Assaults by Animals
Assaults by animals are not something that you would think an employee would have to be worried about or be concerned with. However assaults by animals do take place as people are doing their jobs for their employer.
Any time an employee's work takes them near or in the vicinity of animals, there exists the possibility of assaults by animals occurring. Even when it seems like animals are restrained, on leashes or in cages, things can go wrong, accidents may happen and assaults by animals take place that result in serious, debilitating injuries to an employee during the course of their work for their employer.
Dogs are most often responsible for assaults by animals on workers. However, there are other domestic animals, such as cats, ferrets and even birds that may cause injuries to a worker who is trying to do their job. In addition to this, there are people who keep exotic, wild animals like bears, lions, tigers and other large cats that may be responsible for assaults by animals. Outdoor workers may face the danger of poisonous snake bites, and workers whose jobs take them into ocean waters may face the risk of shark bite.
High Risk Jobs for Animal Assualts
While there is the possibility for assaults by animals on just about any type of job, there are some occupations where the risk for assaults by animals is higher. Some of these include:
- Zoo workers
- Workers with animals at theme parks
- Police, rescue and firefighters
- Building workers, such as installers and construction workers
- Medical professionals, such as nurses and home health care workers
- Delivery workers, such as package and food delivery workers
Common injuries from animal assaults
As you would think, bite injuries are the most common types of injuries that occur from assaults by animals on workers. However, there are other serious infections, injuries and complications that can result from assaults by animals as workers are doing their job for their employer. Some of these are:
- Viral or bacterial pathogens, such as West Nile disease, LaCrosse encephalitis and Lyme disease that result from bites and stings by spiders and insects.
- Bacterial diseases like campylobacteriosis or brucellosis from wounds that get infected.
- Rabies resulting from animal bites by animals like dogs, skunks, raccoons or squirrels.
- Anaphylactic shock from the toxins of stinging insects.
- Flu-like signs and symptoms, pneumonia, liver, heart or nervous system damage coming from parrot fever (psittacosis).
- Cat scratch fever with signs and symptoms that include listlessness, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, headache, fever and, in severe cases, bacillary angiomatosis (growth of tumor-like blood vessel clusters).
If you are a worker who has been the victim of an animal assault while working for your employer, you may ask, "Can I get workers comp for my injuries from the animal attack?" Yes, you are eligible for workers comp in most situations.
You may also be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the owner of the animal that attacked you, as well as workers comp. The best thing to do is to contact a workers compensation attorney and discuss your case with him or her.