Some people have an innate fear of dogs. That fear could increase after sustaining an injury in a canine attack. Even dog attack victims who did not have a fear of dogs can develop a phobia in the aftermath of an attack. Developing such a fear is a natural response to a traumatic event. A fear of dogs is not the only emotional scar with which dog bite victims must endure.
When a dog bite victim arrives in the emergency department after being attacked by a vicious dog, the physicians in the emergency room have one mission: save the patient’s life. Emergency room physicians must proceed one step at a time, and the first step is to stop bleeding and close open wounds, so the victim does not expire due to blood loss. Doctors will assess other physical injuries as well to discover whether the victim sustained broken bones or other injuries in the attack. The resulting physical appearance of the victim and the psychological damage the victim suffered is secondary to survival.
Plastic surgeons can work their magic to repair and reconstruct a person’s face, head, arms, or legs. However, the victim may never feel the same again, physically and emotionally. Even after the scars heal, the dog attack victim will likely suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly referred to as PTSD. Other psychological problems can manifest as well.
A person’s sense of self-esteem can be severely damaged in the wake of a dog bite. The victim might have to try to come to grips with the reality that he or she might not look the same ever again. Scars will likely be visible, and they could be grotesque, despite a plastic surgeon’s best attempts at reconstructing the victim’s likeness. This circumstance could propel the victim into the throes of a deep, dark depression because whenever the dog bite victim looks in the mirror, he or she is reliving the attack.
Other injuries from a dog attack can lead to devastating emotional and psychological damage. For instance, if a dog shreds a person’s arm while he or she is trying to fend off an attempt, the victim could suffer irreparable and irreversible nerve damage in the arms, hands, and fingers. Such widespread nerve damage might mean that the victim will lose sensation in the injured areas.
The residual pain from the attack endures as well. Victims could suffer from ghost pain if they have a body part amputated. In the hospital, a dog bite victim can receive powerful pain-relieving medication. However, the patient might not have access to similar medication after discharge from the hospital. Returning home is uncomfortable and difficult. Doctors and pharmacists are leery about over-prescribing opioid-based pain medication out of fear that the patient might become addicted. Additionally, physical rehabilitation is long and painful. However, the pain might never go away completely, leaving the victim to wallow in a constant state of discomfort at a minimum.
The constant aches and pains can wear on a person’s mental health. One dog attack survivor described how itchy her entire body became as the bite wounds began to scab over and heal. The persistent itch was almost too much for her to bare. This unlucky woman described the pain in her hands and arms as though someone continuously ran a hot iron over them.
Parker Waichman LLP provides dog attack victims and their families with an established record of results that includes recovering over $2 billion for injury victims in settlements and judgments. Call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.
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