What to Do If You Encounter an Alligator in Gainesville, FL

Alligators are extremely common in Florida, especially in Gainesville. While many don’t ever think about encountering alligators, it may be more likely than you think.

In case of an alligator encounter, it’s wise to remain calm and try to move toward safety. If you’re attacked by an alligator, and the alligator was someone’s responsibility, you may have the ability to seek compensation for your injuries

Getting to Know Florida’s Alligators

American alligators are native to the Southeast United States. Alligators are large reptiles that can grow to be up to 13 feet long and weigh 800 pounds!

Alligators are primarily found in Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia. There are over one million alligators in Florida, with the largest population of alligators found in Gainesville, Florida. 

Alligators are often confused with crocodiles, but they are not the same. The two can be distinguished by their snouts, which are different shapes. Crocodiles can be found in many more areas than alligators, but South Florida is the only place where the two coexist. 

What to Do If You Encounter an Alligator

While alligators are not known to be aggressive toward humans, they can be provoked in certain circumstances. If you encounter an alligator, keep the following in mind. 

Stay as Far Away as Possible

First and foremost, try to stay as far away as possible from alligators. If you see them from a distance, do not try to approach them. Alligators often get agitated when someone is approaching, so if you hear one hiss, you are too close. 

If You Fall into Alligator-Infested Water, Stay Calm

While remaining calm might be particularly difficult during such a stressful time, if you fall into alligator-infested water, try your hardest to move as smoothly as possible. Swim to shore quickly and quietly without splashing around and flailing. A commotion in the water can attract the attention of the alligators and cause them to attack. 

If You See an Alligator on Land, Stay Calm and Walk Away Slowly

If you see an alligator on land, do not try to approach or attack it. Try to move away from it as calmly and slowly as possible. 

Alligators are quick in the water but out of their element on land. Use this to your advantage, and move away from an alligator as soon as you spot one. 

If an Alligator Charges at You, Run

If an alligator snaps or charges at you, run away. Alligators can run fairly quickly on land but cannot maintain their speed, as their limbs do not allow them to maintain an even gait. 

Additionally, make sure you are running away from the water or other areas where more alligators may be hiding. 

Aim for Their Head or Eyes

If an alligator attacks you, aim to hit their head or their eyes. Many alligator attack survivors cite eye-gouging as their best defense strategy. 

In Case of an Attack, Seek Medical Attention Right Away

If you are attacked by an alligator, seek medical attention right away. Injuries can quickly lead to dangerous complications, including heavy bleeding and infections. 

Speak to a Florida Personal Injury Attorney

If you’re attacked and injured by an alligator in Gainesville, FL, and the alligator was someone’s responsibility, consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can gather information about your attack and give you legal advice regarding the best course of action available to you. 

Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258