Last Updated: 7/20/2023

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, more than 27,000 people were the victims of dog attacks that resulted in reconstructive surgery. Additionally, one in five people who are bitten by a dog, or approximately 885,000 people each year, requires medical attention.

While some dog bites are minor, others can cause long-term and permanent injuries, both physically and mentally. If you’ve been the victim of a dog attack, a personal injury attorney can help you to recover the damages to which you’re entitled. The following provides a brief rundown of long-term dog attack effects.

Physical Disfigurement

While not all dog bites result in permanent injury, some dog attacks can result in physical disfigurement.

  • permanent scars.
  • paralysis or partial paralysis.
  • mobility problems.
  • and, amputation.

In some cases, plastic or reconstructive surgery can remedy the disfigurement. However, certain types of physical disfigurement, such as paralysis, cannot always be corrected. In cases such as these, the victim of the dog attack must learn to cope with disfigurement and disability for the rest of his or her life.

Mental and Emotional Trauma

Mental and emotional dog attack effects can also be devastating. Some victims, including children who are attacked by dogs, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example.

According to the VA National Center for PTSD, the effects of trauma on children and adolescents may include the following.

  • acting out the incident while playing.
  • fear, worry, stress, and anger.
  • feelings of loneliness.
  • aggression.
  • inappropriate or unusual sexual behavior.
  • self-harm.
  • abuse of alcohol or drugs.
  • and, impulsive behavior.

Additionally, a child attacked by a dog may develop an attachment disorder characterized by crying, whimpering, or fear when separated from a parent; exhibiting signs of extreme withdrawal or disruptive behavior; or experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, depression, and more. In adults, the latter symptoms are common for those attacked by dogs.

Infections and Disease

It’s rare for a person to become infected with a dangerous or deadly disease upon being attacked by a dog, but it does happen. While many of these infections and diseases are treatable, some can cause long-term damage or may even be deadly. For example, some dogs that bite are infected with rabies, in which case the person may also become infected with rabies. If left untreated, rabies can be deadly.

When wound infections are left untreated, they can often spread to other parts of the body, causing severe repercussions for a person’s health.

  • disfigurement.
  • sepsis.
  • amputation.
  • loss of function.
  • and, death.

Talk to an Attorney about Recovering Damages for Dog Attack Effects

If a dog has attacked you, it’s important that you seek medical care immediately and report the dog attack as soon as possible. In addition, seek the advice of a personal injury attorney about the damages related to the dog attack effects you’re experiencing.

When a dog attack results in serious injury, the owner may be liable. In cases such as these, you may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

Walker, Billingsley & Bair understands how traumatic a dog attack can be. For help understanding your rights as a victim of a dog attack in Iowa, as well as what the next step is for getting the damages you deserve, our attorneys are here to help. If you need an attorney to answer your legal questions and help you to file your personal injury claim, contact us at (888) 435-9886 or use our contact form.

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.