Claiming Compensation for a Zoo Accident
Generally, zoos are safe and fun places to visit. However, there are certain hazards that you could encounter – either as a customer or as an employee of a zoo. If you have had an accident at a zoo, talk to us about zoo claims.
If you were involved in an accident in the last three years that was not your fault, then you may be able to claim compensation.
When near wild animals, there is a risk of being attacked and suffering injuries such as bite marks, scratches and cuts or more serious injuries.
If your animal attack was due to someone else’s negligence, such as a staff member forgetting to close a particular hatch which usually contains animals to a certain area while performing a specific task, or if a safety mechanism failed, then you may be able to claim compensation.
You could also contract an illness due to coming into contact with animals – the most common illness that could occur is E.coli. These types of illnesses are most likely to occur at petting zoos where both staff members and customers are in close proximity to animals but illnesses could also be contracted at more general zoos for staff members.
You could also experience a more general accident type of accident which could occur in any public place. In particular, a slip, trip and fall accident could happen at a zoo. If a spillage was not cleaned up by a staff member after they were notified about it or if a sign was not placed near a recently cleaned floor to indicate it was wet, you could be able to claim for the zoo’s negligence.
While this is fairly rare, an accident in a zoo could tragically lead to a fatal injury – particularly for staff members who are more likely to suffer an animal attack in general. In a case where an accident has led to death, there are three different legal bodies who would be able to claim compensation: the deceased’s estate, those who were dependent upon the deceased, and the deceased’s immediate family.
Protections for Zoo Employees
All employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their employees – as specifically set out by the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. However, there are specific legal regulations and guidelines which apply to working in a zoo. These guidelines include providing adequate and correct training, equipment and any necessary clothing to ensure that every staff member is informed about protocol and is best prepared to do their job.
If you believe that your employer has not carried out any of these types of safety regulations, and you have experienced an injury as a result, then you could be able to claim compensation against them for this negligence.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT AT A ZOO?
- Report the incident to a staff member so they can make an official record of it in their accident book.
- Take photos of what has happened-injuries and the scene of the accident.
- Get the details of any witnesses to the accident.
- Evidence of a loss of earnings if your injury has resulted in you needing time off work. Documents related to other financial expenditures connected to your injuries may also be required. This could include travel receipts to and from medical appointments.
- Seek medical attention
HOW DOES THE CLAIMS PROCESS WORK?
At Jefferies Solicitors, once we have carried out an initial consultation, we will take care of the paperwork required to get your case underway.
A letter will be sent to you following an initial consultation with your solicitor. This will be a summary of the discussion you had and will confirm that they are happy to take on your case. It will highlight who will be your contact and estimate how long the process will take. The letter will also detail how you will be funding the case and an estimate of costs. If you need to provide any further information this will also be included.
A letter will then be sent to the defendant, providing details of the accident. The defendant has a fixed period in which they can reply and in their reply, they must state whether or not they are denying or accepting liability for your injuries. If they do accept liability, your solicitor will endeavour to settle the case out of court.
AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION IN CLAIMS AGAINST A ZOO
All personal injury cases are unique and so the amount of compensation that is awarded in each case is also unique. The amount of compensation that is awarded is determined by looking at two specific factors – general damages and special damages.
The pain and suffering that your injuries have caused is the main factor that is used to determine how much compensation you are owed. This will usually be determined by undergoing a medical examination, from which a report is created that outlines the length of time the injuries will take to heal as well as their severity.
Our compensation calculator gives an indication of how much you might be entitled to based upon your injuries. Jefferies Solicitors will take these different details relating to your injury into account when calculating how much compensation you should be awarded, which will then be put forward to the opposing side and the judge.
However, compensation also takes into account any financial losses that you might have suffered as a result of your injuries, such as a loss of earnings due to being unable to return to work. If you have had to pay for treatment or travel to treatment, compensation may also be able to cover this as well. Therefore, you should keep any receipts or other documents that help to outline the extent of your financial losses, as caused by your accident/injuries.
Except for children, there is a three-year time limit on making a personal injury claim. This time limit begins from the date that the accident occurred. You should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to assess your case.
CLAIMS AGAINST A ZOO, START YOUR CLAIM TODAY
Our experts at Jefferies Solicitors are well experienced in dealing with a range of different case types. We understand how traumatic sustaining an injury can be and so we want to make the process of claiming compensation as stress-free as possible.
To learn more and to discuss your potential claim in confidence, contact our team on 0800 342 3206. Alternatively, complete our online contact form to arrange an initial no-obligation telephone consultation with a member of our expert team.
Where next? Read How To Claim