In an average year, roughly 4.5 million people, or 1.5 percent of the nation's population, are bit by dogs. Many of these people are bit while working. If you are bit by a dog while doing your job, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and injuries.
However, the person liable for your injuries may vary based on the circumstances. Here's what you need to know:
1. If dog exposure is a natural outgrowth of your job, you may be entitled to worker's compensation.
If you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to receive compensation for the injury in the form of worker's compensation. Worker's compensation covers your medical bills, and it also covers disability payments while you cannot work as well as the cost of physical rehabilitation.
To get worker's compensation after a dog has bit you, you need to prove that the exposure to the dog was within the scope of your employment and that the risk was inherent to your workplace. If, however, exposure to the dog was not an organic outgrowth of your employment, you may be able to hold the dog owner, even if he or she is your boss, personally liable for the injury.
2. If your employer exposes you to a dog that is not integral to your work activities, he or she may be personally liable if the dog hurts you.
The presence of dogs is inherent in many work settings. For example, if you work in a vet's office, at a dog rescue, for a dog walking company or even as a housekeeper or nanny in a private residence, being exposed to dog's is a normal part of your work day, and as a result, any injuries arising from those dogs is financially covered by your employer's worker's compensation coverage.
However, if your employer brings his or her dog to work but the animal is not integral to the setting, he or she becomes personally liable for the injuries that occur.
For example, if you run an wine importer's office and your boss brings his dog to work, he or she is stepping outside of his or her official capacity as your boss, and as a result, if the dog injures you, your boss cannot rely on his or her worker's comp policy to cover the cost of any medical bills or lost time at work. Instead, he or she has to turn to his or her personal insurance or assets to cover any costs related to your injury.
3. If you work for two employers at the same time doing the same job, both of them may be held liable for your injuries.
In other cases, you may have the right to hold more than one entity liable for your injuries. Increasing your options like this can help to insure you cover all of your costs, especially if they are not adequately covered by worker's compensation alone.
For example, if your employer subcontracts you to another client and that client's dog bites you, both entities may be held responsible for your injuries, the former through a worker's comp claim and the latter through personal liability claim.
Examples of this type of situation include if you work directly for a dog walking company or a nanny placement agency but are sent to work for an individual whose dog eventually bites you.
4. If the dog owner was negligent, he or she may be personally liable for your injuries rather than your employer.
There are other cases where you may be exposed to a dog through the normal course of your employment, but regardless of that fact, the liability lies with the dog owner rather than with your employer.
For example, if you are a delivery driver and you drop off a package at an individual's home and his or her dog bites you, that is not your employer's fault. Instead, it is the fault of the dog owner for being negligent. In some cases, it may even be the fault of the landlord who owned the property the dog was on.
If you have been bitten by a dog while working and are wondering whether you should submit a claim for worker's compensation or take the dog's owner to court for a personal injury case, it is time to contact an attorney. A skilled worker's compensation attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve, and he or she can help you explore all possible avenues. Learn more through resources like http://www.hardeeandhardee.com.