Baltimore Ranks Sixth in United States in Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers
Last year alone, 46 mail carriers were bitten by a dog in Baltimore City, and more than 5,500 mail carriers were attacked. In the entire Baltimore District, which includes almost the entire state of Maryland except the Washington, D.C. suburbs, 61 mail carriers were bitten. A Postal Service spokeswoman wrote in an email that dog breeds, housing types, and mailbox types may all be factors in causing a high number of dog bites and attacks. The public needs to be aware of “potential hazards posed by unrestrained dogs” and take action to prevent these unprovoked attacks from happening. Postal Service carriers are trained on preventing dog bites, but dog owners also need to take measures to keep their dogs from attacking postal carriers. Mailmen and women are not the only ones subject to dog attacks, small children and the elderly are also frequent victims of dog attacks.
The urban layout of a city such as Baltimore likely contribute to the high number of dog bites and attacks because mail carriers are forced to walk on the streets and into small yards where it is easier to come in contact with a dog. A common mistake that dog owners make is saying to a mail carrier that they should not worry about the dog or that the dog is friendly. A Chicago-based group, Prevent the Bite, says that neutering or spaying a dog will cut down the chance of getting bitten. In fact, “70% of dog bites are from male dogs that have not been fixed,” according to Prevent the Bite.
Responsible dog ownership is the key here, because if a dog is treated poorly, they are more likely to attack someone. Maryland laws “require dogs to be on a leash, restrained or responsive to voice command.”
If you are the victim of a dog bite in Maryland, you may be entitled to compensation from parties that you may not readily realize. In order to ensure that you are being fully compensated, it is important to contact an experienced dog bite attorney. Below are four potential parties who may be liable for your dog bite:
A dog owner is responsible for a dog bite attack if the owner kept a dog which he knew to be dangerous or had previously bitten someone. This rule is known as the "one free bite" rule.
A dog keeper is responsible for a dog bite if they had prior knowledge that the dog had previously bit someone, or if the dog keeper knew the dog to be a dangerous dog.
A landlord, one who has the right to control the dog’s presence on the premises of where the bite occurred, may be held liable for the injuries of a dog bite if the landlord knew that the dog was a dangerous dog.
Landlords of a commercial property, such as a shopping center, may be held liable for a dog bite. If you are on commercial property, the land owner has a duty of reasonable care to keep the premises safe and to protect you from dangerous situation.
If you or a family member have been injured by a dog bite or attack, contact Portner & Shure for a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on dog bites and attacks at (410) 995-1515 or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/Dog-Bites/