There are many long-standing jokes about postal workers being bit by dogs. The reality is not funny at all – dog bites are serious risks for anyone working as a postal worker. Keep reading to find out just how many of these workers are bitten by dogs in the United States each year and then find out what they can do about it.
Postal Worker Dog Bite Statistics
According to stats from the U.S. Postal Service, there are an average of nearly 6,000 dog bites each year for their workers. According to State Farm, they get around $90 million worth of dog bite claims every year. The list of the top ten cities with the most dog bites includes several California cities. Throughout our state, there are nearly 400 dog bite attacks and more than $11 paid in settlements. The Post Service pays more than $1 million in the average year for medical care for dog bites.
Postal Workers May Have Several Recourses for Damages
If a postal worker is injured in a dog bite accident, there are two main options available to them. Most will file a workers’ compensation claim. This type of claim does not require that the postal worker prove who – if anyone – was responsible for their injury. However, it does not allow them to recoup compensation for all of their damages. Most notably, it does not cover pain and suffering.
The other main option is to file a person injury claim against the owner of the dog. It is the legal responsibility of every dog owner to properly secure their pet to prevent it from biting postal employees that may come on their property. If the owner fails to do so, then they can be held accountable. The upside is that there may be more damages available in this option, but the downside is that it does require that the postal worker prove that the owner was liable.
Tips to Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog
While postal employees are often bitten by dogs, anyone can become the victim of a dog bite. To help lower your chances of being a victim yourself, do not approach a strange dog – especially if it is tied up or otherwise restricted. Always ask the dog’s owner before you try to pet it. Before you pet it, let the dog smell you. Do not run by a dog – their instinct is to chase.
If you are in an intimidating situation with a dog, do not make eye contact. Do not scream or make a lot of noise. Try to stay as still as you can until the dog turns away. Then retreat slowly and quietly. If you are attacked, put something between you and the dog, such as a purse or a bike. Then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.