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Animal attacks may be covered by workers’ compensation

| Jan 7, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is there to protect employees who are hurt on the job. That includes getting hurt because of your involvement with animals while you work. For example, a trash collector who is bitten by a raccoon, postal worker bitten by a dog or exterminator attacked by a snake may all have claims for their injuries.

In most cases, workers can collect compensation for injuries on the job even if being around that animal wasn’t part of their normal duties. For instance, if you’re walking around the courtyard of a hotel you work at and are attacked by an animal that found its way in, your employer may still be on the hook for the expenses you face. You were working when you were injured, so it makes sense that your employer would be responsible for covering those injuries.

There are times when employers will not be responsible for injuries that took place while you were working. For instance, if you intentionally harm yourself, most workers’ compensation insurance companies will reject your claim.

What should you do if you’re attacked by an animal while you’re working?

If you are attacked by an animal while you’re working, let your supervisor or employer know as soon as possible. They need to be made aware of the situation, so they can take action and help you with your claim.

It’s important for you to seek medical attention immediately. Whether the animal is wild or not, there is a risk of infection. Of course, any physical damage must also be treated to repair damage to the tendons, ligaments or other tissues.

If the animal was wild and it can be caught, then that animal should be restrained until animal control is available. Some animals, like raccoons, may need to be tested for rabies. Additionally, calling animal control will help relocate the animal somewhere safer if it is healthy.

If you’re attacked by an animal that belongs to a customer or someone you can identify, then that animal’s vaccination records should be collected. Knowing the vaccination records may limit the amount of inoculations you need following an injury.