Buddy Siso, a San Diego letter carrier who was mauled by a pit bull while on the job two weeks ago, spoke out for the first time this week, NBC San Diego reports. Siso was on his normal mail route in Golden Hill on July 19 when he was bitten by a pit bull. He said the dog started trying to jump over the fence as Siso started putting the mail into a mailbox on his route. The dog then pushed through the gate jumping on Siso’s throat. Siso said a Good Samaritan and Siso’s mail satchel saved his life by preventing the pit bull from digging deeper into his neck.
After the incident, a neighbor helped apply compression to his throat and put iodine on his leg, Siso said. Siso suffered eight punctures to his left knee and bites two inches deep in his neck. He describes the attack as one of the “scariest moments” of his life. The dog that attacked Siso has since been euthanized.
Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers
So far, there have been 31 dog attacks on mail carriers just this year in San Diego, U.S. Postal Service’s regional officials say. Los Angeles ranks number one for dog attacks on mail carriers with 69 incidents in 2012. This is the second year in a row that Los Angeles has had the highest number when it comes to attacks on mail carriers. Overall, in 2012, 5,879 U.S. Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs last year, a 5 percent increase from 2011.
Who is Liable?
Under California’s “strict liability statute” dog owners are financially responsible for damages caused by their pets. California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
In cases involving mail carriers, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, injured victims can also seek compensation from the dog’s owner. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cosmetic surgeries to repair scars, cost of psychological counseling, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California dog bite lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families in dog bite cases regarding their legal rights and options.