After your child is bitten by a dog, you may believe that you are not entitled to compensation because the injuries were not severe. After all, 81% of dog bites do not require medical treatment. Your child might not have been hospitalized, or the medical bills might not have been very high, but you should take into consideration the emotional impact that the dog bite had on your child.
Emotional Distress Caused By a Dog Bite
You may be entitled to compensation for the emotional stress that your child suffered due to a dog bite. You could even make the case that your child suffered emotional distress due to witnessing someone else being bitten by a dog.
Emotional distress cases can be more difficult because the judge or jury will often not be sympathetic if the following is true:
- They believe that your case is ridiculous
- You are in a state that doesn't often award damages for emotional distress
- Your child was not attacked and was not in a zone of danger
A zone of danger is an area in which your child could have possibly been bitten by the dog. For example, if your child saw a dog bite on television, this would not be a sufficient reason to consider litigation.
The Emotional Effects of a Dog Bite
A child bitten by a dog might become afraid of dogs and other animals, which can lead to the loss of companionship. Some children bitten by dogs also show symptoms of PTSD. Dog bites are much scarier for children because children are shorter than adults, and some dogs can very easily bite a child's face. To a child, the size of a dog could be compared to the size of a bear from the perspective of an adult.
Some children remain silent after being bitten by a dog, and you may not even know that the incident impacted your child on a deep emotional level. Therefore, you should always have your child speak to a therapist after a potentially traumatic event, and you should always turn to a personal injury attorney afterward. A psychological evaluation from a trained therapist can serve as credible evidence that your child deserves compensation for any emotional scars.
Dogs that have a history of aggression should not be around children at all. However, your child might be bitten by a stranger's dog that was not on a leash or was in the home of a neighbor you visited. Therefore, you will need to speak with a personal injury attorney to receive the representation you deserve.Share