When you consider the number of people that come up to your door in San Pablo on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the busier areas of your home. So, it’s also not surprising that a number of different types of accidents can happen in this scenario. One of the most common, unfortunately, is when a dog bites a delivery person.
As a dog bite victim in San Pablo, you have clear legal rights and options. At The Law Offices of Nikolaus W. Reed, we can help you explore those options and get the financial support you need in order to recover from your injuries.
If you’re a delivery driver and have been bitten by a dog in San Pablo, contact us today for a free consultation.
Are Delivery Drivers Protected by the Law in San Pablo?
Obviously, it’s not a good situation when you get bitten by a dog as a delivery driver. At the same time, it’s one of the most likely outcomes of your daily work, since you likely spend most of your route delivering packages right up to a person’s door. When you take in the fact that this means encountering a lot of dogs, and dogs typically bite in response to protecting what they perceive to be their territory, these incidents become much more understandable.
Still, the law in California is clear: a dog owner is “strictly liable” for any injuries or damages their dog causes.
This applies to you as a delivery driver, no matter what company you work for, or even if you’re an “independent contractor.” In today’s marketplace, there are a huge number of delivery services, but the most notable include:
- United States Postal Service (USPS)
So, if you get bit when dropping off a package at the door, you are protected under California law. The only exception would be if you attempt to deliver a package somewhere outside of the property where the owner gave you permission to be, like a backyard or garage. Even still, you would only carry some of the responsibility in the incident and the owner would still be primarily responsible for any injuries you suffered.
Should You Get a Lawyer After a San Pablo Dog Bite?
Being a delivery driver is going to bring you into contact with a lot of dogs, and unfortunately, open you up to increased risk of a dog bite. There’s no law on the books in San Pablo or California that says you need a lawyer to file an injury claim, but having our experienced team on your side can significantly improve the outcome of your claim. We do this in a variety of different ways as it pertains to dog bites:
- Legal counsel – We provide clarity on your rights and legal options by consulting with our team, well-versed in California’s dog bite laws.
- Accident investigation – After any dog bite, we conduct a thorough investigation to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and consult experts to strengthen your case.
- Evidence gathering – We’ll work with you to collect crucial evidence, including animal control bite reports, medical records, and available surveillance footage, essential for building a strong claim.
- Insurance communication – A big part of our approach involves interacting with insurance companies and other involved parties, typically through the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
- Negotiation – Our experienced lawyer and team are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies for a fair resolution or settlement covering your damages.
- Court representation – If negotiations prove unsuccessful, we’ll proceed to legal representation in a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner, where we will be prepared to present your case in court.
After a dog bite that results in injury or work incapacity, these priorities can guide you in obtaining the necessary legal support for your recovery.
What Damages Are Available For Delivery Drivers in Dog Bite Incidents?
Dog bites often result in significant harm, not surprisingly. This is due to the nature of these bites, characterized by the powerful jaws of dogs clamping down and tearing at the skin and muscles. In addition to the physical damage, dog bites frequently lead to infections from bacteria present in the dog’s saliva.
Beyond the immediate injuries, these traumatic events also leave emotional and psychological wounds that persist long after the initial incident. All these factors contribute to the damages available in an injury claim, which may include:
- Medical expenses – This covers all your immediate and ongoing medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation. It ensures you get necessary care without financial strain.
- Lost wages – If a dog bite keeps you from working, this compensation addresses the income you’ve lost due to the injury, preventing financial hardship.
- Pain and suffering – These damages acknowledge emotional distress caused by the dog bite, providing financial support for the intangible challenges you face.
- Property damage – In some cases, dogs may damage personal belongings during an attack. This compensation reimburses you for such losses.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Compensation in this category addresses the lasting impact on your self-esteem and quality of life caused by permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Punitive damages – Awarded in extreme cases of negligence or reckless behavior, these damages aim to punish the dog owner and act as a deterrent.
Following a dog bite, various medical treatments may be necessary. While essential, these treatments often mean facing numerous bills and potential complications. However, with our team’s help, we can make sure your losses are covered sufficiently.
What Should You Do Following a San Pablo Dog Bite?
Regardless of your employer, if you encounter a dog bite, it’s crucial to take these clear steps:
- Get medical care right away – Swift medical help is essential to prevent infections and potential complications.
- Report to animal control and the homeowner – Notify animal control and the homeowner promptly. This aids in locating the dog and reviewing its history.
- Gather information – If feasible, collect details about the dog and its owner, including the owner’s name and contact information. This information could be crucial for potential legal or insurance claims.
- Submit an incident report – Many companies mandate employees to file incident reports for workplace accidents. Ensure the accurate completion of this report, including all necessary details related to the dog bite incident.
- Stick to medical advice – Follow your physician’s wound-care instructions diligently. This helps minimize the risk of infections like rabies, tetanus, or cellulitis—common concerns after a dog bite.
Remember, these steps are crucial not only for your health but also for building a strong case. Dog bites can lead to medical expenses and other costs. Despite the simplification of dog bite claims under California’s strict liability law, outcomes may vary. Our experienced lawyers are here to provide support and guidance to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Reliable Support for Delivery Drivers After a San Pablo Dog Bite
At NWR Law, we know how difficult it can be to be a delivery driver. From delivering packages to long hours making stops, there’s no shortage of potential hazards. When you add dog bites to this equation, it makes it even more challenging. That’s why you can count on our team for reliable legal support.
Our San Pablo dog bite team will be there to help you through the claims process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation to get started.