Within the past week two area children have been attacked in separate incidents by a pit bull while playing outside. A 4 year old died and an 18 month old suffered severe injuries. No criminal charges are expected against the dog owner in the 4 year old’s death since the boy climbed over a fence into the owner’s yard were the dog was chained. In the 18 month old’s case, the boy’s mother said that while she was playing outside with her son a pit bull in the yard broke off of its chain and lunged at the boy. There was no word on if charges would be filed in that case.
Even if criminal charges do not result from an attack a dog owner can still face civil liability if his or her negligence led to the attack. A classic case of dog owner negligence arises when the owner knows his or her dog poses a danger to others and/or the owner does not adequately restrain the dog. Although both of the recent attacks were by dogs on a chain, attacks more frequently happen when dogs roam the streets after getting off their leash or out of their enclosure.
Children are not the only victims of dog attacks but they are particularly vulnerable. Small children may be more likely to approach a dog, and are more likely to be overpowered by the dog during an attack. This underscores the importance of adult supervision when children are outside, especially if it is known that dogs in the area are able to roam freely.
If you or a family member has been injured by a dog Ben Bronston and Associates is here to help. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you hold the dog’s owner responsible for his or her negligence and recover for your injuries. For more information on dog bite laws and dog owner negligence please click here to visit our dog bite webpage.