Cat Bites Can Be Very Serious

cat-bitesCat bites can be extremely painful and pose a very serious threat to your health.   As with any animal bite, it can get infected and require surgery.  Once infected it can be very difficult to treat and take a long time to heal.

We recently represented a woman who was attacked and bitten by a cat.   She came home with her groceries and was carrying the grocery bag and her purse.  As luck would have it, after she unlocked her front door she dropped her keys.  She was standing on the stoop, three steps up from her sidewalk, and the keys fell to the ground next to some bushes.

She came down to the sidewalk, reached for her keys and was immediately attacked and bitten on the back and side of her hand by a black, long haired cat. She was bitten deeply, on the knuckle at the junction of her hand and thumb.  The cat immediately let go of her, grabbed a dead bird lying nearby, and ran away.

She went inside and treated the wound with an antiseptic, and saw it was fairly deep. She called her family doctor and got some prescription antibiotics which she filled that day.  Unfortunately, the wound became infected despite the antibiotics, so she went to the emergency department of a local hospital.  As it turned out, she needed a surgical procedure to clean out the infection, a long course of anti-biotics and then her hand/wrist was put in a split.

She had originally thought the cat that attacked her was a stray, but as time went by she continued to see it around her house. Since she lived in the country, and had been bothered by raccoons before, she happened to have a live trap in her basement which she had used before to catch and relocate raccoons.  She set it up outside and decided to try to catch the cat.

After a few weeks she was able to successfully catch the cat that bit her, and the county Animal Control officers determined it to be her neighbor’s cat. We filed a claim against the neighbor and his homeowner’s insurance company which was initially denied.  They argued that our client couldn’t be sure this was the cat that attacked her, and that there was nothing to prove the cat was vicious.

We were able to obtain a very nice settlement for our client when we argued that since she was a cat owner herself, she was able to identify the particular cat that attacked her based on her knowledge of cats in general. The description she initially gave to the Animal Control officers on the day she was bitten matched the description of the cat once it was captured.  Additionally we argued that cats don’t see the same way people do.  They see motion much better than they see stationary objects, but may not be able to differentiate what the object is that is moving.  This cat wasn’t vicious, it was just hunting, and when it saw our client’s hand move it thought its prey was escaping, so it attacked.  As soon as it realized it wasn’t the bird it had bitten but my client, it released her right away.  The insurance company reluctantly agreed with our theory of the case, and it paid a nice settlement before we even had to file suit.

In our experience over thousands of cases, we have seen many different scenarios that result in liability against someone who has wrongfully injured our clients. It’s like that insurance company saying, we know things because we’ve seen things.

At MacCloskey Kesler & Associates, we have seen hundreds of different ways people get injured by the negligence of others, and have been able to obtain full and fair compensation for our clients under those differing circumstances. Put our experience to work for you.  If you’ve been injured in an accident or by the general negligence of someone else, call us now for a free consultation at 815-965-2000.  No case is too unusual for us to help you.