Who is responsible for a cat bite or scratch?
When it comes to a claim caused by a pet such as a cat, the question of liability is essential. Even though it is legally and morally recognized by the owner of the animal, note that if you have been the victim of assault by a cat, there are aspects of the matter that you must take into account and a procedure to be followed to resolve the situation.
Find out below the essentials to know about damage caused by an animal, the procedure to follow and the compensation terms to help you obtain compensation for the damage caused to you.
Owner or keeper of a cat = Responsible
Well, if we say of a cat that it is that of such and such another person, there must be a reason, right? The most obvious reason is that she is "responsible" for it! Whether owner or guardian of the animal, he is in all circumstances responsible for the acts of the animal. The law is also very clear on this subject.
Indeed, article 1243 of the Civil Code stipulates that: "the owner of an animal, or the one who uses it, while it is in its use, is responsible for the damage that the animal has caused, either whether the animal was in its care, whether it was lost or escaped ”. So in fact, any animal whose activity can be controlled by a human engages the responsibility of its owner or of the one in charge of its care, in the event that it causes damage.
Common sense above all when it comes to biting or scratching
In general, domestic cats are not known to be dangerously aggressive. So if a cat attacked you, it could be because he felt in danger or because of fear and, by his nature as an animal, it is not surprising that he had a different reaction. than that of a human.
In other words, it is possible that the little feline simply expressed a defensive reaction.
Also, cat bites or scratches are not as serious as one might imagine (compared for example to those of a dog). In the worst case, you risk a simple sore or bartonellosis which is easily treated today.
This means that cat bites or scratches are relatively negligible and not very serious, sometimes even futile. Either way, you need to use your common sense to judge the severity of the assault and determine what to do next.
Cat bite or scratch: What to do
If you have been bitten or scratched by someone else's cat and wish to obtain redress for the damage caused, it is your right. However, there is a well established procedure that you must follow.
Define the physical and moral damage
The first thing to do following a cat bite or scratch is to make an inventory of the physical and moral damage or injuries. It can be a wound and / or trauma. You will note that the repair of the damage will not be the responsibility of any cat insurance or mutual health insurance: it will be made by the owner of the cat or by his civil liability insurance (if he is insured).
Compensation following a cat bite or scratch
To be compensated, you must contact the owner of the animal and check if he is covered by a civil and family liability guarantee which includes the damage caused by his cat, and the where applicable, the latter must send a claim declaration to his insurer, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, and no later than 5 days after the claim.
You will also ask the owner to give you a copy of these documents which you will in turn send to their insurer. You will ensure that the claim declaration contains the estimate of the damage, and a copy of the care sheet and the medical certificate, which will be useful for reimbursement.
In the event that the owner of the cat is not insured, you have the option of either discussing amicably with him or of filing a complaint against him and initiating civil proceedings.
Lawsuit or amicable agreement?
Note that in the majority of cases, an amicable agreement is often the best solution. Indeed, not only are legal proceedings long, but they are also very expensive, for both parties. An amicable agreement allows the 2 parties to discuss the victim's expectations for compensation, and with the help of a mediator, to reach a mutual consensus for reimbursements.
In addition, the damage caused by a cat is often minimal and therefore not worth bringing a lawsuit. So once again, use your common sense to determine the severity of the damage.