A Penn Township delivery driver was recently hospitalized after being attacked by dogs. The United Parcel Service (UPS) worker was delivering a letter to a homeowner when three German Shepherds mauled the woman, leaving her with multiple dog bite injuries. Although there was a sign outside the home warning of the on-duty German Shepherds, the worker had reportedly delivered to the home in the past with no problems.
Workers’ Compensation for Dog Bites at Work
It is not uncommon for UPS, FedEx and food delivery drivers to be bitten by dogs while doing their job. As long as the employee was acting within the course and scope of employment when the incident occurred, dog bite injuries are typically compensable under workers’ compensation law in PA.
In Pennsylvania, employees may receive medical benefits for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes payment for treatments, surgeries, medications, rehabilitative therapy and mileage reimbursement for travel to and from doctors’ appointments.
They may also be entitled to wage loss benefits to partially compensate for their lost wages due to their injury. Workers who suffer severe injuries such as facial disfigurement or amputation of a body part may be eligible for specific loss benefits in addition to their medical compensation. If an employee dies as a result of the workplace dog bite injury, their family may receive death benefits including up to $3,000 for funeral expenses.
Additional Damages for Workplace Dog Bites
Delivery drivers and other employees who are injured from dog bites at work may also be able to collect additional damages for their injuries, depending on the circumstances and the state law governing the case. According to Pennsylvania law, dog owners may be held strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dog if the dog is considered dangerous. Pennsylvania’s dangerous dog laws define a dangerous dog as one that:
- has injured someone without provocation;
- has killed or injured a domestic animal or a human without provocation; or
- was used to commit a crime.
If someone other than the dog’s owner was taking care of the dog at the time of the incident, that person may also be held liable for their negligence. Dog bite victims may therefore be entitled to workers’ compensation (if the injury occurred during the course and scope of their employment), strict liability medical expense compensation and personal injury non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. It is important that dog bite victims speak with a qualified attorney in their geographical area because these types of cases can be very complicated especially when attempting to coordinate different types of damages and benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Who Were Injured by Dog Bites at Work
If you suffered an on-the-job dog bite injury, contact a Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our work injury lawyers in Philadelphia offer comprehensive legal representation to workers throughout the state. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.