DOG BITE ATTACKS CAN CAUSE BOTH PERMANENT PHYSICAL SCARRING AND PTSD

Yet another pit-bull attack in New Jersey resulting in serious wounds.  The Star Ledger recently reported that a 41 year-old woman from Union City was in her son’s apartment when her son’s two pit bulls attacked each other.  The woman and her son attempted to break up the fight when one of the pit bulls attacked them. The son received a minor bite on his hand and did not want to receive any medical attention. However, the woman had several puncture wounds on her right arm and was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center.

As a New Jersey dog bite lawyer, I can say that many of my clients have been attacked by pit-bulls or mixed breeds that likely had some pit bull in them.  However, the attacks also occur from a multitude of breeds and mixed breeds. The leading studies also reinforce this data.

It has been my experience that the more severe dog bite victims often endure severe puncture wounds, bone crushing or bone piercing injuries of the face, arms, head, legs or other body parts.  Unfortunately, often times it is not just the physical scarring that will endure but the emotional scarring that may have an even more detrimental permanent effect on the victim.    This may occur when the victim of a severe and brutal dog bite attack suffers emotional trauma in the form of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

The victims of severe dog bite attacks experiencing PTSD may lose the ability to cope with normal everyday situations.  For example; the victim may avoid many social situations for fear that a dog could be around.  Even a small non threatening dog could produce a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety to someone suffering from PTSD as a result of a dog attack.    This can be extremely debilitating and life altering.  The most severely affected dog bite victims will actually lose their freedom to just go for a simple walk around their neighborhood for fear of experiencing the horror once again. They relive the attack in their minds and something that may have lasted only a few seconds will seem like the longest moments of their lives. These victims endure their own “Vietnam War”. The PTSD can produce severe changes in the victim’s personality that may destroy their relationships and can even lead to the total breakdown of the family unit.

After a severe dog bite attack if the victim begins to experience any of the above symptoms, receiving a proper diagnosis by a competent mental health professional is extremely important.  While ongoing long term psychotherapy may work well for some individuals, for others it is just too stressful and anxiety producing to re-enter the darkest and scariest moments of his or her life.

Keep an eye out for future posts on this blog where I plan on revealing the problems with the laws in the state of New Jersey as they relate to the procedures that are to be taken by the authorities after a dog bite attack. My opinions are based on my experiences in representing victims of dog bite attacks in places like Paterson and Freehold as well as counties such as Bergen, Monmouth, Middlesex, Passaic and Ocean Counties.

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