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Physical and Emotional Dog Bite Injuries


Every year, animal attacks kill or seriously injure thousands of Americans. To obtain compensation for these injuries, these victims usually have several legal options. However, a number of insurance company defenses are available as well, mostly the provocation defense. Depending on the legal theory used and the extent of provocation, which is a physical act that’s almost like torture, the court could reduce or even eliminate the victim’s compensation.

So, a Seattle dog bite lawyer must build a strong case that begins with solid medical evidence. This proof must clearly show that doctors provided reasonably necessary services, and that future medical procedures might be necessary. This evidence must also include testimonial evidence about the bite and the effects of this bite. Finally, to obtain maximum compensation, an attorney must put all this evidence together in a compelling way.

Physical Injuries

Usually, animal attacks cause direct and indirect physical injuries. A Seattle personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation for both.

Typically, a large dog, like a rottweiler, lunges at a vulnerable victim, like a small child. The resulting knockdown usually causes head injuries and broken bones. Both these injuries are permanent.

Dead brain cells never regenerate. At best, a physical therapist can train uninjured parts of the brain to assume lost functions. Sometimes, brain cells shift instead of die. This shifting causes chemical changes in the brain. More on that below.

Broken bones usually heal, but they usually never entirely heal. Many victims suffer permanent lost range of motion in a joint. That’s especially true for older victims.

Then, when dogs bite, their sharp teeth cause severe tearing lacerations as well as very deep puncture wounds.

Most tearing lacerations require multiple reconstructive surgical procedures. Highly-skilled doctors must perform these procedures at expensive specialty hospitals. Once again, despite their best efforts, physical scars usually remain.

The puncture wounds usually impact internal organs and cause severe internal bleeding. Many victims lose as much as a fifth of their blood before they reach hospitals. Such injuries are especially devastating to small children who don’t have much blood to begin with.

Dog bite wounds have very high infection rates. Usually, medical negligence, generally a failure to properly supervise patients, causes such infections. Doctors have a very high duty of care, so almost any mistake is negligence, from a legal perspective. Generally, attorneys must file separate actions to obtain compensation for infection-related injuries.

Emotional Injuries

Strictly speaking, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a common dog bite-related injury among children, is a physical injury. However, it has emotional effects.

Extreme stress, like the terror of an animal attack, alters the brain’s chemical composition. The resulting imbalance causes symptoms like anger, fear, depression, and flashbacks.

Such symptoms, which are usually permanent, make it almost impossible for victims to function on a day-to-day basis. PTSD medicines control these symptoms, but these powerful drugs, which have powerful side-effects, weren’t designed for children. So, the cure is often worse than the disease, which is saying quite a bit.

Connect With a Hard-Hitting King County Lawyer

Dog bites cause serious physical and emotional injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Seattle, contact the Emerald Law Group. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.


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