Postal Workers and Amazon Drivers at Risk of Dog Attacks
More than 4.5 Million Dog Bites Occur Each Year in the U.S.
As much as it hurts us as animal lovers, the risk of dog attacks is a serious problem. With some 90 million dogs in U.S. households, the average number of dog bites is close to five million a year. This number grew considerably during the pandemic: it increased by as much as 300% more. Among the victims, two groups stand out: children and parcel and courier distributors. When focusing on postal workers and Amazon delivery drivers, dog attacks are a very dangerous threat in California. In fact, more and more cases of severe personal injury are occurring during the workday.
Each year, more than 5,400 postal employees are attacked by dogs nationwide. Of all states, California records the highest number of injuries. Accidents can range from bites to falls after being chased by an animal. Unfortunately, carriers and delivery drivers have to deal with all kinds of canine interactions. This makes them more exposed to possible incidents.
Today, working as a mail carrier or delivery person for Amazon or other logistics companies can involve serious dangers. While many of these employees have learned how to handle these types of situations, you never know when an animal can cause severe injuries. If you have suffered significant personal injuries while working delivering letters or packages due to a dog attack, call us today. Our attorneys have experience handling these cases and can get you the compensation you deserve.
Why Are There So Many Injured Postal Workers and Delivery Drivers?
Although we may think of our furry friends as harmless, the reality is that canines are the fourth-deadliest animal in the world. Of the nearly five million dog attacks a year in the U.S., about 800,000 people are injured. Of those, nearly 400,000 suffer injuries so severe that they must receive medical attention. In total, one in 73 people are victims of dog bites.
As mentioned above, one of the groups most sensitive to these incidents is those employed by the post office, Amazon, and other logistics companies. Dog bites are the third most common injury among delivery workers. According to statistics, there have been nearly 30,000 dog attacks on letter carriers and package delivery workers in the past five years. The current average is about 5,800 accidents annually. Despite this high number of attacks, official figures show a slight decrease compared to recent years. Nevertheless, these numbers are still alarmingly high. The data for the last five years are as follows: in 2017, 6,244 were recorded; in 2018, 5,714; in 2019, 5,803; in 2020, 5,800; and in 2021, injuries dropped to 5,400.
According to ASPCAPro, the main reasons for violent episodes include protective instinct, education, and sterilization. The latter is particularly striking. Unneutered dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite. Likewise, having the animal chained or leashed increases their fury, making them 2.8 times more likely to bite.
In addition, there are certain breeds that tend to be more susceptible to aggression. According to various statistics, the Pitbull and Rottweiler species are responsible for 77% of all bites.
Recent Deaths While Delivering Packages
An estimated 430 fatal dog bites occurred in the country between 2010 and 2021. Of those, 25% came from chained animals. Canine Journal reports that the death rate from dog attacks is one per 112,400.
Although the number of incidents has seen a decline in recent years, the amount of fatalities has gone up; 38, 48, 46, 56, and 63 deaths have been counted since 2018 according to the National Canine Research Council. Of these numbers, postal and Amazon delivery drivers have been the victims of several accidents involving dog attacks while working. Especially in California, as we will see below. In fact, in the last five months of 2022, an Amazon delivery driver and a USPS worker died as a result of dog mauling during a delivery.
Workers Feel Threatened
Drivers of private and public courier and parcel companies say they feel at risk when walking on certain streets during their working hours. Some even avoid making deliveries in certain areas. As a result, both the US Postal Service and private companies such as Amazon are starting to introduce courses and tools so that they can defend themselves against any animal attacks. USPS, for example, requires mail carriers to carry dog repellent and allows them to use it when they feel threatened. To raise awareness of the dangers, USPS launches an initiative each year to combat these incidents. National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held last March, aims to educate and raise awareness of the risks of these mishaps.
