Dog Bite Injury and Letter Carriers
Very often, dogs will bite and attack letter carriers and other delivery personnel. The U.S. Postal service reports that dogs bit 5,581 postal carriers in 2013. While dog bites and attacks are depicted in cartoons or television as a source of humor, dog attacks on letter carriers are a serious problem. The National Association of Letter Carriers reports that at least two letter carriers died in 2010 as a result of a dog attack. Dog attacks are also an issue in Miami; in 2013, Miami was ranked 18, with 23 reported attacks, in a ranking of worst cities for dog bites.
Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance and Dog Bite Injuries
Letter carries, delivery personnel and other employees who must enter private property or enter a home as part of their job have an “implied invitation” to enter properties. An employee who is legally on the premises and working within their scope of work and bitten by a dog may submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Under Florida law, worker’s compensation insurance will replace lost wages and cover medical expenses for an employee bitten by a dog at work, as long as the employer does not own the dog. Letter carriers may also want to consider pursuing a personal injury claim against the dog owner for their injury. A third-party personal injury claim may also provide an injured letter carrier with compensation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses not covered by workers’ compensation.
Dog Bite Injury Liability and Exceptions
Under Florida law an owner is most likely to be held liable if their dog bites a letter carrier or delivery person. However, the degree of their liability will vary depending on the circumstances. Under Florida’s dog bite laws, if a dog attacks a person in a public or private place the owner may be responsible for any damage the dog caused. This is true even if the owner did not have prior knowledge that their animal would bite. There are a few exceptions to this rule in Florida. The victim’s own negligence will be taken into account when determining damages under the following conditions:
- the dog is provoked, or
- the if the bite occurs on the owner’s property; and
- an easily readable dangerous dog sign was posted on the property.
Contact an Attorney
Letter carriers and delivery personnel can sustain devastating physical, emotional and financial losses after a dog bite. A dog bite injury can cause serious injuries that result in permanent scarring and end careers. In fact, even a mild bite may end a letter carrier’s career. A letter carrier bitten in Florida may be entitled to damages which include current and future medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress and pain and suffering. If you are a letter carrier or delivery person and you were bitten by a dog, then you should contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. We can help you figure out if you have a basis for a personal injury claim. Please contact us to discuss your case.