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Home > Common Mental Issues that Develop After a Dog Attack

Common Mental Issues that Develop After a Dog Attack

Mental health therapy

Being attacked by a dog often results in a myriad of physical complications, which may include everything from lacerations and bleeding to broken bones. What’s often overlooked, though, is the range of psychological issues that a person may develop after a dog attack.


Depression is a common mental illness from which a person attacked by a dog may suffer, and is more common if the person has suffered a debilitating or disfiguring injury. For example, a person who’s broken a leg due to a dog attack may feel depression about her inability to participate in enjoyable activities; or a person who suffered a noticeable scar from a dog bite may feel depressed about his disfigurement.

Fear and Anxiety

It is not uncommon for those attacked by a dog to experience fear and anxiety after the attack. In some cases, people will experience fear when interacting with dogs in the future – this can be especially true if the attack victim was a child. In addition to fear, a child or adult who is the victim of a dog attack may have anxiety about minor activities that could potentially include dogs, such as walking around the block.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect a victim after a frightening event, such as a dog attack. People struggling with PTSD may experience a variety of stress-related events.

  • Flashbacks related to the incident
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares

Each case is different and the patients may exhibit varying symptoms. PTSD can take years of therapy to treat and can be crippling for the patient suffering from it.

Dog Bite Liability in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a strict liability dog bite state if the victim suffered severe injuries or if the dog attacked somebody in the past. But even if the attack was not severe and even if the dog did not previously bite somebody, the owner may be strictly liable for the victim’s medical bills. A dog bite victim may also file a claim for compensation if the dog owner was negligent, allowing them to recover full damages.

Proving liability requires proper evidence, so seek consultation with a dog bite attorney. But act quickly because you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the dog attack. If a dog bit you, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC, can help you recover damages under Pennsylvania law. Please contact us today at 215-642-2335 for legal help.

Written By Michael L. Saile, Jr.
Written By Michael L. Saile, Jr.

Managing Attorney at Cordisco & Saile

Serving as a personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michael has been honored as both a Brain Injury Top 25 Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers and a 2024 Super Lawyer. He earned his J. D. at Widener University School of Law where he was a member of the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society. Saile is also the author of two publications titled “Not Another Bad Lawyer” and “Don’t Crash Again”.

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