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57 Postal Workers Attacked By Dogs In San Diego Last Year

A report has recently been released by the United States Postal Service (USPS) regarding injuries received by postal workers while out on their rounds delivering the daily post. It appears that every year there are thousands of attacks by dogs against post deliverers and at least 57 took place in San Diego in 2016.

Overall throughout the country at least 6,755 USPS workers were dog attack victims. This was a 3 percent increase from 2015.

In California, Los Angeles experienced the most, with 80 incidences of such attacks, followed by Houston then Cleveland. 4th was San Diego and 5th Louisville, Kentucky. These numbers are collected from reports made by employees to their local postal service branches.

Mark Saunders, a postal service spokesperson, said that particularly in densely populated urban areas such attacks were quite commonplace due to the high levels of dog ownership. Linda DeCarlo, the USPS Director of Safety, stated that even seemingly well-behaved dogs have their off days and can turn on a person and wage an attack. She said that training dogs not to bite is an important part of ensuring both pets and people remain safe.

If a mail deliverer feels threatened by a dog and reports the matter the owner may be asked to pick up his or her mail at the local post office.

There are approximately 4.5 million dog bite incidences throughout the country annually and at least 20 percent become infected. Over 50 percent of dog-bite injuries take place at home, with dogs familiar to the victims.

Dog Bite Law in San Diego

In San Diego, the one bite law does not hold as in some other states and in California a dog owner whose dog bites someone in a public place or a private place where that person is entitled to be is strictly liable. This doesn’t cover trespassers or if someone is bitten by a police or military dog.  If a dog owner hires a dog walker, that person is not liable if the dog bites someone while in his or her care. San Diego County, under the “leash law,” states that the dog has to be restrained in a public place.

The dog owner must report a dog bite

A county ordinance in San Diego states that the owner of the dog must report a dog bite incident to San Diego’s Department of Health immediately. This is so the offending dog can be kept under surveillance for 2 weeks to check to make sure it doesn’t have rabies.

Types of injuries from dog bites

Dogs tend to go for the face when about to bite a victim. This can result in serious injuries like

  • severe facial lacerations
  • puncture wounds caused by the dog’s teeth
  • disfigurement and scarring
  • wound infections
  • emotional distres;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • fractured and broken bones when the victim falls over as he or she tries to retreat
A lawsuit can be filed by a dog bite victim

There are a couple of activities where it may not be possible to file a lawsuit when bitten by a dog and these include when the victim was trespassing and intended to commit a crime or the dog bite victim provoked the dog and subsequently was bitten or the victim knew the dog was potentially dangerous but still went near to or approached the animal.

San Diego dog bite attorney

If you have been bitten by a dog and it wasn’t your fault after your immediate treatment you should contact a dog bite attorney at San Diego’s Hamparyan Injury Lawyers. There is a time limit set in Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure stating that all personal injury lawsuits have to be filed within 2 years of the event otherwise you lose your right to file a lawsuit.

An attorney at the Hamparyan Injury Lawyers will endeavor to calculate a fair settlement for you based on the cost of medical treatment, loss of wages while recovering and the amount of pain and suffering you have had to endure due to your dog bite.

Dog Bite Injuries in San Diego and Their Prevention

Each year throughout the U.S. there are around 4.5 million incidents of dog bites, with some 20% leading to an infection. These statistics and their message really mean that a dog bite is best avoided.

Typically, dogs are friendly, sociable animals and wish no harm on their owners or anyone else that happens to invade their personal space. Put in animal terms, that space means their territory. Dogs make great pets as they offer an excuse to their owners to get out of the house and go for a stiff walk in the local park or along the beach. They are also known to calm people down and reduce stress levels. But they are animals nevertheless and you do not have complete control over their feelings and behavior which can turn unpredictable at times.

Even Your Own Pet Dog May Bite You

Something could stir your dog into a state of anger without you sensing it. Your dog could even turn on you or one of your family members and inflict a bite causing serious injury. Once a dog’s teeth become embedded in your skin, the powerful action of them and the jaw could cause a serious injury. A dog attack often starts with an attack at the face causing serious facial lacerations which only skin grafts can restore. Your children are particularly vulnerable to a dog bite attack as they appear weak to a dog. If your pet is distraught for some reason or another one of your children could be at the receiving end of your dog’s agitated state.

Is it possible to prevent a dog bite?

If a dog you are not familiar with is running earnestly towards you and you think it is acting in a way that could be threatening and an attack is likely imminent you should stop and remain motionless until the threat has passed. If the dog is big enough and threatening enough that you are knocked off your feet you should move your head forward and bring your knees up as close to your head as possible and shield yourself with your arms until the animal has retreated.

However you can pre-empt a dog bite by
  • Not getting close to an unfamiliar dog.
  • Not running away from a dog.
  • Not making a loud noise or panicking while near a dog
  • Not disturbing a dog while it’s sleeping, eating or tending its puppies
  • Catching a dog when it hasn’t seen you and touching it
  • Encouraging aggressive behavior from your own pet dog
  • Letting small children to play on their own with any dog.
Who is liable if you are bitten by a dog?

Fortunately if you are bitten in San Diego there is a statute in force to support you. California is what is called a strict liability state. When it comes to a dog bite the statute ensures a dog’s owner is strictly liable for a dog bite inflicted by his or her dog from the ownership commencement date, as long as the dog bite victim did not provoke the dog, was not trespassing when the injury occurred,  or undertaking paid service which involved the dog. The dog bite victim does not need to provide evidence that anyone was negligent or caused the dog bite.

Interpretation of the Dog Bite California Civil Code

The statute states that any dog owner is responsible for any damages to a dog bite victim in a public place or if the victim is lawfully in a place which is private. This also covers any property that the dog owner owns. The dog does not need to be known as vicious or have a history of behaving in a vicious manner for a dog owner to be held liable if his or her dog bites someone else.

You will need a dog bite attorney

If you have been bitten by a dog in San Diego or anywhere close by, you will need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible as the statute of limitations in California requires that you file a claim within 2 years of the dog bite taking place. The Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan offer a free initial consultation. Robert Hamparyan has a well deserved reputation for personal injury settlements amounting to millions of dollars in San Diego. He has the knowledge and experience of dog bite law to help ensure you get the claim you deserve.