Dog bites and animal attacks can leave the victim with permanent scars and disabilities. The physical injuries suffered in such an incident are often so dramatic that it is easy to overlook the emotional scarring and mental trauma suffered as well. Of course, if you want to file a dog bite injury claim that pursues a fair amount of compensation, then you need to consider the economic and noneconomic damages you have experienced due to your emotional injuries as well.
Dog Bites Can Scar for Life
People who have been attacked by an aggressive dog often become afraid of that breed of dog or any canine companion at all. You probably even know someone who says they just “don’t like dogs” but has not explained why. It is possible that they were attacked by a dog when they were younger and never fully recovered, not emotionally and mentally, anyway.
This sort of situation underlines just how dramatic the aftereffects of a dog bite can be. No two people are the same, so no two people will react to a vicious animal attack in the exact same way. Where some people might be able to quickly relearn how to trust dogs again, others might be scarred for life and never feel comfortable when a dog is in the same area or room as they are. Even when other people are around and the dog is hooked up to a leash, it is understandable for dog bite victims to not want to be near the animal.
Therapy for Dog Bite Victims
To become accustomed to the company of dogs again, a dog bite victim will likely require specialized therapy. Sessions can begin with one-on-one meetings with a therapist who often helps patients living with past traumas and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As is common with treating PTSD, the therapist or psychiatrist will want to identify the source of the trauma, triggers, and possible stress remedies.
As the sessions continue, the therapist may want to introduce the patient to a dog again by bringing a friendly pooch into the room. This particular step in the recovery process can be highly stressful yet necessary to ultimately feel safe near a dog again. The entire procedure of therapeutic recovery can also feel frustrating to a patient who is keenly aware that they would have never had any issues being around dogs had it not been for a negligent owner who failed to control their animal on a fated day.
Compensation Should Consider All Forms of Damages & Injuries
The mental scarring suffered by a dog bite victim is not pleasant to talk about, but it is something that needs to be brought up and explored. Only through acknowledging the emotional harm can it be treated. Furthermore, a fair amount of compensation cannot be given to the dog bite victim through a personal injury claim if treatment is never sought and the cost of that treatment is never known.
If you have been attacked by someone’s aggressive dog, then you should talk to an attorney soon after to get information about how to proceed with a claim. You should also speak with your doctor or therapist about seeking any psychiatric care that might help with fears or PTSD you are experiencing since the attack. You deserve a maximized amount of compensation, but you won’t receive it if you are not getting all the care you need.
You should also be aware that many dog owners do have insurance that can pay for the harm caused by their animals, even though some will say they don’t have any animal insurance. The truth is that homeowners’ insurance and renter’s insurance policies tend to include coverage for harm caused to others by the policyholder’s dog, even when the animal attack does not occur on the property. Before you assume you have no case because the dog owner has no insurance, speak with a local attorney about potential sources for compensation.