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Dog bite injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

When employees experience a canine bite or attack while performing their job duties, the injury may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Illinois law requires employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, which does not require proof that the employee never provoked the animal.

Since the beginning of 2020, online ordering and home deliveries have surged. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, sales for restaurant deliveries doubled between 2019 and 2020. Dropping off “contactless” delivery orders at a front porch may, however, cause a dog to impulsively react and go on the attack.

Postal, package and food delivery workers face greater risks

Market research company NPD Group predicts that the growth of delivery services may continue. As drivers make more at-home deliveries, the chances of running into an aggressive or hostile canine may increase. Whether the animal is inside or outside the recipient’s home, an owner may lose control of the dog when it believes it must protect its perimeter.

According to the United States Postal Service, dogs attacked nearly 6,000 USPS employees during 2020. Illinois mail carriers submitted 290 canine attack injury claims with 59 of them recorded in Chicago. Overall, an increase in home deliveries may lead to much greater risks of a dog interacting with a food service driver or package carrier.

A bite may result in a serious infection

According to the CDC, an interaction with a dog may result in a serious infection; canines may carry harmful bacteria known as Capnocytophaga. In addition to rabies, a bite could cause infection symptoms that include fever, vomiting and blisters. Some of the more severe infections have caused gangrene and amputation.

Workers’ comp covers emergency hospital visits, prescriptions and reconstructive surgery. If an employee requires time off to recover from a job-related attack, he or she may qualify for financial support through an employer’s workers’ compensation policy.