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My dog bit the mailman and now he is personally suing me. Any laws to protect me? How much can the mailman get?

Los Angeles, CA |

According to the mailman he was delivering mail when he noticed my gate was ajar somehow so he walked over to close it. This same mailman has been hitting on me none stop, making verbal and physical gestures. According to him, he then walked around looking for the dog and when he found it he became afraid as he does not like dogs. Eye witness stated that when he did find the dog he took out pepper spray and started spraying my dog. I found two empty bottles on the ground after the incident, but my dog didn’t attack until he started spraying him. My dog attacked the pepper spray which caused a small gash between his fingers. He then attached the leg, when mailman took out the second spray, to stop him from spraying and causing pain. Animal control didn't find him to be dangerous.

Attorney Answers 14

Posted

It depends upon where the dog was located. If the dog was in your own backyard and did not show vicious propensities under California law you may not have liability. If in a public area then probably. Your defense essentially would be based upon compartive negligence. You need to turn the claim over to your insurance company who will provide you with a defense.

If you don't have insurance then you will need to consult legal counsel you cannot ignore a complaint. Your default could be taken and judgement entered against you.

You need an attorney or your insurance company involved sooner than later.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of California and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Law Offices of Richard M. Katz 1122 East Green Street Pasadena, Ca. 91106 (626) 275-4162 (626) 796-6333 (626) 796-5615 facsimile

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1 comment

Keith G Langer

Keith G Langer

Posted

I trust you saved the empty cans of pepper spray. You should also keep a record of the mailman's "hitting" on you.

Posted

I think the mailman will have a difficult time. If served report to your carrier [home owners or renter]

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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Posted

Please turn your case to your insurance company. Do not worry a bit. You will not lose your assets. Your insurance will defend you. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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Posted

Report it to your homeowner's carrier to resolve

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Posted

The reason you carry homeowners insurance is just for this reason. It doesn't sound like a very strong case, but let your homeowners defend and deal with it.

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Posted

Just report it to your renters or homeowners insurance and let them sort it out. The mailman sounds like an idiot.

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Posted

Hopefully you have homeowners insurance to protect you against any potential claim. The ultimate outcome will depend on the facts and what each of you can prove.

Disclaimer The information contained in this answer and Website is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter or any particular claim or case. No recipients of content from this answer and site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this answer and site without first seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content of this answer and Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, strategy, laws, verdicts or settlements. This Attorney and Firm expressly disclaim all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this answer, general page and entire Website.

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Posted

Report it to your carrier. That's what insurance is for. What follows is based on New York law, but I think these principles are fairly universal. Assuming there is no viscous propensity, as I read this, the mailman first encroached upon your dog's territory putting the dog in a defensive posture and then the mailman attacked the dog with two canisters of pepper spray. The dog did what an attacked animal will do--it fought back. By my reckoning, the dog was justified in counter attacking. If your account is accurate (some of your facts are inferred or assumed) your mailman will have a hard time making out a case.

I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not legal advice. These opinions are based on New York practice. We have no attorney-client relationship. conducting a conversation with me through the avvo comments section does not create an attorney-client relationship. I may be contacted at 212-553-9300.

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Posted

This does not seem like much of a claim if it is ever filed. If you have homeowners or renters insurance any claim should be covered. Again, this mailman may never bring a claim and while it is a good idea to notify your insurance carrier of the incident, sometimes these companies will not renew your policy unless you get rid of the dog.

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Posted

Turn it over to your insurance carrier.

Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Posted

All of these attorneys have given you good information. I would only add that it sounds like your dog did a good job protecting you from the creepy mailman.

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2 comments

Robert Andrew Michael Burns

Robert Andrew Michael Burns

Posted

Woman's best friend!

Joseph John Bernardo

Joseph John Bernardo

Posted

Sounds like it in this case!

Posted

In addition to the excellent advice given you by my colleagues: The sexual harassment is no more than flavour here. Your dog needs to be maintained so that the mail delivery persons can safely access your mailbox no ifs, and, or buts; I cannot tell if that was the case after the gate was closed.

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Posted

As others have wisely advised, put your homeowner's insurance on notice ASAP. Don't delay on that. Although it depends on the terms of your policy and CA law, the insurance company typically assigns an attorney to defend you. Additionally, given the witness observation, you may want to file a grievance with the local post office. While the carrier may not like dogs, he should not be pepper spraying them without grounds, and he is placing himself in harms' way by doing so However, do not take any such action until you consult with the attorney assigned to defend you in the caase. Best of luck.

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Posted

How can you protect yourself? If you have homeowner's insurance, you should contact your insurance company immediately. They likely have a duty to defend you in this action and may have a duty to pay any judgment rendered against you up to the policy limits. If not, you need to contact an attorney to represent you against the action.

How much can the mailman get? That is hard to determine. He will try to collect damages for whatever medical expenses he has incurred and paid for as well as pain and suffering. If he simply received stitches, his recovery will be a lot less than if the bite caused damage to a nerve or tendon resulting in surgery. Without knowing the extent of his injuries, it is hard to predict.

Hope this helps. Good Luck,
Kevin Kalajian

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