Dog Attacks on Spokane Delivery Drivers

If you work as a delivery driver in Spokane, you’ll encounter various homes in the area, many of which have dogs as pets. One of the most common reasons dogs bite people is their natural instinct to protect their owners and what they consider their territory.

Throughout Washington, dog owners bear responsibility for any harm caused by their dogs. However, handling dog bite cases can be complex. That’s why it’s important to understand what your legal options are and how the right legal team can help you.

Since 1948, Crary & Domanico, P.S. have been helping dog attack victims in Spokane. We’ll assess your case, determine if negligence was involved, and guide you through the legal process to make sure you get the treatment and compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a Spokane dog bite incident, contact us for a free consultation.

Washington Dog Bite Law and Delivery Drivers

In Washington, the law regarding dog bites is straightforward. It follows a “strict liability” approach, which means that:

  • The dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog, even if it wasn’t intentional.

Washington’s dog bite laws are different from some other states, namely that there are no exceptions, even if the victim was trespassing or provoked the dog. The owner is always liable for injuries caused by their dog.

Is Your Door a Public Place?

Delivery drivers are always going to someone’s door, no matter what company they work for. These can include:

So if they get bit when dropping off a package at the door, are they covered under the dog bite strict liability law?

Yes, under Washington law, when a delivery driver comes to the door, it’s considered “public” for that use. This covers mail carriers, or just about anyone who goes to the front door for a legitimate purpose.

If the delivery driver goes to the back yard to deliver a package, they might not be covered by the law unless expressly told by the owner that the package is to be delivered there. This would give the driver permission to be on that part of the property.

With that said, there are certain things you should do in the aftermath of a dog bite incident:

  • Seek immediate medical assistance – Dog bites have the potential to cause severe injuries and infections if not taken care of right away. Even if the bite appears minor, it’s essential to seek medical care to prevent complications. After that, make sure to follow your doctor’s wound care instructions.
  • Report the incident – Notify local animal control and the homeowner regarding the dog bite incident. Animal control can assist in locating the dog and reviewing its history, which may be pertinent to your case.
  • Document the bite incident – Capture photographs of your injuries and the location where the bite occurred. Additionally, provide a comprehensive account of the incident, including the date, time, location, and specifics of the dog owner involved.

These actions are essential to strengthen your claim because a dog bite often results in medical expenses and other costs. While Washington’s strict liability simplifies dog bite claims, every case is unique, and outcomes can vary. However, our experienced lawyers can support your case to ensure the best possible outcome during the claims process.

What Damages are Available in a Washington Dog Attack?

Not surprisingly, dog bites sadly often result in significant harm. This stems from the nature of these bites, characterized by the powerful jaws of dogs clamping down and tearing at the skin and muscles. Additionally, dog bites frequently lead to infections due to the bacteria present in the dog’s saliva. Beyond the physical injuries, these traumatic events also inflict emotional and psychological wounds that persist long after the initial incident. All these factors contribute to the damages available in an injury claim, which can include:

  • Medical expenses, including ongoing care such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Lost income.
  • Any property damage arising from the incident.
  • Punitive damages, if the dog owner’s conduct was especially negligent.

After a dog bite, you could need all kinds of different medical treatment. While this treatment is necessary, it ultimately means that you’ll be facing numerous bills and other potential complications. Thus, it’s vital that you understand what your options are for recouping some of these costs and how our team can help you.

Do You Need a Lawyer After a Spokane Dog Bite?

There’s no law on the books in Spokane that says you need to have a lawyer represent you in an injury claim. With that said, if you’re a delivery driver that’s been bitten by a dog while you were delivering a package, our team can make the claims process much easier on you.

  • Legal counsel and guidance – Our team of lawyers possesses in-depth knowledge of Washington state’s specific laws concerning dog bites. We can provide clarity on your rights and show you the legal options available to you.

  • Accident investigation – We have the necessary resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the accident. This means we will collect evidence, interview any witnesses, and consult experts who can bolster your case.

  • Evidence collection – Our team assists in the gathering of vital evidence, including bite reports from animal control, medical records, and any accessible surveillance footage. These pieces of evidence play a pivotal role in your claim.

  • Communication with insurance companies – We assume the responsibility of communicating with insurance companies, other involved parties, and their legal representatives on your behalf. In most dog bite cases, this means working with the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

  • Negotiation – If you are dealing with insurance claims or potential settlements, our experienced lawyers can engage in negotiations with insurance companies to secure a fair resolution or settlement that covers your damages.

  • Representation in court – In situations where negotiations fail to reach a fair settlement, we can represent you in a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. This involves preparing legal documents, presenting your case, and fighting for your best interests during the trial.

Following a dog bite that leaves you injured or unable to work, an injury claim becomes imperative. Trying to manage everything on your own can quickly become overwhelming, especially when dealing with the legal process. Deciding to work with our team can streamline the process of obtaining the available financial support for your injuries and damages, ultimately aiding in your overall recovery.

How Can You Reduce the Chances of a Dog Bite as a Spokane Delivery Driver?

As a delivery driver, it’s virtually impossible to avoid interacting with a dog. In fact, you probably encounter multiple dogs every day on your route. This, unfortunately, increases the odds of experiencing a dog bite, which can happen even with the most mild-mannered and approachable dog.

Even though you can’t completely avoid or prevent a dog bite from happening, there are some things you can do as a delivery driver to reduce the chances that you’ll be bitten:

  • Stay alert – Always be on the lookout for dogs when approaching a property. Dogs can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to stay vigilant.

  • Use safety equipment – Carry dog deterrents such as pepper spray or a personal alarm. These can be used to deter aggressive dogs if necessary.

  • Observe signage – Pay attention to signs warning about dogs on the property. Take them seriously and proceed with caution.

  • Ask your customers – If you’re uncertain about a property with a dog, you can ask the customer if their dog is friendly or if you should leave the package in a specific location to avoid contact.

  • Maintain safe distance – If you encounter a dog, try to maintain a safe distance. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises that might provoke the dog.

  • Don’t run – If a dog approaches, it’s crucial not to run. This can trigger a chase instinct. Instead, stand still and avoid direct eye contact.

  • Use a barrier – If available, use a package or clipboard as a barrier between you and the dog. This can provide some protection.

  • Report aggressive dogs – If you encounter a dangerous or aggressive dog, report it to your employer and local animal control.

  • Training – your employer may offer a training course on dog behavior and safety. This can help you better understand canine behavior and how to handle different situations.

Remember that preventing dog bites is about being cautious and prepared. Your safety should always be a priority when making deliveries in areas with dogs. However, in the event a dog bite does happen, our Spokane dog bite lawyers will be there to help you through it.

CCD Law Can Help You After a Dog Bite

There’s no denying the challenging nature of a dog bite, even as a Spokane delivery driver that comes into contact with dogs on a daily basis. Dealing with dog bites can present various challenges, from physical injuries to navigating the legal system.

At CCD Law, we have the experience and dedication you need in this situation. Our Spokane dog bite lawyers will stand by your side as you work on getting back to work and recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Get in Touch with Us
Discuss your case with an expert

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*We will get in touch once we review your submission.