Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from Dog Bite
When someone gets injured from a dog bite, the damage can go beyond the physical. Sometimes there is emotional harm suffered as well, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the dog bite. Learn how this can affect a victim and its impact on a personal injury claim.
Under what circumstances could a dog bite victim suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder?Dog bite trauma can leave a person shaken. But for some people the impact is much more severe and can last a long period of time. In some cases it could even become debilitating, affecting the individual's ability to function on a daily basis. When someone gets bitten by a dog, it can trigger PTSD. Different factors can influence the risk of this condition, such as the type of injuries sustained. The more severe or disfiguring, the greater the risk might be. Also, the circumstances surrounding the incident can cause emotional injury. For instance, a victim chased by the dog or attacked by a pack of dogs might believe the experience to be more traumatic.
What are the symptoms of PTSD and what are some types of treatment?Everyone's experience is different. But some patients with PTSD may replay the event over and over again in their mind. This can interfere with sleep and the ability to function at home or work. Other symptoms of PTSD include unwarranted fears, anxiety and depression. Some people have difficulty with relationships and experience changes in behavior. PTSD after a dog bite can affect someone for months or longer. It's not something a person should ignore and hope goes away. Treatment is important. For some this may include medication. Therapy is another option, whether the counseling is individualized or group sessions. Specialized types of therapy include cognitive and exposure therapy. Another example is something called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) where the patient focuses on certain distractions when discussing the dog bite incident. It's critical to meet with a doctor to learn the right type of treatment.
Can I receive compensation for PTSD after a dog bite?It's possible to recover damages in a claim for a variety of financial losses such as medical bills and missed time from work. But if there's evidence of PTSD, you may qualify to receive compensation for that as well. This may lead to noneconomic damages as well as economic damages for the required therapy and treatment. West Virginia features strict liability for dog bites by dogs running at large. So if the dog was running loose, then the owner is automatically liable for the bite. But otherwise, the state has a 'one bite rule,' meaning that a dog owner may be liable if the dog previously bit someone, showed that it was dangerous, or if the owner was negligent and the negligence is related to the bite.