The Trauma of Being Chased and Attacked by a Dog

November 18th 2012 by

Dog attacks can be physically, financially and emotionally devastating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.7 million people are bitten and approximately 800,000 Americans require medical attention for dog bites each year. It is unclear, however, as to how many dog bite victims suffer from post-traumatic stress because of the attack.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can be triggered by a terrifying or traumatic event. Depending on the circumstances of the attack, a dog bite can prove traumatic and terrifying enough to have long-term physical and psychological effects on the victim. Victims of traumatic experiences such as dog attacks may have difficulty adjusting and coping for a considerable amount of time. Symptoms may include flashbacks, severe anxiety and nightmares.

It is common for these types of symptoms to lessen over the weeks following the attack. In some cases, however, the symptoms actually get worse or last for months or years. In extreme cases, PTSD symptoms can completely alter an individual’s quality of life. A recent study by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reports that therapy for the trauma that occurs after a dog attack should be started as soon as possible. It is crucial that children receive counseling about the event right away. It is important that adults seek care as well. It is more common for children to experience long-term affects, but dog attacks can be terrifying for victims of any age.

The initial emergency care, hospitalization, lost wages and counseling costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, victims have the right to pursue compensation for their losses. A skilled Michigan dog bite lawyer can help injured victims pursue financial support for all expenses stemming from a traumatic dog attack.

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