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Indianapolis Attorneys for Emotional and Psychological Scarring from Dog Bites

Every dog/animal bite carries risk, so seeking medical attention to prevent infection and scarring is always recommended. Medical professionals can make sure that serious physical damage from a bite is discovered and treated.

In addition to broken skin and infection, broken bones, and damage to nerves and muscles, there is psychological scarring that may occur when a dog bites. Even as the original physical damage heals, and long after follow-up treatments to address scarring from injury and infection are completed, the emotional trauma of a dog bite/attack may require attention and treatment.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog without provocation, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Let us help. Call the Indianapolis dog bite lawyers of Hankey Law Office for a free consultation about your case. We’ll determine whether you can pursue compensation and advise you about your next best steps. Call (317) 634-8565 today, or reach out to us online.

The Dog You Know

Attacks and injuries from dogs are invariably sudden. In America, most dog bite injuries are inflicted by pets, not strays. This means a visit with friends or family in a setting associated with comfort and security abruptly becomes a violent and traumatic episode. Treatment for the psychological trauma after a dog attack can be necessary to normalize and validate a person’s emotional response and healing process and to restore their ability to feel in control in different situations and settings.

dog bite trauma

Signs of Emotional Scarring after Trauma

There are signs and symptoms that might suggest emotional trauma from an animal attack or dog bite, such as:

  • Replaying the Trauma. Many victims of trauma find their minds repeatedly returning to the upsetting memory, working to make sense of the experience, or imagining different actions, responses, and outcomes.
  • Nightmares. After the nervous system has taken a major shock, the brain may continue to process the event with dream images of danger, dread, or being chased.
  • Flashbacks. These can be triggered by even a harmless echo of the original incident, bringing back a rush of emotions and vivid memories of the trauma.
  • Numbness. Sometimes in the wake of a traumatic event, an individual will shut down emotionally in an effort to minimize overwhelming emotional responses.
  • Avoiding Things Related to the Trauma. Some individuals work consciously and subconsciously to avoid people, places, or things related to the trauma they experienced.
  • Loss of Trust. After a traumatic event, especially when someone is the victim of an attack, that person may lose trust in others and seek to isolate themselves from settings that require a degree of trust.
  • Seeing the World as Extremely Dangerous. After a traumatic event, the world may be perceived as a very threatening place, and this concern may linger long after physical injuries have healed.
  • Fear and Anxiety. Medical and mental health professionals now understand that the fear following a traumatic incident can be as bad or worse than the fear response felt at the time of the trauma.
  • Anger. Anger is a very normal reaction to trauma. The injured person’s anger may be directed at themselves or at the person they feel is responsible. Victims of trauma may be more irritable than usual and have a hard time understanding why.
  • Grief and Sadness. Crying is part of the nervous system’s recovery from fight-or-flight reactions. Crying soothes the parasympathetic nervous system and calms the mind and body. Lingering sadness may be related to feelings that the world is a less safe place after a traumatic event.
  • Guilt and Blame. Victims of trauma may experience feelings of guilt that they were unable to prevent a damaging event. This can also extend to being upset with themselves for being upset.
  • Feeling Hypervigilant and Thinking They’re Weak. In the wake of an attack, a victim may feel they are inherently weak. This is exacerbated when the nervous system has had a shock. There can be a long interval when the nervous system is hyper-alert for future danger.

Most individuals will find these responses diminish over time, but they can wreak havoc on everyday living for varying periods of time. Seeking professional help can improve short- and long-term outcomes and help victims and their families recover.

How Do I Get Compensation for My Emotional/Psychological Scarring?

In order to pursue compensation for the emotional losses that come from a dog bite, you must prove that there was negligence on the part of the owner. In Indiana, an owner is liable for any injuries their pet inflicts on another person, provided that person didn’t provoke the dog. It will be important to have an experienced attorney on your team who can investigate the accident and gather evidence, witness testimony, and medical documentation to show that someone else caused your injuries.

Compensation for psychological injuries may be pursued in a claim or lawsuit after the dog bite, but you’ll need to show how the injuries have affected your emotional and mental state. Records from psychologists or psychiatrists can substantiate your claims. You could also keep a journal where you record the impact of your injury on your daily life. This journal can be used as evidence at trial to help show the extent of your psychological injuries.

If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

physical dog bite damage

Why Should I Choose Hankey Law Office?

Your best opportunity to get the compensation you deserve is to work with an advocate with experience in these injuries. We will manage any communications that are required with the insurance companies or the dog owner’s lawyer. You shouldn’t have to worry about these conversations. Your focus should be on healing, not on your claim.

At Hankey Law Office, we know what to do. We have over 80 years of combined experience helping those who were injured through no fault of their own obtain the compensation they need to heal and move on with their lives. We can explain the process. Our compassionate legal team will do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out today. We’re here to help.

Contact Hankey Law Office for Help Today

Call the Indianapolis dog bite lawyers of Hankey Law Office for a free consultation. Let our experienced professionals help. We can discuss your case with you and determine whether you’ll be eligible to pursue compensation. Don’t wait. Call (317) 634-8565, or contact us online today.