Dog bites can have a devastating emotional impact on victims. Dog bites can cause serious physical injuries, including nerve damage, muscle damage, infection, and permanent scars. In addition, the psychological and emotional damage that results from these types of events can be severe, and may lead to PTSD, anxiety, fear, nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating and sleeping. Even where the physical injuries are minor from a dog bite, the emotional pain can last for years. For some people, unfortunately, it never goes away.
If you have been injured by a dog bite or attack, and have physical or emotional injuries, please seek care from a trained medical professional. They will ensure you get the appropriate care for your injuries. Then, call us, so that we can help you recover from the devastating after effects of the incident by helping you obtain compensation for what you have been through.
How to Cope with the Emotional Impact of Dog Bites
Coping with the emotional impact of dog bites can be difficult. Knowing that many others have experienced the same trauma can help you to feel less isolated and more supported.
The most important step to take if you have been injured in a dog bite is to seek professional medical help. Survivors of trauma, such as a dog bite, can learn invaluable tools for recovery through professional help. This type of support can help you:
- Better understand your personal needs;
- Create strategies to better manage stressors;
- Build resilience;
- Learn new communication styles;
- Improve problem-solving skills;
- Recognize triggers associated with fear and anxiety.
Counseling can provide a secure space to explore emotions with someone who is skilled in assisting people facing these difficult feelings. A counselor can play a pivotal role in helping you understand your reactions to what happened so that you can learn how to manage them more effectively.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and/or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can also be beneficial after experiencing a traumatic event like a dog bite. Both types of therapies help people recognize thought and behavior patterns that can lead to negative feelings or ineffective reactions. By exploring these patterns, you can gain insight into yourself and develop healthier ways of responding to challenging situations.
Here are two additional ways to cope with the emotional impact of dog bites.
- Find Support After the Incident. Support groups provide an invaluable source of support, and offer a secure and sympathetic place to talk openly and freely about what you are thinking and feeling. In addition to traditional face-to-face meetings, many online support groups exist.
- Join an Online Community. If you prefer not to join a group and/or cannot attend meetings due to distance or scheduling conflicts, online communities offer much-needed solace and comfort after a dog bite attack. Most people who join these forums are trying to work through the same types of things as you, so you’ll find plenty of advice, personal stories and ideas/guidance on how to try and move forward.
Your Legal Options After a Dog Bite
It is also important to understand what your legal options are following a dog bite. The physical and emotional trauma of a dog bite can have long-lasting effects, including severe financial losses from medical bills, as well as time away from work. As such, it’s important to know what legal options are available so that you can help you recover financially from the aftermath of the dog bite incident.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will:
- Guide you through the process of filing a claim against the dog owner and their insurance company;
- Gather all relevant evidence;
- Review and analyze such evidence determine the fair settlement value of your claim;
- Negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a settlement; and
- If necessary, start a lawsuit.
Supporting evidence for dog bite cases often includes:
- Witness statements;
- Photos of where the incident occurred;
- Medical records that detail the treatment you received after you were bitten;
- Comprehensive medical reports which detail the nature and extent of the injury, as well as the need for future medical care; and
- Photos of the injuries and scars.
While pursuing legal action will ensure you are properly compensated for the losses you’ve sustained, many dog bite victims find that the process also helps to bring about some semblance of closure. And that once the case is settled, it’s like the chapter of a book is ending, and a new one is beginning.
FAQs about the Emotional Impact of Dog Bites
What is the psychological impact of dog bites?
Dog bites can have severe psychological effects, ranging from fear and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder. Following an attack, psychological effects such as depression or other mental health issues may arise due to the trauma. Embarrassment and shame are also common as a result of permanent scarring.
How do you get over the emotional trauma of a dog bite?
First and foremost, if you have been injured in a dog bite, and are dealing with emotional and psychological pain, you should seek appropriate medical care and treatment. Your doctor can best advise you on what steps to take and what treatment to obtain to help you deal with the symptoms you are experiencing.
Next, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can advise you on your legal rights. Hiring a lawyer can help ease the burden by dealing with the insurance companies and paperwork, so that you can focus on your recovery.
Contact the Dog Bite Attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC
At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we have decades of experience handling dog bite claims. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to recover the damages you have sustained because of the dog bite. You can rest assured that you have an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate professional on your side.
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss the specifics surrounding your case.