If you’ve been attacked by a dog, then you know the pain and suffering the resulting injuries can cause. But even after the pain begins to fade, the scars from dog bites can be life-long reminders of the trauma you faced, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Following a dog attack, scarring can also impact your social and professional life, and treatment to reverse scarring can be expensive. Fortunately, victims of dog bite scars may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
At The Millar Law Firm, we have been successfully defending dog bite victims for three decades. Here are the facts you should know and how to seek compensation for your lasting injuries and scars.
What Can Cause Scars from Dog Attacks
The severity of dog bite scarring can depend on several factors related to the bite itself and the victim’s personal health. Here are some elements that can determine the likelihood of scarring from a dog bite:
- Severity of the bite: The deeper and more damaging the bite, the more likely it is to leave a permanent scar.
- Location of the bite: Scars are more likely to form on areas of the body with thin skin, such as the face, neck, and hands.
- Victim’s healing process: Age, health, and other factors can play a major role in how well a victim can heal.
- Infection: If a dog bite becomes infected, it is more likely to leave a scar.
It is important to note that even a small dog bite can leave scarring. If you’ve attacked by any dog, seeking immediate medical attention can be crucial to preventing or minimizing lasting scars.
How Are Dog Bite Scars Treated?
Treating dog bite scars can be a long process that requires multiple procedures. Here are several treatment options that may be recommended to help minimize scarring:
- Steroid injections can help reduce the inflammation and swelling of scar tissue, which can make them less noticeable. These injections are usually done in a doctor’s office or a cosmetic surgery clinic under local anesthesia.
- Dermabrasion is a procedure that uses a specialized device to sand down the top layer of skin, which includes the scar tissue. This allows new skin to grow in and can improve the appearance of scarring over time.
- Laser resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that uses lasers to remove the top layer of skin, which can help improve the appearance of scars and other skin imperfections.
- Chemical peel is a procedure that uses a chemical solution to remove the top layer of skin.
- Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses extreme cold to destroy tissue. In the case of dog bite scars, cryotherapy helps break down scar tissue so it can be reabsorbed by the body. This can help to improve the appearance of the scar, making it less raised and red. Cryotherapy is a non-surgical procedure, which means that there is typically little risk of infection or scarring.
- Surgical revision is a type of surgery used to improve the appearance of scars. It is often used to treat dog bite scars that are raised, red, or discolored.
In surgical revisions, the doctor makes an incision in the scar tissue and removes it, then close the incision with stitches or staples. Surgical revisions can be an effective treatment to help severe scars appear flatter and less noticeable. However, because it is a surgical procedure, there is some risk of complications, such as infection or additional scarring.
Each procedure will have a different recovery process and timeline and may require you to take time away from work or school. Depending on the severity of your scarring, multiple treatments of the same kind or a combination of treatments may be required. Additionally, because these procedures can be expensive, you’ll want to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you receive compensation for the treatments you need.
How a Settlement Is Impacted When a Scar Is Permanent
The amount of compensation a victim can recover for scarring will depend on the severity and location of the scars, the treatments needed, and the impact the scarring has on the victim’s life.
Here are some factors that may be considered when determining the value of a dog bite claim involving scarring:
- The victim’s age: Younger victims are more likely to be awarded more compensation for scarring, as they have more years of life ahead of them to deal with the emotional and physical impacts of the scarring.
- The victim’s occupation: Victims who work in jobs that require them to be seen by the public, such as actors or models, may be awarded more compensation for scarring, as it could have a negative impact on their ability to earn a living.
- The location of the scars: Scars on the face or neck tend to result in more compensation because they are more visible and can have a greater impact on a victim’s self-esteem and quality of life.
- The victim’s emotional state: Victims who suffer from emotional distress because of the scarring may be awarded more compensation.
- The cost of medical treatments needed: The cost of any medical treatments that the victim has received for the scarring will also be considered when determining the value of the claim.
Permanent disfigurement can include scarring, loss of a limbs or other body parts, or other changes in the victim’s appearance that are not likely to heal on their own or with medical treatment.
These injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s life, both physically and emotionally. It can make it difficult to find employment, socialize, or even perform everyday tasks. In some cases, permanent disfigurement can also lead to psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression.
The amount of compensation you can recover for permanent disfigurement will vary depending on the severity, the location, and the impact of the disfigurement on your life.
In general, more severe disfigurement will result in a higher settlement amount. Disfigurement on the face or neck also typically result in a higher settlement, as this is more noticeable than on other parts of the body. Disfigurement that has a significant impact on your life, such as causing you to lose your job or have difficulty socializing, will also result in a higher award amount.
Compensation for Dog Bite Scarring
Scarring can be both physically and emotionally devastating, and it can have a significant impact on a victim’s quality of life. In a settlement for a dog bite injury case, scarring can be compensated for in the following ways:
- Medical expenses: The victim may be able to recover the cost of any medical treatments they received for their scars, such as scar revision surgery, laser therapy, or cryotherapy.
- Pain and suffering: The victim may also be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced due to their scars. This includes both physical and emotional pain.
- Lost wages: If the victim has been unable to work due to their scars or recovery, they may be able to recover compensation for lost wages.
- Emotional distress: The victim may also be able to recover compensation for emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem due to their scars.
If you have been injured in a dog bite attack and have scarring as a result, you should speak to an experienced dog bite attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you determine the value of your claim and pursue a settlement for you.
At The Millar Law Firm, we offer a free first consultation. At this meeting, we will learn the details of your story and assess your claim to discover what and how much compensation you may be entitled to recover.
If we all agree to move forward with your claim, we will then gather evidence and begin the process of recovering full and fair compensation for your damages. We have decades of experience representing dog bite victims. This gives us a clear advantage when it comes to winning the best compensation package possible for our clients. Allow us to help put the trauma of a dog attack behind you, so you can move on with your life.