Visitor Question

Cat Bite While Working…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I work in an assisted living home as caregiver.

A tenant’s cat escaped its owner’s apartment and entered the library. (The owner is visually impaired.)

I talked to the cat, trying to calm it down, and while trying to open the tenant’s apartment door I slipped my fingers under cat’s harness to help guide it into the apartment.

The cat bit the top of my hand. I am now undergoing treatment for an infection due to the bite. On my last visit to my treating physician she used a scalpel and opened the wounded area in order to squeeze some of the pus out. I am still under the care of the doctor at this time.

Should I pursue this legally? If so what am I looking at settlement wise? How would I get the compensation? THANK YOU.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You certainly have a legitimate personal injury claim against the owners and management company of the assisted living home. Hopefully at or about the time of the incident you contacted your supervisor or someone in charge. It’s important to be sure they documented your injury in writing. Ask for a copy of the incident report.

If you had workers compensation insurance you may be barred from filing a 3rd party claim. If not, and you intend to pursue a personal injury claim, you will need the name and contact information of the living center’s insurance company. Hopefully your employer will cooperate. They don’t legally have to give you any information.

If they decide not to cooperate you can always consult with a personal injury attorney. Most don’t charge for initial consultations.

In the interim continue your medical treatment. It’s important to know if you will suffer any lingering effects, especially scarring. Ask your doctor to write a medical narrative which will include your diagnosis and prognosis. Be sure the doctor links your treatment directly to the incident at the assisted living center.

If your doctor is sure you wont have any lingering effects, especially any scarring you can probably handle your own claim with the insurance company. If you negotiate with the insurance company a good way to estimate your settlement is by multiplying your medical and other bills by 3x.

That figure is meant to include compensation for your medical bills, your out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, and an amount for your pain and suffering.

If your injury results in continuing painful treatment or surgery, or if your hand will be permanently scarred you would be best served by retaining a personal injury attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 14, 2013

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