Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from Dog Bite Injuries

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group

All individuals have a reasonable expectation not to suffer dog bite injuries when visiting a friend’s house or walking through their neighborhood. Dog owners should take the necessary steps to prevent an attack. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and individuals – sometimes young children – may become victims of a dog bite or attack.

Aside from physical injuries, such as puncture wounds, bruises, and disfigurement, victims may also suffer emotional injuries and distress. Some may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A Clarksburg dog attack attorney can address PTSD in addition to physical injuries when filing a claim.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • flashbacks of the incident which lead to physical symptoms such as sweating or heart palpitations;
  • bad dreams or night terrors;
  • avoiding the area where the event took places and/or things that are reminders or “triggers”;
  • being easily startled;
  • frequent feelings of stress or being “on edge”; and
  • difficulty sleeping or falling asleep.

PTSD is not an uncommon reaction to many kinds of injuries and accidents, including dog bite injuries. Children may be especially susceptible to emotional distress after a dog bite. PTSD can also cause struggles in school and social interactions, which could increase the effects of the disorder.

What are the treatment options for PTSD?

Treatment options for PTSD can vary from person to person and by situation.

Some of the treatment options a mental healthcare professional may recommend include:

  • talk therapy, in which the patient works closely with a therapist to talk through fears and issues related to the incident;
  • prolonged exposure therapy, to expose the patient to triggers such as a dog, pictures of a dog or other elements so that over time the patient may learn not to fear them; and
  • anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication in more serious cases.

Victims experiencing emotional distress should work with a mental healthcare professional with whom they are comfortable with and trust. A counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist or other professional can help explore the best course of treatment.

Meanwhile, therapy sessions, medications, and other treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder or other dog bite injuries suffered in the attack can become very expensive. A Clarksburg dog attack attorney can collect proper evidence and documentation to prove not only liability for the dog bite, but to also establish damages, such as emotional disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder.

What types of evidence may establish damages for PTSD?

Various types of evidence will be used to demonstrate liability for the dog bite injuries. Evidence could include witness testimony, incident reports from the police or animal control office, and photographs and medical records of physical injuries.

When demonstrating that PTSD is connected to the attack, testimony from a mental health expert may be used. Documentation demonstrating a diagnosis of this disorder may also be presented as evidence.

Bills, receipts, and prognosis for future care and therapy that may be required could be used to demonstrate the financial impact of the current and continued treatment. Victims of a dog bite or attack can consult with their Clarksburg dog attack attorney for help with collecting evidence, determining which types of evidence may be necessary, and presenting said evidence in the liability claim or lawsuit.

How can a Clarksburg dog attack attorney help with my claim for dog bite injuries?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries and believe post-traumatic stress disorder developed as a result, you may consider reaching out to a Clarksburg dog attack attorney for legal help. Not only may damages be available for emotional injuries, but medical or therapy costs associated with the condition could be recovered as well.

A Clarksburg dog attack attorney at the Miley Legal Group can work with victims of dog attacks to fight for fair compensation for damages, whether physical, emotional, economic or non-economic. Contact us today at 304-931-4088 to schedule a no-cost consultation to review details of a case involving dog bite injuries such as PTSD.