Aggressive dog behavior has become a significant issue for the United States Postal Service (USPS).
According to them, more than 5,300 on-duty postal service employees have been injured at work due to dog attacks in 2022. This figure reveals how big of a safety concern dog bite cases have become for postal workers.
With this in mind, postal employees must know how to protect their rights in the event that they find themselves in these situations.
In this blog, we’ll explore the types of dog bite claims mail carriers can pursue and discuss how lawyers can help in securing fair compensation.
A Common Concern For Postal Service Employees
Given the historical safety concern of dog bites, the USPS has rigorously trained its personnel to prevent and safeguard against such incidents proactively.
Postal workers are educated to identify dog-prone areas and are cautioned against presuming a dog’s non-aggressive nature. Regardless of an owner’s assurances, vigilant monitoring of dogs is imperative.
The USPS has also equipped its staff with training to preemptively signal dogs through noises before approaching. This technique prevents sudden startles that might trigger an attack.
In the event of an aggressive dog, postal workers are advised to stand their ground while employing a protective barrier between them and the dog. Additionally, they are authorized to use dog repellent if deemed necessary.
Despite the USPS’ diligent employee protection measures, dog attacks and bites persist, causing harm to their workforce.
What Happens When A Postal Worker Gets Bitten By A Dog?
When a postal worker is attacked or bitten by a dog, they can sustain various injuries, including:
- Punctured wounds
- Skin tears
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
At its worst, dog bites could lead to amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. Fortunately for mail carriers, there is hope.
What Dog Bite Claims Can Postal Workers Make?
Postal service employees who were bitten or attacked by a dog during delivery can take legal action for their injuries. There are two types of claims they can make:
Under the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA), postal workers have the right to file a worker’s compensation claim if the incident occurred during their shift.
For example, if a dog attacked them during a mail service, they can be compensated for their injuries without proving liability.
Since mail carriers can’t hold the USPS responsible for their injuries, worker’s comp is typically the legal remedy they pursue. However, they could hold the dog owner liable for the damages they’ve sustained.
Personal Injury Claim
Under Section 1831 of FECA, federal employees are obligated to initiate a claim against a third party responsible for their losses. This applies to mail carriers who can pursue dog bite claims against dog owners.
Nevertheless, the federal government retains subrogation rights. In case of a successful claim, the employee must reimburse their worker’s compensation to the federal government.
Furthermore, most states have strict liability laws for dog bite cases. Dog owners are legally responsible for preventing their pets from injuring people and damaging property.
If they fail to fulfill this duty, they will be held financially responsible for any damages the dog caused, regardless if they’ve taken the necessary precautionary measures and their dog’s
For example, if a dog was on a leash, yet it still managed to get out and bite a mail carrier, the injured party can hold the dog owner liable for their injuries.
What Damages Can An Injured Postal Worker Claim For Dog Bites?
The damages a victim can claim for dog bites depend on the severity of their injuries. For instance, an injured postal worker who sustained severe nerve damage from a dog bite could get a large settlement due to the seriousness of their injuries.
But typically, they can be compensated for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Treatment and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Future economic losses
Can An Injured Postal Service Employee Make A Pain And Suffering Claim For Dog Bites?
Yes, they can. Dog attacks can lead to catastrophic emotional damage. Some victims suffer from psychological conditions such as severe anxiety, PTSD, and more after the incident.
It’s worth noting that proving pain and suffering from dog bites can be challenging. Since emotional distress is considered non-economic damages, victims must find a way to quantify their pain and suffering.
Do Postal Workers Need to Hire A Dog Bite Lawyer?
Although the process for filing dog bite claims seems pretty straightforward, hiring an experienced lawyer can increase the victim’s chances of getting a favorable outcome.
For instance, they have the legal expertise victims need to navigate litigation efficiently. They can help postal service employees understand their right to justice and fair compensation.
Additionally, they have outstanding negotiation skills that can help the victims win a favorable outcome.
It’s common for insurance companies to use delaying tactics to undermine a claim. They would prolong negotiations until plaintiffs would be forced to take a low settlement amount.
Fortunately, you can avoid this by working with experienced lawyers like Adamson Ahdoot’s team.
Adamson Ahdoot is a civil litigation firm in California. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, postal workers can trust that the best lawyers will take care of their cases with the intimacy of a boutique firm and the expertise of a larger one.
Adamson Ahdoot’s goal is to increase their client’s chances of getting justice and compensation. Their compassionate attorneys provide dog bite victims with the support and guidance they need during this difficult time.
With their help, victims can focus on healing while their team fights for their rights.
Postal workers who need help getting compensation for their injuries can call Adamson Ahdoot at (800) 310-1606.