A dog attack can be traumatic and cause serious injury – whether it is an adult or child being bitten. Dog bite injuries are on the rise in the United States, and the cost of treating those injuries is equally rising. The average claim in 2015 was up by 67 percent from 2003, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Also, because one out of every six bites requires medical care, and one out of every 14 requires emergency care, it is important to understand the potential for serious injury, and how those injuries will be paid for.
Bodily Injuries Associated with Dog Bites
Dog bites can result in several bodily injuries – especially if the attack was vicious. These can include:
- Tissue loss
- Crush injuries
- Fractured bones
- Sprains or strains
These open wounds also put a victim at high risk for infection – such as rabies, cellulitis, or C canimorsus infections. All of these can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Those bitten by dogs on the face often will have nerve damage, in addition to tissue damage. There may also be fractured or shattered bones in the face, not to mention disfigurement and scarring.
The Longevity of Scars
Scars can be with a victim for a few weeks, or the rest of his or her life. Dog bite wounds that bleed inevitably result in scars, but not all are disfiguring or painful. Small scars will often fade with time, but others may need to be professionally removed, and some may never fully go away. Some treatment options for scars can include pressure scar modification, dermabrasion, makeup, or surgical excision of the scar tissue.
The Social and Emotional Effects of Dog Bites – They Are Injuries, Too
What one may not realize is that dog bite injuries are not just physical; they are emotional and social, too. Without intending to do so, people may look at a disfigured dog bite victim differently. Some may even suffer from social anxiety and fear of leaving their house because of their disfigurement.
Small children may develop a fear of dogs, and even adults are prone to anxiety. There are some who can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The individual may feel depressed, nervous, fearful – and he or she could even cry or take dangerous risks to avoid family and friends after a dog attack. The post-traumatic stress could last weeks, months, or remain for the rest of the victim’s life.
Were You Injured in a Vicious Dog Attack?
If you or someone you love was injured by a dog bite or in a vicious attack, you can hold that dog’s owner accountable for the pet’s actions. Contact me, Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esquire today. I have helped hundreds of victims just like you receive compensation for their injuries. Whether you have bodily injuries, an infection, or emotional trauma, let me help you recover. Contact me for a free case consultation at 215-987-3550 (office), 215-771-0430 (cell) or fill-out my online contact form and I will get in touch with you as soon as possible.