When you read or hear about someone being injured in a dog bite attack, you probably imagine the physical injuries caused by the incident. It’s true, dog bites can have very severe consequences, but they run deeper than those you can see on the surface. Did you know that 4.5 million US citizens are injured in dog attacks every year, with around 900,000 of them needing hospital treatment? While hospitals can help with the cuts, bruises, and fractures associated with dog attacks, many of us tend to overlook the potential psychological effects.
How Dog Attacks Can Lead to Emotional Scarring
Being attacked by a dog can be an incredibly traumatic experience – you don’t need to have been involved in one to understand that. If a child has been attacked by a dog, it can be particularly difficult for them to process what has happened, and why it happened to them. Whether it was a random attack from a dog you’ve never seen before or a freak change in the character of a beloved family pet, a dog bite attack could result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the various manifestations that condition can take.
In both adults and children, PTSD may present itself as any of the following symptoms:
- Flashbacks to the incident, both during the day or as recurring nightmares
- Insomnia, perhaps worsened by those nightmares
- A fear of dogs, or even of going outside at all
- Emotional withdrawal
- Guilt about having caused the dog to attack, or for the consequences the dog-faced afterward
- Irrational thoughts and fears, which may appear entirely unrelated
- Physical symptoms
- Anti-social behavior, particularly when this is out of character
- Problems in work or at school
- Lack of concentration
Someone suffering from PTSD, after any kind of traumatic event, may experience just one, several, or any of these symptoms.
Common Physical Injuries from Dog Attacks
If the PTSD on its own isn’t enough to deal with, adults and children who have been victims of dog attacks may also suffer emotionally with some of the physical effects, such as:
- Noticeable scarring, including puncture marks from the dog’s teeth
- Long-term damage to nerves, tendons, and ligaments
- Infection setting in during the recovery process
It’s obvious that a dog attack is no laughing matter and, if you or your child have been injured by a dog, we’re here to help you prove liability and get compensation for your trauma.
Under California law, the dog’s owner may be deemed responsible even where it can be proven that the attack was out of character for the dog, or the dog may have been provoked unintentionally. In fact, Los Angeles and other Californian regions are amongst the easiest places in the United States to assign liability for dog attacks, thanks to, particularly strict laws.
If the owner of the dog who attacks you in Los Angeles is refusing to accept responsibility or to compensate you for the detrimental effect their pet has had on your physical and emotional wellbeing, you need to get an excellent dog attack lawyer on your team.