A Rabies Dog Bite – Assessment and Legal Information

Thanks to movie dramatization we all have a general knowledge of what rabid dogs look like. The glassy eyes, the foaming mouth, the uncontrollable aggression…

Despite the widespread knowledge of the existence of rabies, most people don’t know the full details and are often left wondering how to handle rabies (and if it is even present at all).

This article looks to explore how rabies dog bites occur, what treatment can be done, and what legal liabilities are at stake.

Please understand this article is not a substitute for medical treatment and assumes no responsibility for the proper care and diagnosis of the illness.

Where Do Dogs Get Rabies?

Most cases of rabies in dogs come from bites from wild animals. The most common animals to carry rabies are skunks, raccoons, bats, and foxes.

What Are the Symptoms of Rabies in Dogs?

Rabies generally go through three stages in dogs. The first is called the predomal stage and generally lasts 2-3 days. Symptoms during this phase often include fever, chewing at bite site, and behavioral changes.

The next phase is called the furious stage and lasts 2-4 days. The furious stage is the one most people are familiar with, and is associated with aggressive behavior, barking, disorientation, and attacks.

The final phase is called the paralytics stage and can last 2-4 days. In this stage the animal suffers from the oft-mentioned mouth foaming, paralysis of limbs, and dropped jaw. This is followed by coma and death.

How Likely Is It That A Dog Has Rabies?

Sometimes people get confused that an aggressive dog automatically has rabies. This is not the case. As you’ll notice in the cycle mentioned above, rabies penetrates a dog quickly and mainly occurs when the dog has been bitten by a rabid wild animal. These circumstances are less prevalent than people are led to believe.

Nevertheless, if you’ve been bitten by a dog, it is always wise to take as many precautions as possible.

Assessing the Bite for Rabies

The most important step for assessing a bite is getting in contact with the dogs owners. From there you can discuss when their last rabies shot occurred (if at all), and if the animal recently had any fights with wild animals or has been experiencing changes in behavior.

If the dog is a stray you will want to contact animal control asap and have them locate the dog.

Legal Rights of a Bite Victim

When bitten by a dog that may be rabid, medical treatment is your primary concern. However, once the animal has been properly diagnosed by a professional and your health is on track for recovery, you need to concern yourself with legal rights.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, rabid or not, you may have the right to pursue for damages. The most important piece advice in this process is to get in contact with a skilled dog bite injury lawyer right away. Early in the process he/she will help you obtain the information you need from the offending party and avoid many of the common traps that insurance companies and dog owners will try to catch you in.

Mesothelioma Legal Information

Mesothelioma is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos during the production or use of asbestos products. It is widely believed that, for sixty years, the companies that dealt with asbestos related products knew about its hazards to health. The dangers of asbestos exposure were kept a secret by the companies for obvious reasons. This holding back of information on the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma has made those companies legally responsible for damages caused by their asbestos products.

Workers who subsequently contract this often fatal disease have the right to file lawsuits for damages. Mesothelioma claims settlements are huge, ranging from $200,000 to millions of dollars. Of course, that depends on the details of the case. Funds are usually set aside to repay the workers and their families.

In the United States, for instance, the median mesothelioma-related settlement is a million dollars. It is reported that cases that went into trial produced an average settlement of $6 million. Yet, it is important to remember that only a small portion of the thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits in the country are linked to mesothelioma.

Finding a decent lawyer to take care of these claims is vital. Since the settlements involve huge sums of money, attorneys are on the lookout for mesothelioma patients. Thus, claimants must take a cautious approach in finding an experienced lawyer to handle their claims.

Some law firms get hold of a mesothelioma victim, and transfer the information to lawyers experienced in handing such cases. Upon doing this, they get a decent referral fee from any successful claim. It is imperative for any lawyer selected to handle a mesothelioma case to have prior experience with litigation involving medical issues.

It is prudent to ask certain questions of attorneys who have been picked to handle the claim. The queries may include his experience in handling mesothelioma claims, the number of claims he has settled and the number that have gone into trial.

Mesothelioma claims can be a drawn-out affair, and law firms should have the necessary wherewithal to take care of them.

