One of the most recognizable people in your neighborhood is the United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery person. It’s also well known that dog bites can pose a significant risk for USPS drivers and delivery people in Kentucky. If you’re a USPS delivery person and you get bitten by a dog along your route, it can cause significant injuries and other challenges for you.
Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC has skilled Kentucky dog bite lawyers ready to assist you. We understand the challenges of these incidents. With our expertise in Kentucky law, we can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible party. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to get started.
Dog Bite Law in Kentucky and USPS Delivery Drivers
As a USPS delivery driver in Kentucky, your legal rights following a dog bite are made clear by the law, which enforces strict liability for dog bites, holding dog owners responsible, regardless of their prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression.
What this means, in practical terms is that:
- You have the legal right to file an injury claim against the dog owner. This claim covers damages such as medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
- If a dog bite occurs while delivering mail or packages as a USPS driver, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
While this makes the dog owner legally responsible for your injuries in a bite incident, there are a few things you should be aware of and remember to do in the aftermath:
- Get to safety by moving away from the animal.
- Figure out the wound’s severity. For minor bites, clean it with soap and water. Control bleeding for more serious wounds.
- Get medical attention, as animal bites can lead to infections, including rabies.
- If it’s a stray or a pet, report the incident to animal control or the owner for public safety.
- Document the wound and animal/owner information for future reference.
- Stick to your doctor’s treatment plan, which may include wound care, antibiotics, and tetanus shots.
- Tell your supervisor, especially if it occurred during mail delivery, to follow workplace injury procedures.
- Prevent future incidents by being cautious around unfamiliar animals and carrying protective tools.
If you’re a USPS delivery driver in Spokane dealing with a dog bite, you don’t have to face it alone. Our experienced dog bite lawyers are here to assist you. One way we do that is by helping you understand what you need to put together a claim
What Evidence Will You Need in a Kentucky Dog Bite Case?
Despite Kentucky’s strict liability law in place, the strength of your claim hinges on the evidence and the extent of your damages. In a typical dog bite case, crucial pieces of evidence will usually include things like:
- Photographs and videos – Visual proof of the incident, including the wound, the dog, and the location.
- Medical records – Documentation of injuries, treatment, and related expenses.
- Witness statements – Testimony from those who witnessed the attack.
- Owner’s information – Identifying the dog’s owner, which is typically available for USPS drivers.
- Animal control reports – Reports filed with local authorities.
- Veterinary records – Records of the dog’s prior aggressive behavior, if applicable.
- Dog’s history – Information on the dog’s behavior history.
- Statements – Your own account of the incident.
- Insurance information – Details of the dog owner’s insurance policy, if applicable.
Gathering and presenting this evidence can be challenging, especially if your injuries are severe. Our team is here to assist you, making sure the collection and proper presentation of this essential evidence and guiding you through the legal system.
Legal Process in a Kentucky Dog Bite Case
The claims process following a dog bite in Spokane typically involves two main paths: filing an insurance claim against the dog’s owner and, if necessary, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Here’s an overview of the process:
- Filing an insurance claim – The process commences with the determination of legal responsibility, which will be placed on the dog owner due to Kentucky’s strict liability laws. Subsequently, an injury claim is submitted to the owner’s insurance company, which reviews the claim, potentially accepting it, making counteroffers, or rejecting it (although this is rare). This insurance claim procedure involves investigations, evidence collection, coverage assessment, verification of claims, and communication with medical providers and employers. Ultimately, the insurance company determines the claim’s value and presents a settlement offer.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit – If a satisfactory settlement isn’t reached with the insurance company, the next step may involve filing a lawsuit against the dog owner. The legal process includes filing a complaint in civil court, engaging in discovery, taking depositions, filing motions, mediation, and going to trial before a judge and jury.
This is a generalized overview of the process, which can differ from case to case. As it relates to your claim specifically, it’s important to remember that you have to file your claim within Kentucky’s personal injury statute of limitations, which is one year from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline usually means you’re not able to pursue damages, which can be extensive in dog bite cases.
Damages Available in a Kentucky Dog Bite Case
The main purpose of filing a dog bite claim is to get financial support (known in legal terms as “damages”) for injuries and other harm you’ve suffered. While every case is different, common damages sought in a dog bite claim may include things like:
- Medical expenses – Financial support for all medical costs related to the dog bite, including hospital bills, surgeries, medication, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost wages – Reimbursement for any income or wages lost due to the dog bite, including time off work during recovery.
- Pain and suffering – Non-economic damages to account for physical pain, emotional distress, and the impact on your quality of life.
- Property damage – If personal property, such as your uniform or belongings, was damaged during the attack, the cost of replacing or repairing these items could be recovered.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Additional financial considerations for any permanent scarring or disfigurement resulting from the dog bite.
- Loss of enjoyment of life – Damages for the negative impact on your ability to enjoy life and engage in activities you previously enjoyed.
- Loss of companionship – In cases where the injury affects your personal relationships, compensation may be awarded for the loss of companionship.
- Punitive damages – In cases of extreme negligence or misconduct by the dog owner, punitive damages may be awarded to punish them and deter similar behavior in the future.
As a USPS delivery driver, the incident may impact your career and health. Your actions immediately following the incident can influence how the process unfolds. Remember that this legal process is your right as an injury victim in Kentucky. Before you decide to go after these damages, make sure to talk to our lawyers. We can lay out what to expect.
Work With Our Dedicated Kentucky Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog bites are undeniably challenging, particularly for USPS delivery drivers, as they involve physical injuries and missed work. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our dedicated team has the expertise to guide you through these difficult times. We are here to help you in navigating the legal process and securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to get the process started.