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Animal-bite cases often require battle with insurance company

When you hear news stories about animal bites and attacks, it is natural to assume that the aggressive animal was a dog. Cases of dog attacks and bites are unfortunately common here in California and around the country.

Sometimes, however, the animal is not a dog, a cat or any other common pet. For this and other reasons, a news headline containing the phrase "brutal donkey attack" really caught our attention.

According to news sources, a judge in Washington State has filed a lawsuit against her neighbors after being attacked by one of their donkeys in February 2014. The woman, who routinely walks her dogs on the couple's farm property (with their full permission), had stopped to feed the donkeys through a fence. On that day, the fence broke and one of the donkeys allegedly attacked the woman's dogs. When she tried to intervene, she was bitten several times by the aggressive donkey.

This case is unusual because of the animal involved. In other ways, however, it is quite typical. A representative for the plaintiff says that she remains good friends with her neighbors (the donkey's owners), and is only filing the lawsuit due to a dispute with their insurance company. In out-of-court settlement negotiations, the insurance company allegedly would not agree to an appropriately large settlement proposal.

If you or a loved one has been bitten/attacked by a dog or any other domestic animal, you may face resistance from both the animal's owners and their insurance company. That's why it's helpful (and often necessary) to have an experienced personal injury attorney advocating on your behalf.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Judge sues Carnation neighbors after brutal donkey attack," Sara Jean Green, June 22, 2015

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