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Dog Bite PTSD: Can I Sue?

Millions of US citizens suffer from dog bite injuries every year, and thousands of these victims require emergency medical attention. These attacks don’t just leave victims with physical scars and injuries — they often cause serious emotional distress and ongoing trauma. 

If you were the victim of a dog attack, you may struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. You have the right to seek damages against the dog’s owner to recover compensation for your PTSD, but proving you have this trauma can be challenging. While the physical effects of a dog bite are usually apparent, such as puncture wounds and fractures, the resulting emotional impact and trauma are harder to substantiate. 

For this reason, you must consult with a dog bite accident attorney who can help you with your case. Fortunately, you can discuss your claim for free with one of the experienced dog bite injury attorneys at Crossen Law Firm

What Is PTSD?

dog bite victims

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental health affliction that victims develop from experiencing or witnessing distressing events.

People often discuss PTSD in the context of military veterans because it’s exceedingly common for these individuals to suffer from the condition. The reality is that anyone can develop PTSD from a traumatic episode, especially victims of car accidents, assaults, and dog bites.

Dog attack survivors may suffer from PTSD as a result of the incident itself or its resulting injuries. For instance, if a dog bite left you with permanent scarring or disfigurement, you may develop PTSD from the event or the physical impact. 

While post-traumatic stress disorder is often hard to spot, it can seriously harm a person’s livelihood. Those with PTSD may struggle to work, engage socially, and enjoy life. 

If you’re grappling with PTSD after a dog attack or another incident, it’s important to seek mental health treatment from a licensed professional, such as a psychologist or counselor. Depending on your situation, you may also require prescription medications to treat PTSD symptoms. 

Symptoms of Dog Bite PTSD

If you or a loved one was assaulted by a dog, be on the lookout for these PTSD symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fear of dogs
  • Difficulty with pre-injury activities, such as going outside and working
  • Invasive and difficult memories
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sudden hostility and mood swings
  • Avoiding situations that may trigger memories of that attack
dog bite ptsd

Sadly, dog bite PTSD is incredibly common among children. 

If a dog bit your child, you should watch for these signs of PTSD:

  • Fear of dogs
  • Trouble in school
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Wetting the bed

Recovering Compensation for Dog Bite PTSD

If you develop PTSD from a dog bite, you have every right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. 

One important note regarding dog-bite accident claims in Indiana is that our state uses the “one-bite” rule. Essentially, this means that a dog owner might not be liable for damages if their pet has never attacked someone or shown previous signs of aggression. 

That said, you can still recover compensation if the dog owner was negligent in some way. If they could have prevented the attack, they should still be liable for your injuries. 

Proving You Suffer From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Although physical dog bite injuries are typically evident and come with quantifiable expenses, PTSD is more challenging. The affliction can be difficult to prove and it’s not always clear how much compensation to pursue. You’ll need to work with an experienced dog bite attorney to help you through the process. 

In the meantime, you can retain evidence of your condition to corroborate your insurance claim. 

Some forms of evidence may include:

  • Medical bills related to your PTSD, such as therapy visits
  • Eyewitness accounts substantiating the traumatic nature of the incident
  • Prescriptions
  • A personal journal documenting how your condition has affected your life
  • Expert medical testimony
  • Testimony from family, friends, and co-workers regarding your condition

How Long After the Attack Can I File for PTSD Damages?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Indiana is two years, and this includes dog bite cases. You have two years after the traumatic incident to file a claim or lawsuit for PTSD and any physical injuries you suffered. 

Contact an Indiana Dog Bite Attorney Today

As we’ve discussed, it can be challenging to prove post-traumatic stress disorder after a dog bite. Fortunately, you don’t need to go through the legal process alone — you can contact a dog bite lawyer to assist with the entire process. 

An experienced attorney will ensure you can receive the most money possible for pain and suffering damages. These damages are meant to compensate you for post-traumatic stress disorder. A lawyer will also help maximize your compensation for other damages, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings. 

For expert dog bite attorneys in Indianapolis, contact the Crossen Law Firm legal team. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers today here or by calling 317-401-8626.