Compensation for Dog Bite with Rabies

Compensation for Dog Bite with Rabies

dog bite rabies

Dog bite injuries are often incredibly serious. Around 9,500 Americans require medical attention due to dog bites every day. While a dog bite injury alone may require extensive medical treatment, these injuries are even more serious if the dog has rabies. 

A dog with rabies can infect a person through a bite because the virus spreads through saliva. While it’s not the only way to contract the virus, dog bites are the leading cause of rabies in the United States. Fortunately, it’s rare for humans to become infected. 

If you’re bitten by a dog, you need to ensure that you aren’t infected with rabies or another contagious disease. Although rare in the United States, rabies can be fatal, so you need to seek immediate medical attention after an attack. In this blog, you’ll learn about dog bite rabies and recovering compensation after an attack. 

What Happens If an Unvaccinated Dog Bites You?

An unvaccinated dog can spread rabies or another serious disease by biting a victim. When a dog’s bite breaks the skin, its infected saliva can enter your body, traveling through your bloodstream and leading to serious or even fatal conditions. In addition to rabies, a dog bite victim may contract a staph infection, strep infection, or tetanus. 

When an infected dog bites a victim, there will be an incubation period. This period is when the virus spreads through the body, and it can last anywhere from a week to a year. During that time, the rabies virus spreads through to the victim’s central nervous system and the brain. Rabies is usually fatal once it reaches the central nervous system, but, fortunately, only one to three people die of rabies in the United States annually. 

Because the condition is almost always fatal when it spreads, it’s critical to be on the lookout for rabies symptoms and to seek immediate medical attention after a dog bite. 

How to Know If the Dog Has Rabies After Biting You

If you’re bitten by a dog, you need to find out if the animal is properly vaccinated. If the dog is unvaccinated or if you’re not sure, a laboratory professional will need to perform a direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This test analyzes an animal’s brain tissue to diagnose rabies, and it can only be performed after the dog is put down.

The only way that you can be sure that an animal is infected is through a FA test, but you can also watch for early warning signs and progressing symptoms. Early symptoms of rabies include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Tingling
  • Fever
  • Burning at the site of the bite

From there, your progressing symptoms will depend on whether you’ve contracted furious rabies or paralytic rabies. Furious rabies makes up 80% of all rabies cases, and the condition causes notable symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia) 
  • Foaming of the mouth

Paralytic rabies usually takes longer to incubate and is characterized by muscle paralysis. A victim with paralytic rabies will suffer from partial paralysis at first, and the condition will spread to other parts of the body over time. Eventually, the victim will go into a coma and die. 

Because furious and paralytic rabies are fatal conditions, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible after being bitten by a dog or another animal.

Do I Need a Rabies Shot After a Dog Bite?

If you know that the dog that bit you is sufficiently vaccinated, you will not need to receive a rabies vaccine. Further, this condition will only spread if the dog’s bite broke your skin. If the bite cuts into your skin and you’re unsure about the dog’s vaccine status, you’ll likely need to receive a rabies vaccine. 

This is the case because there isn’t a way for medical professionals to diagnose your rabies before you display symptoms. The doctor will likely recommend that you take a preventative rabies vaccine, especially if a feral or vicious dog bit you. Of course, you can avoid this if someone performs a direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA) on the animal. 

Can I Recover Compensation After a Dog Bite?

You have every right to seek compensation from a dog owner after an attack, but you’ll need to be able to prove that they’re liable for your injuries. Unfortunately, the dog owner’s insurance company will likely argue that you were at fault in some way, meaning that you can’t recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. For that reason, it’s crucial to contact a Maryland dog bite rabies accident attorney

Here at Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have numerous years of experience representing dog bite victims in Baltimore and other cities in Maryland. Depending on your case, we may be able to secure you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.  

If you’re interested in learning more about recovering damages after a dog bite injury, you can schedule a free consultation with our team. Call our office today at 410-753-4611, or you can schedule your consultation online here