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Complications Associated with Dog Bites

Dog bites are closely associated with lacerations, contusions, bite marks, and similar injuries. Though a dog attack is a frightening experience, these types of physical injuries can often be treated with stitches, glue, or other emergency trauma care. Some dog bite victims, however, experience symptoms that are much worse than a simple laceration. For these victims, the compensation they should receive from the dog owner can be substantially higher due to the additional and long-lasting effects of their injuries. The following are some of the complications from a dog bite that may affect for the rest of their lives.

Amputations

In many dog bite cases, a victim may be left without a finger, hand, foot, or even an arm or a leg. Dog bite-related amputations can happen in several ways, including the following:

  • The dog bites completely through the limb or extremities and severed it.
  • The dog bite damaged the bones or nerves of the limb or extremity so thoroughly that doctor believe reattachment is impossible.
  • The dog bite wound became infected and doctors cannot cure the infection, requiring amputation to stop the infection from spreading.

No matter what the reason for the amputation may have been, losing an extremity or limb is traumatizing for victims and causes permanent disabilities. Many amputation victims cannot return to certain jobs, cannot participate in their previous activities, and may experience debilitating phantom nerve pain.

Physical scarring

Medical advancements have made it much easier for doctors to perform different types of plastic surgery to effectively remove scars. However, many dog bite victims undergo numerous procedures and are still left with significant scarring. Physical scarring can have a substantially negative effect on a victim’s life. First, constantly seeing the scar is an ongoing reminder of the dog attack that caused that scar, which can trigger flashbacks and nightmares. In addition, having physical scars can have social effects and implications, especially if the dog bite victim is a child. Children with scars are often ridiculed and may become socially isolated, leading to severe emotional issues that require treatment. 

Emotional injuries

Dog bite victims often develop serious mental and emotional conditions as a result of the dog attack and their resulting injuries. The following are some examples of conditions suffered by victims:

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)1Though PTSD is commonly associated with military veterans, this condition can develop after any type of traumatic event, including animal attacks. PTSD can be debilitating and can cause uncontrollable flashbacks, anxiety, insomnia, and many other symptoms that impact a victim’s ability to work and enjoy everyday life.
    • Cynophobia2 Many dog bite victims develop cynophobia, which is the fear of dogs. Fear of dogs can isolate a person from family or friends that have dogs in their homes. An intense case of cynophobia can cause a victim to fear going any place in which they may have even the slightest chance of encountering a dog, which means they can fear even leaving the house.
  • Depression – Severe depression is common in dog bite victims, due to their physical pain, scarring or disfigurement, isolation, or all of the above. Depression can keep a dog bite victim from leaving the house, from enjoying everyday activities, and may even cause suicidal thoughts.

All emotional issues from dog bites usually require extensive treatment, including therapy and medication. An experienced Clearwater dog bite attorney can help ensure that you recover for all of your emotional injuries as well as your physical ones. 

Call a Clearwater dog bite attorney today to discuss your potential case

Dog bites affect millions of people a year. In most instances, dog bites require minimal medical attention and may, at the most, require a few stitches. Some dog bites, however, cause serious injuries or medical complications after the initial injury has been treated. These cases often entitle victims to significant financial compensation. Consequently, it is important for victims to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after a dog bite occurs to ensure that their legal rights are protected. The Clearwater dog bite lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are skilled litigators who have the skill and experience required to bring your case to a successful resolution. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 727-451-6900. 

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/dog-bites-ptsd-attorneys/

References:

1http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/basics/definition/con-20022540
2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynophobia