Do I Have a Lawsuit if I was Bitten by a Dog, But Did Not Suffer Physical Injuries?

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Bitten by a Dog

Determining Damages in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Our dog bite attorneys in Huntington Beach have represented a number of individuals who have been seriously injured in a dog attack. However, not every dog attack incident results in major injuries. Sometimes, you may only suffer a few scratches as a result of falling down or sustain minor physical injuries as a result of the dog bite incident. So, in these cases, you may be left wondering if you still have a case. The answer is: Maybe.

How Has the Incident Affected You?

Again, as personal injury lawyers, we have often observed that any type of injury-causing incident not only results in physical trauma and harm, but it also causes emotional distress. Dog attacks and dog bites are no exceptions. A dog bite could result in severe physical injuries from puncture wounds, severe bleeding to broken bones and nerve injuries. However, in addition to physical injuries, victims also often suffer unseen psychological and emotional injuries.

Psychological and Emotional Damage

orange county california dog bite

There are a number of psychological and emotional conditions that result from dog attacks including:

Fear of Dogs

This is one of the common phobias people have and is even more common among those who have been attacked by dogs. This fear is persistent and often excessive. People fear dogs to such an extent that they may avoid going to the beach, park or other public areas where dogs may be present. They may avoid visiting a home where dogs are present. People with this type of phobia experience symptoms such as panic attacks, anxiety, nausea, dizziness and even heart palpitations when they encounter dogs.


A dog attack often triggers post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD among victims. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD include mood swings, recurring bad dreams, insomnia, memory issues and withdrawn behavior. PTSD is a condition that requires prompt attention and if left untreated, could lead to lifelong issues as symptoms intensify.

Emotional Effects on Children

Dog attacks can severely affect children psychologically even if they are not severely injured. Because of children’s smaller size, the trauma seems so much more magnified from their perspective. Also, children do not process feelings and emotions as adults do. So they tend to hold on to the trauma and continue to suffer psychological symptoms as they grow older.

Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit

If you have suffered emotional or psychological trauma as a result of an Orange County dog attack, you can file a personal injury lawsuit, even if you have suffered little or no physical harm. In such cases, you could claim medical expenses, if any. You could seek dog bite compensation for wages lost because of your inability to work or perform your job. You could also seek reimbursement for any counseling sessions you needed and for the emotional distress the incident caused. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, please contact an experienced dog bite lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you secure fair and full compensation for your losses.

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About The Author

Attorney Tim Ryan, author of "The Personal Injury Victim's Bible", has assisted thousands of injury victims, obtaining more than $1 billion for his clients collectively since 1981.

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