Those who work for the United States Postal Service provide an invaluable service throughout the nation. They work in all climates and endure the hardships of harsh weather and unfavorable environmental conditions, including negotiating the traffic and road conditions in large cities and rural areas. They also face another hazard -- unprovoked animal attacks that occur too frequently in cities such as Minneapolis.
Recently, one mail carrier shared his experience while delivering mail on a route with which he was unaccustomed. As he approached one residence to slide the mail into the provided slot, he suddenly became aware of an animal launching itself out of an unsecured window. The dog then hurtled itself at the unprepared man and latched onto his arm. In a panic, the worker then forcefully yanked his arm out of the animal's mouth. As the dog prepared to attack again, the carrier shifted his bag to absorb the blow.
Fortunately, the owner of the dog appeared and was able to obtain control of the animal. The worker suffered both physical wounds to his arm as well as psychological injuries from the intense fear and suddenness of the attack. According to the USPS, approximately 6,244 employees were victims of dog bites in 2017. Minneapolis is rated 14th in the nation with an estimated 27 incidents last year.
Those who are victims of unprovoked animal attacks often suffer lasting physical and emotional trauma for years. The emotional impact can become debilitating as victims relive the memories of these often terrifying attacks. Minneapolis follows Minnesota's strict liability laws, and owners -- or their caregivers -- are held responsible for any injuries their pets cause through unprovoked attacks. Victims are entitled to seek just compensation for their documented monetary damages through the state's civil courts.