Yes, you can sue for rabies from a dog bite. In these tragic, wrongful death cases, a settlement payout for the family generally comes from the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is an acute encephalitis (brain infection) that is fatal. A dog with rabies can transmit the disease to a human with one bite that punctures the skin. What happens is saliva containing lyssaviruses introduces the virus cells to the human’s blood, where the virus is transported to the brain.

Rabies Encephalitis
This is a photomicrograph of cellular changes associated with rabies encephalitis. CDC/ Dr. Daniel P. Perl

Rabies from Dog Bites

Although 90% of rabies cases worldwide are from dog bites, most cases in the United States are from wild animal bites. This is because dogs in the U.S. are given vaccinations against the disease. Also, anyone bitten by a dog is given injections (human rabies immune globulin and vaccine) to prevent illness if it is not known whether the dog was vaccinated.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends the following:

“Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended anytime a bite wound breaks the skin. Considerations include wound cleaning, tetanus vaccination, the need for antibiotics, and whether or not rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated.”

Our lawyers have helped many dog bite victims. Rabies shots hurt. If a client was given rabies shots, our lawyers seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by both the bite and the shots.

Attorney Brendan Flaherty

Our lead lawyer for our dog bite cases is Brendan Flaherty.

“Anyone bitten by a dog needs immediate medical treatment. Even a small bite can cause rabies or other infections,” said Brendan. “It is also important for someone in the family to contact the police or animal control as soon as possible so that the attack can be confirmed and the dog quarantined.” Read Brendan’s dog bite Q&A.

Contact Attorney Brendan Flaherty