Dogs are an occupational hazard that some workers encounter on a daily basis. It’s not just the USPS mailman that dogs bite. It could be the Amazon delivery driver, UPS driver, FedEx driver or even someone delivering good. These bites can be serious, too. They can cause permanent damage to muscles, nerves and bones, scarring and disfigurement and serious infections.
San Francisco’s delivery drivers should know that California is a strict liability dog bite state. That means owners are liable for injuries caused by their dog when their dog bites a delivery driver.
If you were bitten by a dog while making a delivery, contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Why Do Dogs Attack Delivery People?
Under the right circumstances, just about any dog is going to bite. The American Kennel Club believes that most dogs bite out of fear. They’re territorial creatures, and they’re often trying to create space between themselves and that person that they’re worried about. Here are some other reasons that they bite:
- Startled: Some dogs are likely to bite if they’ve been startled. Awakening a sleeping dog can cause it to be confused or disoriented. Biting is a natural response.
- Guarding: Maybe Spike is guarding a bone that he doesn’t want taken away. He might also be aggressive in protecting perceived threats from possible intruders like the mailman who he thinks he chases away daily.
- Feeling Trapped: If a dog is cornered or being restrained by a person, it might bite as a result of frustration or desperation.
- Illness or Injured: Such a predicament can be stressful for a dog. If it bites, it’s likely just trying to protect itself. The dog should be carefully approached.
- Playing: A canine form of play can be misinterpreted as aggression. A dog at play doesn’t want to hurt anybody. They naturally play with their mouths and front feet.
California’s Dog Bite Law:
California has its own dog bite statute, and it’s found at section 3342 of the California Civil Code. In pertinent part, it states as follows: “(a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” As opposed to other states where a dog might get one free bite, this is what’s known as a strict liability dog bite statute.
The Implied Invitation:
When working in the course and scope of their employment, delivery personnel in and around San Francisco aren’t trespassers. They’re lawfully in a private place when they’re making or have made a delivery and are leaving the premises. If a delivery person isn’t trespassing and not provoking a dog, its owner is liable for the damages that it causes when it bites a delivery person. Even the keeper of a dog might be held liable under section 3342.
Note that section 3342 only applies to bites. It’s not applicable if a delivery person is injured when tripping over a dog or is otherwise knocked down by a dog. The owner or keeper of the dog might still be held liable under the law of negligence though.
Contact an Experienced San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer Today.
After you have suffered one or more serious dog bites on a delivery, get to an emergency room right away and take photos of your injuries. Then, report the attack to local animal control authorities. The next step that you need to take is to contact us at The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan and speak with a highly experienced and successful San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer. Our initial consultations are always free. We can talk about how the attack occurred and how it has affected you. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions and advise you on how we believe the situation should be approached. If you wish to retain us to represent you, no initial retainer fee is even required. Contact us for that free consultation and case review right away on any dog bite case anywhere around San Francisco.