Victims of dog attacks go through much more trauma than just the physical wounds a dog bite creates. Many times they confront difficult psychological issues, have relationship wedges driven between them and the dog owner as well as mounting medical bills related to the injury. The initial dog attack is usually just the beginning of a lengthy road of problems that the victim is forced to deal with daily and possibly for life. It’s also the reason why its important to seek the assistance of an attorney experienced with dog bite cases to help properly prepare for the future.
Statistically, children and the elderly are the most frequent victims of dog bites. The medical attention required for these injuries can be very extensive, and it doesn’t solely include treatment of the physical wound. In fact, the most common infliction suffered by the victim is post-traumatic stress disorder, which typically includes severe anxiety. The way the attack affects the mind can be harder to deal with than the way it affects the body. Victims become afraid of dogs. This is a problem since dogs are encountered almost every time we venture out of our homes. It can turn into a life lived in fear and the dog bite victim can become a prisoner in their own home. The psychological conditions mentioned above are sometimes very difficult for the victim to overcome and they require attention from psychologists and therapists, and many times medication.
Many times the victim knows the attacking dog’s owner. The owner is sometimes close to the victim: a neighbor, close friend, even family. The victim and owner dispute who is at fault for the attack. The dog owner sometimes blames the victim. The victim blames the dog owner, the dog, or even themselves. Established personal relationships become torn and problematic. Sometimes the victim is afraid to report the dog bite to authorities simply because they don’t want wedges driven between themselves and the dog’s owner. While this is a legitimate concern on the part of the victim, they should know that their injury and the care that it requires must supersede that concern if they are ever going to recover successfully. The fact is that dog owners must be responsible for their dog regardless of what the dog does. This is an integral part of owning a pet—you are responsible for it both morally and legally. A dog attack victim and a dog owner will hopefully understand that logic. It’s reasonable and it makes sense. Therefore, holding the dog owner responsible for the actions of his dog when it attacks another person is also reasonable and makes sense. Victims should never be afraid to make a report to authorities regardless of whom or what injures them.
Medical treatment for any condition is expensive. Emergency room treatment for a trauma injury is excessively expensive. One night in the hospital, depending on the seriousness of the injury, can easily amount to over $20,000. A lifetime of continuing psychological therapy or treatment can cost even more than that. It is crucially important that dog bite victims are compensated for their injuries; both for compensatory and non-economic damages.
If you or your child is attacked by a dog anywhere in Ohio, don’t be afraid to take action to protect yourself from further injury. Please call Slater & Zurz, LLP at 1-800-297-9191 with any questions about obtaining compensation for your psychological wounds from a dog bite and injuries that are no fault of your own. Or you can send us a blog message and set up a time to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you.
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