Points That Your Attorney Can Argue In A Zoo-Related Wrongful Death Case

Posted on: 14 August 2018

If you operate a zoo, there's always a possibility that someone may be killed on your property. Wild animals and humans don't always mix, and zoos can often find themselves making headlines in the wake of one of their animals killing a person. In such a scenario, it's almost certain that the victim's family will present you with a wrongful death lawsuit, but you shouldn't automatically assume that you'll need to present a settlement or lose the case in court. There may be circumstances in which you can argue that the victim's negligence led to his or her death. Here are some points that your own attorney may present.

The Victim Was Trespassing

Many deaths at zoos occur after the zoo is closed, as some people like the sneak into the zoo or perhaps hide on the property at the end of the day until everyone goes home. In such a scenario, your attorney will be quick to point out that the victim was breaking the law by trespassing, and because he or she was doing so willingly, he or she was largely to blame for the incident. This is partly because, unlike regular zoo hours, there wouldn't have been any trained safety personnel on the scene at the time of the incident who could have helped.

The Victim Ignored Warning Signs

Any proper zoo should have a number of signs posted around the property to warn people about where they can and cannot go. Deaths at zoos can often occur because someone decides to climb into a closed-off area that houses a potentially deadly animal. For example, a tiger area will commonly have multiple signs warning people that they shouldn't try to scale the fence and enter, but the victim may have ignored the signs and engaged in this behavior anyway. Your attorney will argue that this form of negligence was what caused the fatal episode, rather than your zoo being at fault.

The Victim Wasn't Of Sound Mind

In many cases of zoo fatalities, the person who was killed — especially if he or she engaged in risky behavior such as getting into a pen with an animal — was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Toxicology reports in the wake of such incidents are always important, and you can be sure that your attorney will obtain a copy of this document. If the victim was intoxicated, your attorney will once again suggest negligence because he or she wasn't acting in a responsible manner consistent with how the average zoo visitor should act.

Talk to a wrongful death lawyer for more information.