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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – May 19-25, 2013 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The US Postal Service recently revealed that St. Louis is 8th on a list of cities with the most attacks on letter carriers.

Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Andy Klein of St. Louis personal injury attorneys Kullman, Klein & Dioneda, P.C.  was featured on Fox2 to talk about dog bites.

Klein explained how laws concerning dog bites have changed in recent years. Previously, a dog owner would have to know or be made known that their dog was “vicious” before being liable for an attack. Now, with strict liability laws, a dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her dog, regardless the breed of dog or the circumstances surrounding an attack.

Additionally, all dogs have can behave differently around strangers, often surprising their owners. Even normally-docile dogs can suddenly attack a stranger, leaving the owner liable for any injuries or damages.

Since so much responsibility is placed on the dog’s owner, care and caution on the part of dog owners is now much more important than it was in the past. Klein suggests that dog owners should keep track of where their dogs are, what they’re doing, and who is around them as much as possible.

In order to take responsibility for the actions of your dogs and to reduce the chance of an attack for which you will be liable, be sure to:

  • Remember that dogs’ behavior is often unpredictable, no matter how well you know your dog.
  • Take care that your dogs do not run free when answering the door.
  • Separate your dogs from strangers such as maintenance men when they are in your home or at your door.
  • Respect strangers’ caution and concerns regarding your dogs.

The personal injury attorneys at Kullmann, Klein & Dioneda, P.C. handle all types of dog bite cases in Missouri and Illinois.