Dog Attack Scarring Claims, Lawsuits and Lawyers
A dog bite may last only a few terrifying and agonizing minutes, but the physical and mental scars the victim suffers may last for a lifetime. The “marks” typically associated with a dog bite or dog attack include not only the imprint and/or puncture wounds left by the dog’s teeth but also lacerations from the dog’s claws and where skin has been pulled apart. Even with prompt medical care, physical scars can develop and impact a person’s appearance – especially if these scars are located on the person’s face or other areas of the body typically exposed by the person’s clothing. However, mental “scars” can exist even if there are no physical scars present. The mental and emotional trauma of a dog bite or dog attack can leave the victim afraid to leave his or her own house, engage in activities he or she once enjoyed, and/or unable to be the vicinity of another dog.
Repairing Physical Scarring Left by a Dog Attack
The severity and location of the dog bite or dog attack wounds will (in part) determine the severity of the scarring that will result. Puncture wounds and/or teeth imprints may heal naturally and leave little or no scarring at all, while deep, tearing wounds on the face may leave significant scarring. Scar tissue may appear as raised skin and/or may be discolored compared to the surrounding skin.
Obtaining prompt medical treatment for a dog bite or dog attack wound may lessen the appearance of any scarring, but even this cannot prevent all physical scars. Thankfully for the victims of vicious dog attacks, medical procedures may be available to help lessen the appearance of scars, including:
- Tissue rearrangement, a procedure in which healthy tissue from one area of the body is removed and attached to the damaged area. This procedure helps the wounded area heal faster and can help minimize the appearance of scarring.
- Skin grafts involve transplanting skin (and not the underlying tissue, which is the case in a tissue rearrangement procedure) from one area of the body to the wounded area. Skin grafts can be very beneficial in cases where the dog has inflicted severe puncture wounds and/or lacerations to the skin in that these procedures promote better healing, reduce the chances that a person will be left with prominent scarring, and can permit the victim to leave the hospital sooner (if he or she was hospitalized as a result of the attack).
- Muscle grafts are used in cases where the dog bite or attack has exposed and damaged muscle tissue. The principle behind a muscle graft is the same as that behind tissue rearrangement and skin graft procedures – healthy muscle tissue is used to replace damaged muscle tissue in the victim’s body. Unlike the other procedures, though, the healthy muscle tissue is often obtained from donors, not from the victim him- or herself. This means there is an increased risk that the procedure will not be successful.
- Dermabrasion is not as invasive a procedure as the other corrective procedures discussed. In this procedure, the medical professional uses a rotary tool to scrape away top layers of skin. Thus, discolored scar tissue appearing near the surface of the skin may be “scraped away” to reveal lighter, healthier skin underneath. Dermabrasion cannot “erase” a scar completely, but it can assist in reducing the scar’s appearance.
These cosmetic procedures can be expensive and may not be covered by a person’s own health insurance policy. Thankfully, however, the cost of these procedures can often be obtained through a successful dog bite lawsuit. In order to have the highest chance of recovering monetary damages to pay for such procedures, it is crucial that the dog bite victim request such damages at the outset of his or her case. A dog bite attorney can help ensure this important detail is accomplished.
When Scarring is Psychological in Nature
In addition to physical scars, dog attacks often leave the victim with significant mental trauma as well. Just as evidence of physical scarring can remain even after corrective procedures are attempted, so too mental scars can persist despite treatment. Counseling and psychotherapy may be able to assist the victim in overcoming fears or phobias preventing him or her from returning to a “normal” life, and compensation for these services may be available through a dog bite lawsuit as well.
Contact a Dog Scar Injury Attorney Today
Fully recovering from a dog attack that leaves scarring involves not only repairing physical and psychological scars left after the attack but also compensating the injury victim for the financial costs and burdens associated with these procedures. Stern Law, PLLC is committed to helping victims left with scars do just this. We can assist you in determining what procedures and services can assist you in minimizing the effects and impacts of scars and pursue compensation for these procedures and services against the dog’s negligent owner. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.