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Zoo Accident Claims Guide | How Much Can I Claim?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 17th April 2023. If you have been injured as a result of an accident at a zoo, or have become sick by contracting an illness from an animal at a zoo, you could be entitled to make a zoo accident claim.

Zoos should be safe places to work, as well as being educational and entertaining places to visit. However, they are home to potentially very dangerous animals. This may include predatory animals which may attack in the event that they feel threatened or attacked.

If you have been injured at a zoo and think you are entitled to make a zoo accident claim, contact the specialist personal injury team at Legal Expert.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Zoo Accident Or Zoo Injury?
  2. Zoo Keeper Accidents And Injuries
  3. Fatal Accidents At A Zoo
  4. Child Accidents At The Zoo
  5. Zoo Accidents – Evidence Examples
  6. What Can Be Claimed For After An Accident In A Zoo?
  7. Zoo Accident Injury Compensation Amounts
  8. Zoo Accident Claims For No Win No Fee Solicitors
  9. Helpful Links And Resources

What Is A Zoo Accident Or Zoo Injury?

Common questions we are asked in relation to this type of claim can include “what is a zoo accident”, “what is a zoo injury” and “are zoos safe for visitors?”. The last of these is perhaps the easiest to answer.

zoo accident claims

zoo accident claims

Zoo’s across the country have very large numbers of visitors each year and almost all will have an extremely enjoyable time. Zoo accidents and injuries include a multitude of circumstances ranging from incidents involving the animals themselves to general hazards leading to a leisure attraction injury. As a popular attraction with a lot of people visiting, they are prone to people suffering a variety of different injuries.

Zoo Keeper Accidents And Injuries

By law, all employers owe their staff a duty of care. This means that they are legally responsible for the health and safety of their staff members whilst at work. This extends to providing the right equipment and training to be able to carry out their work in a safe way.

This duty of care is set out under the UK’s Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. However, there are other pieces of legislation that may also cover employees working in zoos and other jobs with animals. If you have suffered an injury or illness, you could make a zoo accident claim.

Employer’s Liability

Employers liability covers things such as providing the correct training and updating it as required, providing any specific training for situations that are (potentially) hazardous, and providing safety equipment, such as specific clothing.

They must also regularly update their risk analysis for any hazardous activities. These hazardous activities should also only be carried out by the appropriate tasks. They should also ensure that the buildings which house any animals are secured and safe for employees as well as animals. Employers should also put up the right safety signs.

There is an assumption that any employee working with (potentially) dangerous animals do assume some degree of risk by doing so. However, this does not absolve employers of their liability. To make a zoo accident claim, talk to our team today.

Fatal Accidents At A Zoo

Fatal accidents at a zoo can happen when the necessary safety processes and procedures have not been followed correctly, or when staff act in a negligent way. They can happen to either zookeepers, other members of staff, or visitors.

There have been several high profile incidences of animals breaking or getting loose, or people falling into animal enclosures at zoos around the world. The most recent incident of a human death at a Zoo in the UK was the Hamerton Zoo tiger attack in 2017. The animal attack happened in Hamerton Zoo and involved a tiger mauling a keeper to death. The Hamerton Zoo accident showed the importance of following health and safety procedures.

In the case of a fatal accident, there are three legal entities that can bring a personal injury claim. These are those who were dependent on the deceased, the deceased’s immediate family, the deceased’s estate. You can find out more information about making a fatal accident compensation claim in our guide.

Child Accidents At The Zoo

Taking your child or children to either a large zoo, wildlife park, or a smaller petting zoo should be an experience that is both exciting and educational. For many children, especially those living in cities, visiting the zoo could be the first time that they will have been able to come close to wildlife.

Getting to interact with a variety of animals and wildlife can be very educational for many children. However, their excitement and interest could cause children to become distracted and not pay attention to what is going on around them.

As such, children can be susceptible to slips, trips, and falls at a zoo when running around, if they are not supervised properly. Child accidents at the zoo can include physical injuries as well as illnesses and can be caused in a variety of different ways.

If your child has had an accident or injury, the team at Legal Expert could help you get the compensation for accidents at a zoo that your child is entitled to.

Zoo Accidents – Evidence Examples

Following an incident at a zoo in which you suffer pain or harm due to the negligence of the zookeepers or your employer, you may be able to make a valid claim. However, you will need to gather evidence of both an accident occurring and your injuries.

Below we have listed some examples of evidence that could be collected for zoo accidents claims:

  • Medical evidence – Zoo attacks could result in significant injuries. Any notes from your doctor or hospital can act as proof of any harm caused by the incident.
  • Witnesses – Given that zoos are public places, someone else may have witnessed your incident. If you can obtain their contact details, a solicitor can get in touch for a statement during the personal injury claims process.
  • CCTV footage – Zoos may have CCTV footage, which you are entitled to request. The footage can provide evidence of an incident happening and who was liable for causing it.

Additionally, we would recommend that you seek legal advice. Working with personal injury solicitors can ensure that all bases of your claim are covered. Furthermore, they can help you prepare evidence and ensure you get the personal injury compensation you might be owed. Get in touch for more information.

