Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Who is Responsible for a Rabid Dog Bite?

Posted by Charles Gilman | Jan 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

Most people don't consider the possibility of rabies after a dog bite because most dogs are vaccinated against the dangerous disease. However, last month, a girl in Virginia was attacked by a rabid dog and the dog bit off the girl's finger. As a result of the attack, the young girl has to deal with medical bills, lifelong scars, and psychological trauma of the attack. 

Is Rabies Still Something We Have to Worry About?

Rabies is still alive and well across the country. Already this year, a rabid raccoon has been reported in Annapolis. Another raccoon in Wicomico County has tested positive for rabies. If anyone has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, they should seek medical attention.   

While rabies primarily affects wild animals, like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. However, about 60 to 70 dogs and more than 250 cats are reported rabid every year in the U.S. The majority of domestic animals infected by rabies were unvaccinated. 

Human rabies infections are still rare, with about 50 cases reported in the U.S. between 1995 and 2011. There are 1 to 3 cases of human rabies reported annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease that infects the central nervous system. Without fast and appropriate medical treatment, it can cause disease in the brain, resulting in death. 

The most recent case of a rabies death in the U.S. reported by the CDC was in May of 2017. The case involved a woman in Virginia who suffered a dog bite while traveling in India. 

Dog Bite Injuries in Maryland

Almost 1,000 people every day seek emergency treatment for a dog bite injury in the U.S. Dog bite injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. In some cases, dog bite injuries can be fatal. Even a minor dog bite injury can lead to more serious harm if it becomes infected. 

A dog bite injury can be very costly for the victim. Dog bite injuries may require medical treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and continuing medical care. An injury can also mean lost days from work, permanent scarring, and dealing with the psychological trauma of a dog attack. The dog owner should be held liable for the damages done by their animals. 

Maryland has a strict liability law for dog bite injuries. Under Maryland Code §3–1901, “in an action against an owner of a dog for damages for personal injury or death caused by the dog, evidence that the dog caused the personal injury or death creates a rebuttable presumption that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities.”

Personal Injury Representation After a Dog Bite

If you need legal representation after a dog bite or personal injury accident, contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian, LLC. Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. We have the legal team that can provide you the support and dedication your case needs. There is no fee for an initial consultation. Call 1.800.592.6162 today.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.

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