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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from Dog Attacks

Posted on July 23rd, 2022

A dog attack can be an extremely traumatic and terrifying experience. While a dog bite may lead to physical injuries, many victims experience psychological symptoms as well. It is very common to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a dog attack, especially if the victim is a child.

If you or a loved one recently experienced a dog attack, it is important to receive both medical attention and psychological support. Recognizing PTSD early on can help reduce the severity of the symptoms and help you cope with the aftermath of the attack.

Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a mental health condition that occurs after you experience or witness a terrifying event. Many people associate PTSD with active combat, but this condition can develop after many violent and traumatic events, including dog bites.

Signs of PTSD usually manifest within the first month following the attack, but it can sometimes take years for the condition to develop. There are four groups of PTSD symptoms: intrusive memories; changes in physical and emotional reactions; avoidance; and negative changes in thinking and mood.

  • Intrusive Memories: These symptoms may include flashbacks, upsetting dreams or nightmares, and unwanted, distressing memories of the attack. You may also experience severe reactions to situations or objects that remind you of the trauma.
  • Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions: You may become more easily frightened or startled and experience difficulty sleeping or concentrating. You may begin to engage in self-destructive behavior or be prone to outbursts and aggression. It is also common to feel guilt, shame, and like you are constantly on edge. 
  • Avoidance: You may actively avoid people, activities, or places that remind you of the attack. You may also try to avoid thinking or talking about the event.
  • Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood: It is common to feel hopeless, numb, and detached after the attack. You may have negative thoughts and struggle to maintain close relationships or participate in daily activities.

Recovering Compensation for PTSD After a Dog Bite

PTSD can have a major impact on your life and radically change the way that you live, resulting in financial, emotional, and physical hardships. If a dog bite is responsible for your PTSD, you deserve justice.

In Washington state, dog owners are liable if their dog bites someone and causes injury. After a dog attack, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner and recover compensation to pay for medical care, pain and suffering, and other losses.

To secure compensation in your lawsuit, you will need to prove that the dog bit you and that you were not trespassing or provoking the animal at the time of the attack. By establishing these facts, you can hold the owner accountable and recover the settlement that you deserve.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Dog Bite Claim

If you were bitten by a dog in Washington state, you deserve justice. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can represent your lawsuit and hold the animal’s owner accountable for the losses that you suffered.

Your lawyer will work diligently to prove your right to a fair settlement, which will include compensation to pay for PTSD treatment. As soon as possible following your attack, contact a Washington dog bite attorney to plan your next steps.