According to the United States Postal Service, there were 6,755 reports of postal carriers being injured by dog bites in 2016. This was the highest number of reported dog attacks on postal workers in decades, 200 more than the number of attacks reported in 2015. Los Angeles held the record for the most dog bites against postal carriers, with 80 reports of dog bites in 2016. Houston and Chicago were also in the top 10 cities for dog attacks on mail carriers.
The image of a dog attacking a postal carrier is not a new one. This trope has existed for decades, but it has not been as much of a real threat as it is now since the 1980s.
Perhaps, surprisingly, this rise in dog attacks is correlated with the adoption of internet-based shopping services. Today, consumers are far more likely to order packages from online retailers than they were a decade ago, resulting in more home deliveries and creating more scenarios where postal carriers are face-to-face with aggressive dogs.
Home Delivery and the Internet Changed How Americans Shop
Although there is no way to definitively tie the rise in dog attacks on postal workers to the rise of online shopping, there is no denying the potential causation when looking at these correlated trends. The internet has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, from how we find, secure, and perform our jobs, to the etiquette rules of interacting with family and friends. Shopping malls and other traditional retailers have seen reduced foot traffic as e-commerce sites have seen record sales and developed sense of permanence in their respective marketplaces.
The USPS has taken steps to reduce the number of dog attacks on postal carriers. One of these steps was to urge dog owners to notify carriers about their dogs’ presence before the carriers arrive. Dog owners should also keep their dogs restricted indoors, far from the door when postal carriers arrive.
Dog Bite Injuries and Complications
A dog bite can have severe, even life-threatening complications for a victim. These include:
- Organ damage
- Tissue damage
- Torn and stretched ligaments and tendons
- Broken bones and head trauma suffered in falls caused by dog attacks
- Severe bleeding
- Infection at the site of the bite
- Transmission of illness, such as rabies, from the dog to the victim
A dog bite victim can lose sensitivity or mobility in the affected area of their body, possibly permanently. A dog bite can require extensive medical treatment such as surgery, followed by physical or occupational therapy. In cases where the dog is suspected of transmitting rabies to the victim, the dog must be destroyed in order to obtain the tissue sample necessary to determine if the dog did, in fact, have rabies.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Dog Bites Seeking Compensation for Damages
A dog bite can leave a victim facing high medical bills, a prolonged period out of work, and other expenses. To speak with a member of our team of Philadelphia dog bite lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC about your case, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-8488 to arrange a free consultation in our office. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.