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When Animals At The Outdoor Nativity Scene Bite

The Christmas season can quickly transform into a hectic month of shopping for great deals, gathering for holiday parties and finding just the right gift for your Secret Santa. It's always good to take time to celebrate the reason for the season, and enjoy some spiritual events with your friends and family. But who is legally responsible when something goes terribly wrong between the animals at the manger scene and the people stopping by to visit?

Here's The Story

This exact scenario played out in Maryland, according to an article published in the Washington Post. Evangel Cathedrale is a church in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where an annual Christmas nativity show is performed, drawing crowds of more than 27,000 people annually. The display has become a tradition of sorts in the New England community, made famous by its Broadway-style show that incorporates live camels into the performance; filling people with the Christmas spirit. All was calm and bright at the show this December, until a camel allegedly bit one of the performers who was rehearsing for an upcoming display.

Another person at the rehearsal called 911, but eventually canceled the call. The church did not comment on the 911 call or the biting incident, leaving people with few concrete details. However, the fact that this magical Christmas moment went completely wrong begs the question: Who's at fault in this situation, or during any animal bite incident?

Pet Owners Have Strict Liability In Georgia

There's a lot of factors that play a role in determining who is at fault during an animal bite dispute. In Georgia, the key elements of the dog bite law are:

  • In order to be compensated for damages that result from an animal bite injury, the animal has to be deemed dangerous according to state law. A dangerous animal is defined as an animal who harms a person without provocation.
  • In the event of a dangerous animal bite that results in an injury or fatality, the owner of the animal as well as the owner's insurance company is required to compensate the injured party for the damages.
  • An owner also can be determined to be the responsible party if they do not take the proper precautions in order to keep their pet under control and out of circumstances where they can harm people.

In most cases, an animal bite case can be settled outside of the courtroom. This is a more cost-effective option that still allows the injured party to get the damages they need in order to cover the medical costs and emotional trauma associated with the injury. However, it's still advisable to work with a personal injury attorney who specializes in animal bite injuries and has an intimate understanding of the Georgia state law.

Of course, if the nature of the injury is severe and the damages are extensive, then settling outside of the courtroom may not be an option. You can take an animal bite case to trial, especially if the damages you are seeking are more than $10,000. A qualified Georgia personal injury attorney can provide you with the information and guidance you need as you maneuver through the legal system.

December is a month filled with celebration and a season filled with cheer - but when the unthinkable happens and you are injured by a dangerous animal, it can quickly ruin the season...and possibly many seasons to come. If you or someone that you love has been injured by an animal, it's critical that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with Georgia state law. Contact our attorneys today for more information.

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