Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

The reality of how a dog bite can affect you -- for years

Anyone who has ever been bitten by a dog knows that the bite itself isn't the only thing that leaves a lasting impression. The shock of getting bitten, along with the trauma inflicted, can cause both psychological and physical problems. Dog bites often require medical attention as well, which brings financial costs and may precipitate a lawsuit.

Dog attacks have a long-term effect on victims, who may suffer for years after the wounds have healed. Psychological trauma can stem from memories of the attack.

Why do dog bites have a lasting effect?

Three main elements are money, psychological pain and physical pain. Victims who pursue a lawsuit must focus on their trauma for a significant amount of time. This is why many people allow their attorneys to do the majority of the work. They don't have to think about the painful experiences as much if someone else is handling the legal matters associated with them.

The psychological struggles can be significant for dog bite survivors. It's devastating to think that a beloved animal would turn on you. Whether it was your own pet, the pet of a loved one or a stray, the idea that a loving dog could turn on a human is something with which most people struggle. The unfortunate truth is that some dogs can be vicious or have a propensity to bite.

With regard to a physical injury, even if a wound heals, there may be lasting consequences like scarring. Scars can be itchy and painful and affect a victim's self esteem. Sometimes, nerve damage means that the wound will itch perpetually until the nerves regain some function. In other cases, patients have to go through further treatments to resolve the itching or pain that affects their quality of life.

Dog bites cause devastating experiences

Some people develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from dog attacks, which means they may be terrorized by every dog they see. They may have nightmares or lasting psychological damage. Others have wounds that disfigure them, causing them to stop doing the things they love while going through difficult surgeries to repair the damage.

Patients deserve the right care after a bite. The damage may last a lifetime, but there is help for those who need it after being attacked.

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