Millions of American households have a dog as a pet, and it is easy to see why. Dogs can be excellent companions, act as living, breathing security systems, and even provide support for people who are struggling with disabilities. Unfortunately, they also are capable of causing extremely serious injuries when they attack.

When most of us think about dog bite injuries, we tend to think of cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other similar injuries that can result from teeth coming into contact with skin and muscle. While it is certainly true that many dog bites result in these types of injuries, it is also true that dog bites can cause other issues that can be just as serious, if not more so. Some of the more common of these are discussed below.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,1 or PTSD, is a condition that sometimes develops in people that have experienced a stressful, frightening, dangerous, or shocking event. In recent years, the condition has received significant attention in relation to combat veterans who develop it, but it can occur after a type of traumatic event, including a dog bite or attack.

The symptoms of PTSD can make it difficult to engage in daily activities or work, often significantly disputing the lives of sufferers. Some of the more common symptoms of PTSD include the following:

  • Flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Nightmares
  • Unwanted thoughts
  • Avoiding things, events, or places that could serve as reminders of the traumatic experience
  • Difficulty remembering the event
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Serious Infections

You may have heard that dogs’ mouths have fewer bacteria than the mouths of humans at some point in your life, perhaps from a person who was fond of having his or her face licked by the family pet. This is certainly not true, and, in reality, dogs’ mouths are full of millions of potentially harmful bacteria that are capable of causing serious infections. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports2 that almost one in five dog bites become infected. People whose bites become infected often feel ill, need to miss a significant amount of work or school, need to be treated with antibiotics, and may even require hospitalization. In fact, while extremely rare, infections related to dog bites have resulted in surgical amputations.

Anxiety and Depression

Many people who are seriously injured by dog bites can develop mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Often, these feelings are related to being unable to work, attend school, and engage in enjoyable social activities because of the injuries that have been sustained. In addition, dog bites are capable of causing significant and permanent scarring that can have a direct impact on a person appearance and self-confidence. In turn, these issues can lead to social isolation and withdrawal, both of which have been linked to depression.

A Debilitating Fear of Dogs

Developing a fear of dogs is a normal and common response for people who have the victim of a serious attack. Importantly, a fear of dogs does not have to rise to the level of PTSD or any other diagnosable condition in order to have an adverse and significant impact on a person’s life. It is difficult to leave the house and not come across a dog in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas, which means that people who are scared of dogs may find it difficult to leave the house or experience significant stress when they do so.

Obtaining Compensation for Injures Related to Dog Bites

Fortunately, under Florida law, these and other injuries relate to dog bites are compensable. As a result, it is important to document all of the ways in which a dog bite has affected you and to speak to an attorney who is familiar with representing dog bite victims in the state. Doing both will ensure that you obtain as much compensation as possible for your losses.

Call a Ft. Lauderdale Dog Bite Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case

At the Law Office of Joseph J. LoRusso, PA, we are dedicated to helping people who have been injured in accidents recover compensation for their losses. Since 2000, Mr. LoRusso has focused his practice on personal injury law and has a track-record of success representing clients injured in a wide variety of incidents. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. LoRusso, call our office today at 954-715-3260 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

2 https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/

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