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Dog attacks against postal workers on the rise

Online shopping adds convenience to the lives of people in New Jersey and around the counry, but the U.S. Postal Service wants to remind everyone of the importance of restraining their dogs during deliveries. In 2016, there were 6,755 dog attacks on mail carriers, which represented a rise compared to 2015. During National Dog Bite Prevention Week that occurs every April, the Postal Service emphasizes precautions that people should take to reduce attacks on delivery personnel.

The organization's safety director encouraged people to put dogs in a separate room before opening their doors to accept packages. She said that dogs could view a mail carrier handing a package to a family member as threatening.

After a 3 percent rise in animal attacks on postal carriers in 2016, which followed a 14 percent spike in 2015, the Postal Service wants to increase public awareness of the problem and reduce the attacks that produce substantial costs. In 2016, data collected by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm placed the average cost of a dog attack claim at $33,230. In addition to hazards experienced by mail carriers, about 4.5 million people every year, usually children, fall victim to aggressive dogs.

When a person is bitten or mauled by a dog, the owner of the pet could be liable for the payment of the victim's medical bills and other damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law could advise the victim about the process for making a legal claim. An attorney could document the extent of injuries and emotional trauma caused by the animal bites as well as the owner's inadequate efforts to contain the dog.

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