U.S. Postal Service Says Over 5,800 Letter Carriers Were Attacked by Dogs in 2020

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U.S. Postal Service Says Over 5,800 Letter Carriers Were Attacked by Dogs in 2020

U.S. Postal Service Says Over 5,800 Letter Carriers Were Attacked by Dogs in 2020

Jun 14, 2021

Dog bites are a common occurrence for the everyday individual, with over 4.5 million recorded each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 880,000 dog bites require medical attention annually, and it turns out that in 2020 a good portion of those injured in dog attacks were postal carriers.

The U.S. Postal Service released its Dog Attack National Rankings to coincide with National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which started June 12. In the report, the Postal Service confirmed that over 5,800 employees were attacked by dogs throughout the United States in 2020. “From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” the report said.

As part of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, and to highlight the “enormity of this serious issue,” the U.S. Postal Service issued a list of “dos and don’ts” for responsible dog ownership. “Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and how to protect our letter carriers as we deliver the mail is paramount,” said USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager, Jamie Seavello. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf and that why’s it’s important to inform the public about this campaign.”

Let’s review some of those recommendations below and later outline how to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your dog bite injury.

National Dog Bite Awareness Week

National Dog Bite Awareness Week runs from June 12 through June 18. The 2021 theme is “Be Aware: Any Dog Can Bite.” The hashtag #DogBiteAwareness is being used to help educate the public.

One of the most important elements of maintaining a safe animal is preventing bites from happening in the first place. The USPS recognizes and promotes responsible pet ownership, which can include knowing the approximate time the letter carrier arrives every day and securing your dog as the carrier approaches the property. Securing your animal can significantly minimize any dog-carrier interactions which could turn aggressive.

Pet owners are advised to:

  • Remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier, as the dog could view the carrier as a threat and attack unexpectedly
  • As a letter carrier arrives, keep dogs either:
    • Inside the house or behind a fence
    • Away from the door or in another separate room
    • On a leash

Letter carriers are specifically trained to observe and evaluate an area where a dog may be present. Additionally, carriers are trained to respect a dog’s territory and remain alert and vigilant in the event of any dangerous conditions.

Letter carriers are trained to:

  • Never startle a dog
  • Keep their eyes on a dog at all times
  • Never assume a dog will not bite
  • When entering a yard, make some noise (e.g. rattling a fence) to alert the dog of your presence
  • Never attempt to pet or feed a stranger’s dog
  • Place your foot against an outward swinging door

While these are recommendations provided to mail carriers during their mandatory training periods, they can apply to many situations that ordinary people may encounter.

If a dog attack occurs, letter carriers are trained to stand their ground and protect their bodies by pacing something between themselves and the dog (e.g. a mail satchel). This can be good advice for the average person as well, and if you don’t have a bag or purse to put between yourself and an attacking dog, a jacket can be the next best option. Whatever you can do to keep your uncovered skin away from the dog’s head and paws could help reduce (potentially eliminate) injuries.

If you experienced a dog bite injury, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

The USPS noted in its report that when dog bites result in injuries to letter carriers, those injuries can in turn result in substantial medical expenses that fall on the dog owners. Dog owners are responsible for maintaining their animals at all times, and the strict liability law applies in California, meaning that dog bite injuries (and the resulting medical expenses and other financial losses) can be recovered by the victim through a personal injury lawsuit.

We’ll review how to file a dog bite personal injury claim below, but before doing so let’s review the most dangerous cities and states for dog attacks per the U.S. Postal Service report.

Which Cities Have the Most Postal Carrier Dog Attacks?

The USPS looked at the over 5,800 reports of dog bites in 2020 and broke down that data to identify the cities where most incidents occurred.

The Top 10 cities for postal carrier dog bites in 2020 were:

  1. Houston (73 dog attacks)
  2. Chicago (59 dog attacks)
  3. Los Angeles (54 dog attacks)
  4. Cleveland (46 dog attacks)
  5. Denver (44 dog attacks)
  6. Baltimore (43 dog attacks)
  7. Dallas (38 dog attacks)
  8. Columbus (37 dog attacks)
  9. San Antonio (36 dog attacks)
  10. San Diego and Detroit (35 dog attacks)

Which States Have the Most Postal Carrier Dog Attacks?

Which States Have the Most Postal Carrier Dog Attacks?

When analyzing which states had the most dog attacks, the USPS confirmed that California was (by a wide margin) number one. The Top 10 states for USPS employee dog bites in 2020 were:

  1. California (782 dog attacks)
  2. Texas (402 dog attacks)
  3. Ohio (369 dog attacks)
  4. New York (295 dog attacks)
  5. Pennsylvania (291 dog attacks)
  6. Illinois (290 dog attacks)
  7. Michigan (253 dog attacks)
  8. Florida (198 dog attacks)
  9. New Jersey (179 dog attacks)
  10. Virginia (169 dog attacks)

How Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Dog Bite Injury?

Whether you sustained a major or minor injury as a result of a dog bite, you may be eligible to recover significant financial compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, psychological trauma, reduced quality of life, and more. The dog owner is responsible for the animal’s actions. Biting another person once and not being held accountable under the law is essentially allowing that animal to attack again – perhaps injuring a child. That’s why injured dog bite victims are encouraged to file a personal injury lawsuit with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit after a dog bite injury can have multiple positive effects:

  • An official record is established demonstrating the animal is dangerous
  • The animal owner is held responsible (and will hopefully not let an attack reoccur)
  • You may be able to recover the financial damages you deserve and require in order to make a full recovery

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert dog bite attorneys.

Securing the Best Dog Bite Attorneys in California

Sam Dordulian founded Dordulian Law Group (DLG) after serving as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. As a prosecutor, Dordulian helped secure life sentences against some of the state’s most heinous criminals. Now, he fights for injured victims to help them recover the financial compensation they deserve after an unfortunate dog bite incident.

As a Deputy District Attorney, Dordulian obtained over 100 jury trial victories. With that level of experience, Dordulian is able to help dog bite victims win their claims and recover maximum financial damages awards that allow for complete recoveries – physically, emotionally, and financially.

If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, don’t let the animal owner get away without answering for the harm you’ve suffered. Enduring a dog bite injury can be a traumatic experience, and you deserve to recover without having to worry about mounting medical bills or lost wages. Let the experienced dog bite attorneys at DLG handle your claim and help you get the maximum damages award you need to move forward after an untimely incident. We’ll fight aggressively on your behalf and serve as your dedicated advocate throughout the entire legal process.

With a 98% success record and history of recovering over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for injured clients like you, DLG is the absolute best choice for a dog bite attorney in California. Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation or to learn more about what makes DLG the best dog bite lawyers around.

When you’ve suffered a Los Angeles dog bite injury, the best call you can make is to the experienced and dedicated attorneys at DLG.

Go See Sam