Many parents may have become worried about their children after two 12-year-olds were attacked by a pit bull outside of their elementary school last month. As many people have heard, the two boys were just outside of Lincoln Elementary School in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, when the dog ran out of its yard and attacked them. Both of the boys suffered bite injuries on their legs and buttocks, and they were taken by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center.
It has now been reported that this particular pit bull, who lives in a home near two elementary schools, had gotten out of its owner’s house and attacked at least two other people in the past.
The Record reported that back in 2011, the dog escaped its home and attacked a 44-year-old man who was in the midst of getting out of his car. The dog bit the man several times before retreating. A year earlier, the dog ran out of its house and bit an 8-year-old child.
The dog was taken to an animal shelter after this latest attack, where it was going to be quarantined until officials determined whether it should be euthanized.
In both New Jersey and New York, dog owners have legal responsibilities to keep their dogs from harming others. When dogs do attack people, dog owners can often be held liable for resulting medical expenses, pain and suffering and additional costs related to the attack. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance recently reported that about one-third of homeowner liability payouts result from dog bites.
Those who have been attacked by dogs should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to learn how to obtain compensation for their injuries, as well as how to hold the dog and/or dog owner accountable so that the dog doesn’t attack anyone else.
It is also important that parents are aware that the majority of dog bite victims are children. Victims should not be blamed for dog attacks, but there are a number of things children can do to attempt to avoid dog bites. These include: never pet a dog before asking its owner; never pet a dog’s tail or face; approach a dog slowly and gently if you do have permission to pet it; and, if a dog appears unfriendly or aggressive, begin to slowly walk away.
Source: NJ.com, “Authorities: Pit bull that injured Lyndhurst elementary school students has history of attacks,” Dan Ivers, June 11, 2013
Source: New York Times, “Dog Bites Can Raise Your Insurance Premiums,” Ann Carrns, May 27, 2013