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Fatal dog attacks lands babysitters in prison

With so many people in Springfield relying on their dogs to provide them with love and companionship, it may be difficult to believe such creatures are capable of harm. Yet dogs have proven themselves to be dangerous attackers when involved in altercations with people. Some may think that the extent of the injuries such animals can inflict is limited to minor cuts and abrasions on a victim's extremities. Yet depending on the size of the dog (as well as that of the victim of its attack), fatal results of dog attacks are not out of the question. 

This fact was on full display in a case involving an attack in Virginia. A 3-year-old was mauled by the dog of the couple that had been babysitting her. She later died from her injuries. The couple was brought up on charges directly related to the attack. Both were charged with involuntary manslaughter, failing to maintain a dangerous dog, as well as differing forms of child abuse or endangerment. The man and woman subsequently pled guilty and received 25- and 15-year prison sentences, respectively. 

Some may think that a person facing criminal charges exempts them from civil liability. It does not, meaning that the victims of their crimes are free to attempt to recover compensation from them. In animal attacks that result in fatalities (such as this one), that attempt may come in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. In other cases, victims may need financial assistance to recover from both the physical and psychological harm that the animals inflicted on them. In either event, an experienced personal injury attorney may be a valuable ally to have as one argues his or her case. 

Source: Galax Gazette "Connell to serve 15 years for fatal dog attack" Stockton, Shaina, Feb. 01, 2018 

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