California Is the State With the Highest Number of Dog Bites to Postal Workers and Amazon Delivery Drivers
California is not only the most populated state in the country, but it is also a leader in other areas such as dog bites. Unfortunately, congestion on the streets and highways, as well as a frenetic pace of life, put delivery and parcel workers at extra risk for accidents. Official data ranks the Golden State first in terms of carrier and courier accidents involving dogs, with 2017 being the most violent year with 918 bites. Since then, the rate has stabilized: 794 attacks in 2018, 777 in 2019, 782 in 2020, and 656 in 2021.
As of 2021 records, Los Angeles and San Diego are among the cities with the most dog attacks, with 44 and 31 incidents respectively. In fact, Los Angeles is the fourth city in the country with the most dog incidents. Despite being in the top five, the city has experienced a decline in recent years. It has gone from 67 dog assaults in 2017 to 44 in 2021.
The high number of dog-related accidents placed the state at the top of the list for injury and fatality settlements. According to State Farm’s 2021 report, California was the state with the most dog attack claims that provided the most compensation to victims: 388 cases and $23 million in awards.
Therefore, if you are a USPS postal employee or an Amazon delivery person and experience dog attacks in California, make sure to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Possible Dog Attack Injuries
Based on injury reports from different victims, we have discovered which areas are most affected. The face, head, and neck regions tend to be the most damaged. It is also believed that approximately 27% of victims require hospital care. But, what kind of injuries can dog bites cause?
- Punctures, wounds, and cuts
- Amputations or infections
- Damage to soft tissues such as tendons or ligaments
- Numbness of hands and feet
- Fracture, breakage, or crushing of bones
- Loss of consciousness
What to Do in Case of Possible Dog Attack
In case you meet a dog, and do not know how it will react, it is advisable to know a series of steps to follow in order to avoid any accident. As you do not know if the dog is friendly or aggressive, it is recommended to remain calm. Avoid making any movement that makes the animal think that your presence is a threat. Therefore, do not panic or run away. It is also advisable not to make eye contact. If the dog starts to be intimidating, raise your voice and say “no” firmly. Most dogs usually know basic behavioral commands. If anything happens, call 911 immediately.
A Postal Worker or Amazon Delivery Driver Can Sue for Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks in California
When a postal worker or Amazon employee suffers dog attacks in California, the laws will be on their side in the event of a lawsuit. The state holds pet owners liable for dog bite-related incidents, even if it is the first reported incident. This makes the pet owner liable for possible medical bills or other damages resulting from the injury. Now, you may be able to file a lawsuit as long as the following occurred:
- The victim had permission to be in the area of the accident, whether it was a public place or a private home. Courier and parcel workers have implied permission when the owner places the delivery order.
- There was no prior provocation.
- The delivery person was not attacking or assaulting anyone, either verbally or physically.
- There is physical evidence of the bite on the skin or an injury report.
When personal injuries are sustained in California, victims have up to two years to file a claim. While you may think you have plenty of time to file, it is best to get started as soon as possible. It is recommended that you contact a skilled attorney to begin the process as early as you can. This will allow you to focus solely on recovering while your attorney gathers all the evidence and prepares a strong case.
Call Us in Case of a Dog Attack in California
Anyone who works outdoors is at risk of suffering some type of animal bite. It’s not just postal workers and Amazon package drivers who can suffer dog attacks in California. The list is endless: from laborers to utility operators, meter readers, landscapers, painters, and plumbers.
It is important to prevent our pets from attacking when someone approaches our home. The consequences of an incident with a dog can be very serious, even leading to death. When a dog bites a person, the owner is primarily responsible for the crime.
If you or someone you know has suffered significant dog bite injuries, do not hesitate to call us today. With more than 100 years of legal experience, our dog attack lawyers can get the results you want for your case. Not only will you get satisfactory compensation, but we will make the responsible party pay in court.
Available 24/7, our bilingual team is ready to welcome your inquiry. Call (800) 310-1606 today for a free initial legal consultation. Don’t let your case fall by the wayside. File an injury lawsuit now and fight for your rights.
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