Getting Bit by a Rabid Neighborhood Dog

dog biteGetting bit by a dog can result in having to deal with bothersome cosmetic imperfections, or even substantial injury, that can last a lifetime. If you were the victim of an unprovoked dog attack, off another’s property, that resulted in injury or expensive medical or cosmetic treatments (et cetera), it may be a breeze for you take your case before your local small claims court (“civil court”), and receive some financial compensation. You probably won’t need to hire, or even consult, a lawyer.

However, things become infinitely more delicate and press when rabies is involved. Although the vast majority of dogs who bite people don’t harbor the disease, dog bites are the number one cause of its transmission.

If, after the incident, you were able to speak with the owner of the dog and confirm that the dog was up-to-date on its vaccinations, you’re probably safe. And, what’s more, there’s a greater possibility that if the owner was compliant and courteous enough to share their dog’s records with you, there’s a far higher chance that whatever financial disputes there are can be settled amicably and out of court.

Immediately after the incident, it’s important that you visit a medical professional to receive proper treatment. It’s also important because whatever medical records there are of your injured state following your visit will be your best evidence should you ever have to go to court.

There are a whole slew of circumstances under which your medical professional is unsure whether you are infected, but decides to proceed with treatment regardless. If the dog’s owner cannot be identified, you describe it to have had signs typical of a rabid canine, or there has been a recent outbreak of rabies in the area among stray dogs, you may have to go this course. These treatments can often be costly (thousands of dollars), and are one of the most common items people attempt to collect damages for when filing a dog bite lawsuit.

But when should you file a personal injury lawsuit concerning a dog bite? How do you know if you have a case?

The first thing to know is that you have absolutely no case if the dog was an obvious stray or its owner not identified. If you were on public grounds, or your own property, it’s also highly unlikely that you have a case.

In any case, it’s always useful to sit down and have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Even if he or she doesn’t believes that you don’t have a case, there’s typically no charge to you for this first meeting.


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