Many people in Connecticut and throughout the country have dogs as pets and companions. Although dogs are widely referred to as man’s best friend, they sometimes attack. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the U.S. each year. The wounds themselves typically heal for most people who suffer dog bites, but for some, there are long-term physical and emotional effects.
The physical wounds are what come to mind when most people think about the effects of dog bites. Such injuries often require stitches and other medical treatments. Though, it is common for such attacks to leave scarring or disfigurement, even with medical interventions.
For some, these visible injuries may be improved or eliminated altogether. In other cases, however, they may be permanent and accompanied by mobility issues or paralysis or require amputation. These long-term effects may affect the ability of those who are attacked by dogs to work to support themselves and their families or otherwise interfere with their daily lives and activities.
Infections and diseases
Dogs, like most other animals, carry a host of germs in their mouths. This puts people who suffer dog bites at risk for the development of infections, such as sepsis. The risk of developing a serious infection may be greater for those who suffer from certain health conditions, including liver disease and diabetes. Some diseases, like rabies, may be passed from a dog to a human through a bite. Left untreated or addressed inappropriately, these secondary infections or diseases could result in death.
Emotional and psychological issues
Whether the physical injuries are minor or severe, being attacked by a dog may be a harrowing experience. The trauma of the event may cause some to develop emotional or psychological issues. These may include nightmares, flashbacks, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depending on factors, such as the severity of their conditions, people’s personal or professional lives may be significantly impacted by these issues.
For some, the emotional effects of being bitten by a dog may resolve with time. For others, however, they may persist well after the incident or trouble them throughout their lives.
Following a dog attack, people in Connecticut and elsewhere may require medical treatment to address the immediate wounds and help prevent lasting damage. This may lead to undue medical expenses, in addition to lost income while they are off work recovering. Under some circumstances, the dog’s owner may be liable for these and other resulting losses. Thus, it may benefit those who have been injured due to dog bites to consult with a lawyer. An attorney will explain their rights and help them understand their legal options.