sad woman from dog bite injury

Can I Get Emotional Damages From a Dog Bite?

Victims of dog bites can seek compensation for their injuries and damages from the dog owner or other legally liable party. Physicians, insurance companies, and the victims often focus on the physical injuries and financial losses caused by dog bites. However, dog bites and dog attacks can cause emotional damages that can be just as debilitating and difficult to overcome as a physical injury.

Our Chicago dog bite attorney helps clients recover compensation for all damages caused by dog bites. We work with you and your medical providers to document your damages, including the emotional trauma and mental anguish caused by the attack. 

What Is Emotional Distress After a Dog Bite?

Being attacked or bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. You may develop a fear of dogs and other animals. Some victims of dog bites develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psychological conditions. In one study, over one-half of the children who were victims of dog bites had symptoms of PTSD. 

In addition to the attack, a victim may suffer severe mental anguish and emotional distress because of the medical care necessary to treat the injuries. Dog bite injuries that result in permanent disfigurement or impairments may also increase the emotional damages caused by a dog bite. 

A person with permanent scarring could experience negative consequences related to self-esteem, education, careers, social activities, and personal relationships. For children, facial scarring from a dog bite can have a substantial impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Examples of emotional damages caused by dog bites include:

  • PTSD
  • Fear 
  • Anxiety
  • Flashbacks
  • Night terrors
  • Embarrassment
  • Depression
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Emotional damages can lead to sleep disturbances, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Dog bite victims should seek mental health treatment for their psychological injuries caused by a dog attack or dog bite. It is equally important to treat the emotional injuries after a dog bite as it is the physical injuries.

Proving Emotional Damages After a Dog Bite

Measuring the value of emotional damages after a dog bite can be challenging. The symptoms of emotional damages are self-reported. Insurance companies may allege that the person is exaggerating or making up their symptoms.

Documenting your emotional damages is crucial to recovering fair compensation for these damages. Seeking mental health treatment is one of the best ways to document your emotional damages caused by a dog bite.

You may also want to start a journal detailing your recovery from a dog bite or dog attack. Journals can provide evidence of ongoing struggles with depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. A journal also details how your emotional distress impacted your daily life, such as missing family celebrations, fear of going outside, negative emotions regarding your scars, and inability to find a job or continue your education. 

The insurance company for the dog owner will not tell the actual value of your dog bite claim. An attorney understands how to use the above information to support a claim for compensation for emotional damages. Working with an experienced dog bite lawyer can ensure that you do not undervalue your claim because you are unaware of the actual value of emotional damages.

Contact Our Chicago Dog Bite Attorney for a Free Consultation 

An experienced dog bite attorney in Chicago can correctly value the damages caused by a dog bite injury. After analyzing the extent of your injuries and your financial losses, our Chicago dog bite attorney fights for maximum compensation of all damages. If a dog injured you or your child, reach out to our office for a free case review.