What you’ll learn reading this article:
- The coronavirus pandemic has increased the use of home delivery services.
- Citizen delivery drivers are at risk of dog bites.
- Know the signs of aggressive dogs and what to do after an attack.
There’s a new breed of dog bite victims: citizen delivery drivers. They’re the hardworking people who zip around Kentucky cities making the rounds for DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEats, and lots of other home delivery services.
Each time they approach a house to make a delivery, they’re at risk of injuries from aggressive dogs. And these workers have good reason to be on high alert. Home-delivery ordering is becoming extremely popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Know the Facts About Delivery and Dog Bites
Just look at the facts from the United States Postal Service, which has the largest fleet of delivery drivers in the nation. Nearly 6,000 postal workers are the victims of dog attacks every year and the average cost of their insurance claims is about $36,500 each. Louisville, Kentucky is one of the top 10 cities in the nation for dog attacks on postal workers.
Citizen drivers are at an even higher risk than postal employees for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t typically know about dogs unless the homeowner volunteers information. While the USPS uses handheld scanners with alerts about previous encounters with aggressive dogs, a local delivery driver doesn’t always have the same data.
In addition, citizen drivers interact with you at the door. A postal worker can leave a package on the porch and walk away, but your food delivery person has to knock, wait, and stand there at your open door as you sign the receipt. That’s plenty of time for a dog attack.
Citizen drivers are also generally less well-trained than other professional drivers. FedEx, UPS, and the USPS have spent decades teaching their employees to be aware of dogs. Citizen drivers usually don’t have the same level of training.
Here’s How to Spot and Avoid Biting Dogs
Avoid an attack by staying alert and knowing the signs of an aggressive dog. For delivery drivers, the most dangerous areas tend to be near the driveway as you exit your car, at the person’s gate/fence, and at the open door.
Keep an eye on any dogs and look for these warning signs:
- Growling, snarling, or whining
- Lunging or snapping at you, even from far away
- Constant barking
- Pacing around
- Lowering its ears or raising its tail
Agitated dogs often display a type of behavior known as guarding, which means they zero in on what they consider to be their possessions/territory and watch a stranger’s proximity to it. Come too close for comfort, and the dog could attack.
Attacked? Take Immediate Action
If you’re injured by a dog while working as a delivery driver, follow these steps to ensure your health and safety.
- Get away from the dog by moving to your car or another safe place.
- Call 911 for immediate medical assistance.
- Keep the injury covered and apply pressure to a bleeding wound.
- Elevate the injury above your heart, if possible.
- Follow instructions from medical personnel.
- Report the incident to your employer and to the local police and the local animal services office.
- Retain any paperwork, photos, and other evidence of your injury.
- Contact a Kentucky dog bite lawyer for legal assistance.
In Kentucky, you can hold a dog owner responsible for their pet’s aggressive behavior. Kentucky uses statutory (modified) strict liability. You no longer have to prove that the dog has known dangerous tendencies. These claims are typically covered by Homeowner’s liability policies. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can put the blame where it belongs and get the compensation you need to heal from the trauma of a dog attack.
Trust McCoy & Sparks – Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Nelson County
Recognized as Nelson County’s best law firm for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results. Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draw upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to 1-844-4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.