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Dog attacks on postal workers near record high

A California city has the dubious distinction of being the number one place in America for postal workers to get bitten by dogs. Los Angeles had 80 dog attacks on postal workers in 2016, while the nation as a whole has seen an increase in dog attacks on postal workers in the past three years. The popularity of online shopping is believed to be a factor.

In 2016 there were 6,755 dog attacks on postal workers in the United States, which was the highest number in about 30 years. The USPS released figures on the attacks in April at the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.In the 1980s, dog attacks by pit bulls made news headlines. In one year there were in excess of 7000 dog attacks on postal workers.

In addition to postal workers, millions of other Americans are bitten by dogs every year. Most of the victims are children. On a positive note, the cost of dog bite insurance claims has fallen, which could be an indication that the severity of attacks has decreased. The USPS asks that dog owners keep their dogs in a separate room when answering their door for a postal worker, and that they avoid collecting mail from a postal worker with the dog present, as the dog may see this as a threat to their owner or property.

Dog owners could be liable if their dog attacks someone. Premises liability law requires that property owners ensure the reasonable safety of visitors to their property. Dog bite claims usually fall under the category of homeowner's insurance claims. A dog owner might not be liable if the person who was attacked provoked the dog or was trespassing, however.

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