Dog attacks in Buffalo, NY: Updated report by Postal Service

The Postal Service is encouraging dog bite awareness with a campaign titled "Don't be fooled. Man's best friend...can have bad days too!" Although the slogan is clever, it is designed to encourage pet owners to take precautions to reduce the risk of their dog biting a mail carrier. In addition to helping reduce the risk of attacks to postal workers, the tips also help cut down on the chances of a dog biting neighbors, visitors and even family members.

Tips included within the campaign range from avoiding running from a dog to letting a dog sniff a person before beginning to pet the animal. Unfortunately, even when these tips are followed accidents can happen. The Postal Service reported that even though Buffalo, New York experienced a significant drop in dog attacks to mail carriers in 2013, there were still 10 reported incidents of a dog biting a postal worker.

These 10 attacks are just a portion of the bigger picture. Over 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by a dog every year. The American Veterinary Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics report that small children, senior citizens and mail workers are the most frequent victims. Within this group of children, the medical professional group American Family Physicians reports that 44 percent are under the age of 14.

Dog laws in Erie County, NY

Erie County has a variety of laws in place to help decrease the risk of dog bites. For example, in Buffalo owners are required to fasten or otherwise restrain pets to prevent the animal from biting anyone who lawfully enters their property.

Even when steps are taken to decrease the risk of an attack and laws are enforced to increase the safety of those within the area, accidents can happen. In these cases, it is important for victims to know that compensation may be available to help cover the cost of treatment. These costs are high; a local CBS affiliate reports that the average insurance claim for a dog bite attack is almost $30,000.

Legal counsel can help

An owner, landlord or other person responsible for the care of the animal may be held responsible for these expenses. Costs connected to the injury could include bills for medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages from the inability to go to work due to the injuries as well as potential compensation for pain and suffering.

Establishing a case can be difficult. The dog owner may claim that the victim provoked the animal or that the victim ignored the owner's warnings that the dog was dangerous. In an effort to help prepare against these and other defenses and increase your odds of a successful case, it is wise for those who are injured by a dog bite to contact an Erie County dog attack attorney.