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Indiana Postal Workers Have Greater Risk of Dog Bite Injuries

Steve Wagner

Images of dogs biting postal workers might make for humorous comic strip, but in reality, dog bites are no joke, and Indiana mail carriers have discovered this the hard way, more than most others in the US.

The latest dog bite incident in Indianapolis took place earlier in May, when a dog on the porch of a residence suddenly lunged at the mail carrier. The man fell down 15 concrete steps, and required 14 stitches for a head wound he suffered as a result of the fall. The owner of the dog was on the porch, but failed to control the animal.

In the aftermath of this incident, the U.S. Postal Service has made an appeal to dog owners to keep their canines indoors, away from the mailbox, in another room, or on a leash, when the mail carrier approaches. The postmaster has further announced that if the letter carriers deem loose dogs as unsafe, they can discontinue delivery, and the pet owner will have to pick up their mail from the Post Office.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in all, about 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs, every year. About 5900 of such unfortunate victims are mail carriers. The 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Rankings places Indiana at number seven for attacks on postal workers. And these attacks are rising. Since October 2012, there have been 83 incidents of dog bites on postal workers in the Greater Indiana District, up from the 77 incidents during the same period a year ago.

Indianapolis area has recorded the highest incident of dog bites, with 13 incidents this year. Lafayette comes second with six incidents, and Bloomington and Anderson take third spot with four incidents each.

Indiana dog bite law depends on the “one bite rule” and on proving the negligence of the dog owner or caretaker. However, it is more clear-cut in terms of postal workers.

The Indiana dog bite statute makes dogs liable for biting any person carrying out a duty imposed by the law. The owner of the dog becomes liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of history of viciousness of the dog, or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. The liability extends to not just the owner, but also the possessor, keeper, or any person harboring the dog.

The statute notwithstanding, the victim still has to sue the person responsible for the pet. Even with the law is clear on the matter, many technical issues and improper paperwork can still derail a quest for compensation. It requires a dog bite attorney to steer the process forward through the right channels via the proper procedures.

Wagner Reese has a team of highly experienced and resourceful Indiana dog bite attorneys who deliver compensation to victims of dog bites and animal attacks. Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free case evaluation and more information on how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained.

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