What If a Dog Bites Me at Work?

What If a Dog Bites Me at Work?

What if a Dog Bites Me at Work?

Dog bite victims often face incredibly costly medical expenses for doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and other necessary expenses. Survivors may also suffer from ongoing emotional distress and permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Because of the severity of these attacks, bite victims need to file personal injury claims against pet owners to recover fair compensation.

If you suffered from a dog bite injury while at work, you may wonder whether you should file a workman’s comp claim rather than a personal injury claim. In reality, you can still file a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner even if you recoup money from your employer’s insurance company for your dog bite case.

In this blog, we unpack what you need to know about recovering workman’s compensation and filing a personal injury case after a dog bite incident.

If you were bitten by a dog in Baltimore, contact the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling. We have many years of experience helping Maryland residents with dog bite cases.

You can schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys here for help holding the dog owner responsible or call us at 410-753-4611.

Delivery Drivers at Risk for Dog Bites

What if a Dog Bites Me at Work?

The risk of being bitten by a dog is a sad reality for numerous workers. There are around 4.5 million dog bites every year in the United States, and around 2% of those attacks happen to victims while they’re at work.

Delivery drivers are especially at risk of being bitten by dogs. The United States Postal Service has spent years tracking the frequency of dog attacks against postal workers. They found that Baltimore is the 11th worst city when it comes to dogs biting their employees.

Of course, postal workers aren’t the only delivery employees at risk. Drivers working for Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and other shipping companies are at risk. Further, many dog bite cases involve employees and independent contractors delivering food and groceries.

Other Workers at Risk of Dog Bites

In addition to delivery workers, those who perform work duties in private homes and properties are at serious risk of suffering from dog bites. When strangers enter private properties, even seemingly harmless dogs can become territorial and hostile. A defensive and aggressive dog may bite an employee who’s attempting to fulfill their work duties.

Workers who are especially exposed to these hazards include:

  • Contractors
  • In-home health aides
  • Child care providers
  • Electricians
  • Garbage collectors
  • Landscapers
  • Installers

What Should I Do If a Dog Attacks Me at Work?

If a dog bit you while you were at work, the most important thing to do is seek medical attention. Getting prompt medical care will reduce the likelihood of your injury becoming worse, and this is especially critical if you suffer severe injuries. Call 911 if your injuries are serious and receive medical help at the scene of the accident.

If your injuries aren’t serious and don’t require immediate attention, you can collect evidence of your injury at the scene of the accident. Collecting evidence will be especially important if you eventually file a claim against the dog custodian’s homeowners insurance.

Two especially key forms of evidence for a homeowner’s claim include eyewitness testimony as well as photos and videos of the aggressive dog and your injuries. Of course, your safety should always be the top priority, so you should leave the scene if the dog is still a threat.

If you’re an employee, you should inform your employer about the workplace injury after you receive medical attention. You’ll need to describe the details surrounding the accident in writing to start your worker’s compensation claim.

Finally, you should consider speaking with an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. Even if you recover full compensation for medical bills from your employer’s insurance company, you may be able to recover additional damages including pain and suffering from the dog owner.

Who Can Recover Workers’ Compensation?


Employers are legally required to provide workman’s comp for their employees in Maryland. This compensation is designed to reimburse employees for medical bills and part of their lost wages.

The workers’ comp system is also meant to protect employers from lawsuits. Rather than suing your employer for compensation after an injury, you file a claim with their insurance company.

Unfortunately, independent contractors do not qualify for this compensation, as they’re not technically employees.

Will I Receive Workers’ Compensation for My Dog Bite Injury?

If you’re an employee, you have every right to file a workers’ compensation claim for work-related dog bites. If the dog attack occurred while you were on the job performing work duties, you should be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits

The fortunate part of workers’ comp is that you don’t need to prove that someone was negligent. Instead, you’ll only need to prove that you were fulfilling work duties at the time of the dog attack.

For instance, suppose you’re a UPS employee who was bitten while delivering a parcel. Although the attack didn’t occur on company property, you were still injured while performing work duties.

You don’t need to prove that someone’s negligence caused your injuries.

What If My Employer Denies My Claim?

While recovering compensation for a workplace injury should be an easy process, it often isn’t. Employers and their insurance companies frequently attempt to avoid paying out injured employee claims to save money.

In addition to medical bills, lost wages are a critical part of the recovery process, and insurance companies often attempt to reduce this compensation. They may argue that the injured employee should be able to return to work or secure alternative employment despite their injuries.

In the event your injuries keep you from working, you shouldn’t have to dip into your savings or rack up debt to provide for yourself. Your employer’s insurance company needs to supply you with 2/3 of your average weekly compensation while you recover.

If your claim is unfairly denied or undervalued, contact a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible by calling 410-753-4611. An attorney will help you appeal your case to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Board so that you can recover full benefits.

Can Victims Recover Additional Compensation from Dog Owners?

While your workers’ compensation claim should cover your medical treatment and part of your lost wages, you’ll likely have additional damages.

For instance, you may struggle to provide for yourself while living on 2/3rds of your pre-injury earnings. Further, your workers’ comp will not cover the pain and suffering you experienced from the dog bite.

Fortunately, you may be able to recover additional compensation from the dog owners by filing a claim or personal injury lawsuit. That way, you can recover damages from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance or renters insurance. If the dog owner doesn’t have insurance, they may be financially liable.

Maryland Dog Bite Laws

dog bite accidents

Dog bite laws differ from state to state, and these differences are important when it comes to recovering compensation. Maryland is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that an animal’s owner is responsible for any harm their pet causes. With strict liability, the victim doesn’t need to prove negligence to recover damages.

Dog ownership comes with inherent responsibilities, and owners have a legal responsibility to keep others safe from their pets. If their pet attacks someone, the victim can seek compensation for the damages the injuries caused.

Often, people will cite the “one-bite rule” when discussing dog bite injuries. The one-bite rule essentially states that a dog owner is only responsible for injuries if they had prior knowledge of the pet’s aggressive behavior. This can include growling, attacking another animal, or biting someone.

In reality, under strict liability, a dog owner can be held liable for damages even if their pet has never displayed aggressive behavior.

Further, the dog’s custodian is still liable for damages even if the dog bites a person on the owner’s property. Property owners owe a duty of care to keep others safe when entering their premises. This includes delivery workers and others who enter a person’s private property for professional reasons.

Can I Be Liable For My Own Dog Bite Injuries?

As we’ve discussed, you can recover workers’ compensation if you were fulfilling work duties at the time of the attack. A property owner may also be held liable for your damages if their dog or dogs bite you. Still, there are some situations in which you could be liable for your own injuries.

If you provoked the dog in some way leading up to the attack, you may struggle to recover compensation for your dog bites. Further, you likely won’t be able to recoup financial losses if you were trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the attack by the dog or dogs.

For example, suppose an on-duty delivery driver knowingly trespasses on private property illegally. If a dog bites them, the driver likely wouldn’t be able to recover compensation. They weren’t fulfilling work tasks at the time, which disqualifies them from workers’ comp. Further, the pet owners would not be liable because the injured driver didn’t enter the property legally.

Contact an Indiana Workers’ Compensation and Dog Bite Lawyer

If you suffered from a dog bite injury while at work, it’s critical that you seek legal help. An experienced attorney can help you with your legal case so that you can recover both workers’ compensation and subsequent damages for your dog bites from the dog’s owner.

For expert assistance in personal injury cases, contact the Maryland dog bite lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. 

Our law firm has many years of experience handling workplace and dog bite injury cases, and we’ll help ensure you receive maximum compensation for medical expenses after a dog bit you. Call the firm today at 410-753-4611.