of these are:
Firefighters, police and rescue workers
Workers at theme parks
If you have been injured by being attacked by an animal at work, you may wonder if you can get workers’ compensation for your injury. The good news is that you should be eligible in most instances.
In addition, if the animal that attacked you has an owner, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that owner. The right thing to do is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney and have you case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
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