Dog Bites Are Not the Only Animal Injury Kentuckians Need to Be Prepared For

By Greg Kohn

A recent news report highlighted a growing problem: wild animals being kept as pets. The report noted that though keeping wild animals as pets is illegal, it is a very common practice. Authorities often don’t know that a potentially dangerous wild animal is being kept as a pet until the owner gives up on raising it and releases it into the wild, or it escapes. Both of these scenarios put the public at risk of being injured.

If you are injured in an animal attack, and it is clear that animal was a pet, the first thing you should do after seeking treatment and notifying the proper law enforcement authorities, is contact a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with animal attack cases. Consulting with an attorney soon after the injury occurs will ensure you have the best chance of receiving the money necessary to compensate you for your injury.

An attorney can help you document injuries so they can be used as evidence, and negotiate with all the insurance companies, medical assistance programs, and medical personnel seeking payment. If the owner of the pet is denying ownership, an attorney can also help track down evidence of ownership. This can be a tricky task since most people keeping illegal pets know they are illegal, and so try to hide their crime.

People who are caught in possession of exotic or native pets that the state of Kentucky has deemed to be illegal can only be charged with a misdemeanor. That’s basically just a slap on the wrist, and it’s no real deterrent to keeping illegal pets. However, if a pet (legal or illegal) injures someone, the owner will be held strictly liable in civil court for the injuries caused. Strict liability means the circumstances involved don’t matter, all that matters is a pet caused an injury and the owner is responsible. This makes it relatively easy to get compensation from the people responsible for the pet.

If you are injured by a pet (wild or not) be sure to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.