How Long Do I Have To Make Zoo Accident Claims?

Once you’ve received medical treatment for your injuries, you may be in a position where you want to seek compensation for your suffering. In order to be eligible for compensation, there are a number of requirements that you must meet. These include being able to prove that you suffered as a result of third-party negligence and having sufficient evidence to demonstrate it.

It’s important that before you make a claim, you’re aware of the time limits that could affect whether you’re eligible or not. The usual personal injury claims time limit is 3 years. This is either effective from the accident date or whenever you realised that you suffered as a result of the accident.

If your child was injured in a zoo accident but they’re not yet of age to make legal proceedings, you could make a claim on their behalf by acting as their litigation friend. This way, you can secure them with the compensation that they deserve, which could also be accessed by yourself in the meantime to cover medical bills and any other injury-related expenses that may crop up.

What Can Be Claimed For After An Accident In A Zoo?

If you have suffered an accident or injury at the zoo and are thinking of making a compensation claim, you could be wondering how much you can claim, and what can you claim for. We will look at the first part of this in the following section, here we will look at what you can claim compensation for after an injury in a zoo.

Whilst each and every claim may have different circumstances which determine the amount of compensation you will get, we can look at the categories which may determine how much you are entitled to. These categories are:

  • General damages: these are calculated from and paid out based on your actual physical injury or illness resulting from your animal attack or other circumstances leading to injury or illness. This will often form the bulk of your settlement and will also include any physical pain or suffering you experienced. It may also be awarded for emotional distress. It will take into account the long-term effects this will have on you.
  • Special damages: this covers everything else which you may be able to claim compensation for. They include things such as medical bills and other special circumstances. This could include the cost of care, medication, or domestic help.
  • Loss of earnings: this can include compensation for loss of earnings and benefits which you have suffered as a direct result of your illness or injury in a Zoo.

The above categories form the most common types of compensation you could claim for a Zoo accident or injury.

Zoo Accident Injury Compensation Amounts

If your claim for an injury caused by an incident in a zoo is successful, you could be awarded general and special damages.

As previously stated, general damages compensate you for the suffering and pain you have experienced due to your injury. This includes both physical and psychological injuries. For example, zoo attacks could lead to someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, some physical injuries, such as facial disfigurement, may also leave you feeling anxious or depressed about your appearance.

Many legal professionals will use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value personal injury claims. This is because the JCG lists compensation guidelines for various injuries. Using figures from the 16th edition of the JCG, we have created the table below.

However, it is important to note that when you are making a personal injury claim following an incident at a zoo, various factors could affect how much compensation you receive. For example, the severity of your injury and how long it may take for you to recover could affect how much you are awarded, so please only use this table as a guide.

Type of injury Severity Settlement Notes
Psychiatric Damage Generally Severe £54,830 to £115,730

Future mental health will be poor and recovery will be slow if at all. The person will still be vulnerable in the future. Coping with everyday situations will be very difficult.
Facial Disfigurement Very Severe Scarring £29,780 to £97,330 The psychological consequences and cosmetic effect is severe.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860 Good prognosis with help from professionals.
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderately severe £19,070 to £54,830

Less serious than the above category and there will be a slightly more optimistic prognosis.
Facial Disfigurement Less Severe Scarring £16,860 to £45,440 The disfigurement is less substantial.
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderate £5,860 to £19,070

Modreate cases are much less serious again and the claimant may fully recover.
Psychiatric Damage Generally Less severe £1,540 to £5,860 No specific condition has been diagnosed, more general symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 Large chance of recovery.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about personal injury claims for zoo accidents.

Zoo Accident Claims For No Win No Fee Solicitors

You could potentially be eligible for compensation if you suffered injuries while at the zoo. You may wish to have the support of personal injury solicitors to help with your claim. Solicitors can help gather supporting evidence, ensure your claim is filed in full and within the time limit. However, you may be concerned about paying high upfront fees.

A No Win No Fee solicitor may not charge upfront fees for their services. Under the typical No Win No Fee arrangement, your solicitor usually won’t ask you to cover any ongoing fees either. When they successfully help you recover compensation, they take a success fee from the award. This is capped by the law. Should a No Win No Fee solicitor fail to secure you compensation, they usually will not ask for a fee to cover their services. Your solicitor may provide their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement.

To discuss zoo accident claims and what led up to your injuries, get in touch with our advisors. They are experts in personal injury claims and can give you free legal advice about zoo accidents.

To get in touch:

Helpful Links And Resources

Child Accident Claims
Find out how to make a successful claim for accidents and injuries to children with our guide to child accident claims.

Dog Bite Animal Claims
Have you been bitten by an animal, such as a dog, find out how to secure the compensation which you deserve with animal bite injuries.

Horse Riding Accidents
Were you injured at the Zoo whilst participating in an animal ride? If so, this guide to horse riding accident claims could help you.

NHS Guide To Animal And Human Bite Injuries
Find out how to treat human and animal bite injuries with this guide from the NHS.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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