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New York boy spearheads dog bite legislation reform

At 5-years-old, a New York boy's life was radically changed. The boy had been outside with a relative's pit bull when it suddenly attacked. The dog bite injuries were extremely severe; the boy needed 25 surgeries and 1,000 stitches before they could reconstruct his face and scalp.

Because this was the first time anyone had ever reported the dog biting someone, the boy's relatives could not have been held financially liable for his injuries. Under New York law, a dog's owner cannot be forced to pay for dog bite injuries if he or she had no reason to know the dog was dangerous, which often means that he or she can only get in trouble for a second or subsequent dog attack.

This boy and his mother are going to Albany, however, to ask law makers to change the "one bite rule." They believe that if someone buys a dog that he or she needs to know how dangerous the animal can be. According to the mother, they are hoping to help anyone who may be bitten and injured by a dog, regardless of if it is the dog's first bite or it has a known vicious temper.

The boy has slowly healed from his dog bite injuries and is not even afraid of dogs anymore. Though he has certainly been brave throughout this ordeal, he and his mother should have been able to avoid what surely was considerable medical debt by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the dog's owners. Anyone that is injured by a dog can find out more about his or her legal options by contacting an attorney experienced in dog bite injury or dog attack cases.

Source: CBS New York, "Boy Mauled By Pit Bull Seeks To Hold Dog Owners Responsible, Overturn State's 'One Bite Rule,'" June 13, 2012

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