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What To Do If You Encounter a Mountain Lion

Posted in , , on September 29, 2010

Although rare, mountain lion attacks are a constant danger for Colorado residents. Also called cougars, pumas, and panthers, mountain lions can hurt livestock. They are also a danger to humans. Even though you don’t expect to encounter a mountain lion, it’s essential to know what to do if a mountain lion is stalking you or if an attack occurs. Here’s what you need to know about mountain lion attacks from our Denver injury attorneys.

What to Do If You See a Mountain Lion

If you see a mountain lion, you should make yourself appear as large and intimidating as possible. Stay calm. Make yourself bigger by standing up and reaching tall. If you can open your jacket or grab a branch to look bigger, do it. Speak to the mountain lion calmly and authoritatively. You can stay put or back away slowly. Whatever you do, don’t run away from the mountain lion.

How to Defend Yourself From a Mountain Lion

Here are some of the steps you can take to defend yourself from a mountain lion:

1. Hold your ground. By their nature, mountain lions like to give chase. If you run away, the mountain lion may chase you. To defend yourself, back away slowly, or stand your ground.

2. Make yourself larger. The mountain lion may attack you if it thinks you’re prey. You need to show the mountain lion that you’re the predator, not the prey. To do that, you make yourself look bigger and taller. Reach your arms above your head and wave them slowly in a jumping-jacks motion. If you have a jacket, unbutton it, and hold it out. Hanging onto a stick or branch can make you look larger and give you a weapon to use to defend yourself. Don’t crouch down or bend over.

3. Make noise. Speaking to the mountain lion can make it think twice about attacking you. When you talk, be loud, and use an authoritative voice. Speak slowly and with confidence.

Mountain Lion Before Attack

4. Throw objects near or at the mountain lion. If the mountain lion continues to follow you or begins to make aggressive gestures, you can throw things near or at the mountain lion. Stones, sticks, and anything else you find can deter the mountain lion from making an attack. Your safety is most important, so don’t hesitate to throw things at the mountain lion if that’s what it takes.

5. Protect your neck, throat, and head. When a mountain lion attacks, it usually tries to reach the neck, throat, and head. Keep that in mind if you need to defend yourself.

6. Report the sighting. If you defend yourself from a mountain lion, the animal might pose a danger to others. You need to tell local authorities about the sighting. They can take action to neutralize the threat or warn others.

What to Do If a Mountain Lion Is Stalking You?

If a mountain lion is stalking you, you must defend yourself. You want to convince the mountain lion that you’re not prey. In fact, you want to show the mountain lion that you may be a danger to it. In order to look dangerous to the mountain lion, you want to make yourself look bigger.

If you can open a jacket, stand up taller, or hang onto a branch, you’re going to look more dangerous to the mountain lion. Avoid crouching down or turning your back to the mountain lion. If the animal behaves aggressively towards you, you should throw objects at the mountain lion or fight it off directly with any weapons that you can find.

Can the Government Ever Be Liable for a Mountain Lion Attack?

Yes, the government can be liable for a mountain lion attack. Although government entities have immunity from liability for most types of lawsuits, they have liability in some circumstances for dangerous conditions on the property. In other words, if the government has a reason to know that there are mountain lions on the property, and they don’t do enough to warn you about the dangerous conditions on the property, they may be legally liable. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, emotional suffering, and more.

In Colorado, you may need to work quickly to put the government on notice that the attack occurred on public property. The State of Colorado creates a very short window of only 182 days to put the government on notice of a claim for a dangerous condition on government property. This time limit applies to mountain lion attack claims. The notice only applies to claims involving government property. If a claim involves private property, the notice requirement doesn’t apply, but there are still strict time limit to meet for filing your claim.

How Can an Attorney Help?

A mountain lion attack can be a confusing, frightening event. If you or a loved one is hurt in a mountain lion attack, an experienced attorney can help you evaluate the situation. You may have a right to financial compensation.

When you have medical bills, lost income, and other expenses after a wild animal attack, monetary compensation can provide welcome relief. An attorney can help you determine what your rights are and what you might recover. They can tell you what’s involved in making a claim. Ultimately, an experienced attorney can help you take the best course of action going forward when you’re hurt because of a mountain lion attack.

Our Injury Attorneys Can Help

Have you been hurt because of a mountain lion attack? The attorneys at Bachus & Schanker, LLC, focus their entire practice on representing accident victims. They’ve carefully built a law firm with the full resources, experience, and determination needed to help accident victims. If a mountain lion attack has hurt you, they want to help you get the compensation that you deserve and pursue your case in the best possible way.

Contact the Bachus & Schanker, LLC legal team today at (303) 222-2222 for a consultation about your case. Your consultation is free, and there is never any charge to speak with a friendly member of our team. Let’s see how we can work together to get justice for you. Call us today.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver