Pet Information > Others > Pet Articles > On The Anniversary Of The Rabies Inoculation, Are We Safe From Dog BItes?

On The Anniversary Of The Rabies Inoculation, Are We Safe From Dog BItes?

26 9:32:23
On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur administered the first successful rabies vaccination. At the time, not a lot was known about rabies, but it was expected that society would "outgrow" it.

Too bad that's not how it worked out.

Unfortunately, doctors nationwide have had to administer millions of vaccines since then. The inoculation for rabies may have come a long way technologically, but it can still be very painful and expensive.

The most common reason people get the vaccine is that they've received a bite from a strange animal. It's very important to report ANY bites received from a strange animal and to seek medical attention immediately. If the animal is with another person, be sure to get that person's contact information in case you or the Health Department needs to contact them later.

Don't rule out a potential dog attack just because you know an animal's owner, either. Almost 50% of attacking dogs belong to a friend or family member of the victim.

No matter how well you supervise your children at the park or how sturdy your neighbor's fence is, you may not be able to prevent dog bites all the time. So how do you deal with it when it happens?

Aside from reporting the bite, seeking medical attention, and getting the animal owner's contact information, there may be other steps you want to take. For truly serious bites, you may want to consult an experienced attorney to try and negotiate some sort of settlement before speaking to an insurance adjuster.

Dog bite claims in Virginia can be tricky, because so much will depend on the jurisdiction where the bite happened. Virginia as a whole is a "one-bite" state, which means that the dog's owner may be protected from liability, unless they have "known dangerous propensity" of the dog, meaning they know the dog has bitten someone before, etc. So basically, if a dog attacks you, and has never bitten anyone before, you may not be able to do much about it.

BUT that's just for Virginia as a whole. You could still show that the dog owner was negligent in allowing the dog to bite.

For example, many counties and municipalities have "leash laws," meaning that dog owners must keep their animals on a leash, and can be considered negligent if they aren't doing so. Leash laws will differ by city, so you will want to check with your local law enforcement.

Dog bites can be a tricky area of the law to deal with in Virginia.

Copyright (c) 2010 James Parrish