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More on dog bite
July 2,  2024
More on dog bite from article on June 2, 2024
            I was in the Paralegal program at the University of Cincinnati back in 1996. While my education in that area of study is now very old, one of the class assignments was to prepare a mock lawsuit case for a dog bite injury. At that time the class professor, who was an Attorney, showed the class a book called "What's it worth." It was a book for Attorneys that talked about various cases such as car accidents, personal injury and various injury cases and show what the average jury verdicts were awarded for those various claims.
The average dog bite case paid out in the neighborhood of $80,000. Keep in mind though these were jury awards. Not sure what the extent and exact injuries this tech had or loss of time from work, loss of consortium or repeated rehabilitation he requires. The dog owner has the responsibility to pay those bills especially if that dog had bitten someone once before. If there was a previous biting incident with that dog, then that dog might be legally defined as a dangerous dog and legal term of strict liability might apply here. I don't advocate nor endorse the filing of lawsuits at the drop of a hat and recommend other means of reconciliation of losses and damages but, if these people that own the dog won't even apologize or offer to make restitution, then file the lawsuit. If a burglar broke into their house and the dog bit him, he most probably would have sued and won, so why not the good guy.
            Nothing like getting advice from a guy who took a paralegal course 28 years ago or someone who has access to the Internet.  Though I admit, your advice is pretty good.
            Your tech gets bit by a subscriber’s dog.  Here are a few things I am sure about, and some I’m not so sure about:
            For Sure:

·         The tech can file a Workers Comp claim with the employer’s carrier

·         The tech can sue the homeowner for negligence, assuming it was

·         The Workers Comp carry likely has a lien on the recovery in the action against the homeowner [could be a commercial customer too] for the amounts paid out under the policy

So the worker is pretty well covered.  What about you, the employer?

Not So Sure About:

·         You can expect your Workers Comp premium to go up

·         You’re out an employee who is recovering from the dog bit.  Maybe it’s so serious; its long recovery or permanent, such as loss of finger or use of hand; perhaps a psychological issue so that the employee won’t go to a home with a dog.  Can you sue the customer for loss of your employee?  I’ll need a little help from Ron to figure this one out.

               I suppose every business that sends employees to a premises has the same issues about dangerous animals, or people, that the employee will be exposed to.  In this day and age it’s dangerous having an employee alone in a premises with a customer or customer employee.  Any kind of allegation can be made that will be difficult to contradict.  These are some of the risks of doing business.
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301