Legal Information for Dog Bite Victims

Anyone who has suffered a dog bite knows how terrifying the experience can be. Not only has this person experienced a painful injury, he or she may now have emotional damage due to the fear and anxiety that now presents itself when encountering any type of dog. If you or someone you know has been injured from a dog bite, you should know that you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries by filing a dog bite lawsuit.

A dog bite lawsuit can help victims recoup damages including those for medical bills, lost wages, lost time, and therapy or rehabilitation expenses. Victims may also be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering as well as emotional trauma. The best way to find out if you have a viable case is to contact a lawyer who specializes in the area of personal injuries.

The reason a lawyer is needed for these cases is because the laws can vary a great deal from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and they can be somewhat complicated. Dog bite lawsuits actually fall into several different legal categories. There are local, county, and state laws that combine to create the legal fabric that deal with dogs and personal injuries. Finding an attorney who is well versed in this area can make the process flow quite well, and will ensure all of the victim’s rights are fully protected throughout the entire process.

Attorneys who specialize in personal injury laws that include dog bites have vast knowledge of general liability laws, local laws, state laws, and other legal cases that may be similar in nature to yours, in order to present your case in the best possible manner. By having this unique combination of skills, including an understanding for legal recourse and the limitations of that recourse, an attorney will be able to present the victim with all of the available opportunities in order to provide the most favorable settlement.

While the medical aspect and the cost of rehabilitation of a dog bite lawsuit can be quite high, the actual damage inflicted upon a victim goes way beyond the physical harm suffered. The total cost of a dog bite is quite high, which can make a legal battle a bit more complex. Many victims experience a loss of time from work, the inability to return to work, anxiety that does not ease with time, and other forms of emotional pain and suffering. Because of these issues, the victim’s family may also be entitled to receive compensation in order to help support the victim through the recovery process.

Anyone who has suffered an injury due to a dog bite should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the attack. Even if knew the dog before the attack, you may still have a viable case. In fact, statistics show that the majority of dog bite injuries occur from dogs that the victim knew beforehand. Due to the fact that the victim’s legal rights vary so much depending on the exact location of the attack, the process should always be started quite promptly. Certain jurisdictions place restrictions, guidelines, and require extra insurance to be carried on certain breeds, such as pit bulls or Rottweilers, so these issues need to be investigated immediately.

Most states have very precise laws governing ownership of dogs, along with specific dog bite statutes. Just about every state in the union requires the owner of a dog to be responsible for all bites that occur, regardless of the breed or previous behavior.

No matter where you reside exactly, most laws state that a victim is entitled to damages under the following situations:

The owner of the dog did not comply with leashing laws, and allowed their dog to run free, resulting in an attack;

The owner of a dog had prior knowledge as to the dog’s aggressive tendencies, or past history of attacking people.

As previously stated, victims can seek damages for injuries, even when they knew the dog prior to the attack. That being said, victims may also be able to seek damages from people who may not initially appear to have much to do with the dog. For example, a landlord may be able to be held liable if he or she rented to a person who was known to have an aggressive dog. This is due to the fact that the landlord had prior knowledge and could have, and should have, required the tenant to remove the dog from the property.

In order to pursue a lawsuit in court, most jurisdictions require an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the claim and file the paperwork. It is necessary that a clear case be established that leads to a particular person, people, or entity being able to be held liable for the bite by the dog. Some states simply require that this liability be established just by proving the owner had a dog that is considered to be dangerous, while other states need more concrete evidence any may even require proof that the owner chose not to keep the animal restrained.

You should not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney just because your dog bite was inflicted by a breed that is not considered “vicious” or “dangerous”. A dog attack is equally devastating regardless of the type of dog that caused the harm. There have been a variety of lawsuits that have been settled for significant amount of money due to injuries that occurred from dogs that are considered to be non-aggressive. There have even been large settlements relating to bites caused by docile animals such as horses.

No matter how the attack occurred, or what type of dog caused the bite, a personal injury attorney can be a very valuable asset. He or she will work hard on your side to help you recoup the damages you are entitled to receive. There is no need to be a victim twice; speaking with a professional today will help to ensure your future.