Dog bite and attack injuries can be quite significant. There may be skin, tissue, and muscle damage. In some situations, there may be extensive nerve damage. Skin grafts, invasive reconstructive procedures, and cosmetic surgeries may be required in certain cases.
Once the injuries heal, there may be significant scarring. Under the laws of Pennsylvania, victims of dog bite attacks may be able to obtain financial compensation for the bite/attack incident, including compensation for financial losses such as medical bills in addition to pain and suffering damages for the traumatic physical and mental injuries.
In order to develop the pain and suffering damages adequately, the nature and extent of the physical injuries and the scarring must be documented well. While of course medical records will be important to show the treatment course, pictures and videotape footage can be incredibly helpful in documenting the extent of the suffering.
Different types of scars may develop, such as hypertrophic scars, keloid scars and/or atrophic scars. Hypertrophic and keloid scars cause the skin to excessively grow around the affected area, causing red, raised tissue to appear in varying degrees. Atrophic scars look sunken and typically develop when there has been loss of fat or muscle tissue.
The development of a scar generally takes place over several months or even years, depending on the extent of the surgical treatment. Therefore, it is important to have pictures taken at each stage of the healing process. For example, in a dog bite situation where the victim’s arm needed reconstructive surgery and resulted in extensive scarring, it would be beneficial to take pictures in the beginning to demonstrate the extent of the wound and then periodically over time to show how the scar developed.
Depending on the location of the scar, it may be important to provide a point of reference by way of a ruler or other measuring tool so that an individual viewing the picture, such as a judge or a jury member, would be able to determine exactly how large the scar was at a given point in time.
Depending on the location of the scar, even after the scar has healed and is fully developed, there may be residual pain in the area. This is especially the case with more serious scars, such as atrophic scars.
For lower leg dog bite injuries that involve say, the joint in the knee, there may be residual pain when walking due to the stretching of the scar. In order to properly show the nature and extent of these types of permanent and residual issues, it is important to have the issues documented by way of testimony of friends, coworkers, family members, etc. For instance, a coworker or friend may be able to testify that the victim had noticeable pain in the months or even years after the injury healed, due to scarring.
Each dog bite case is unique and the pain and suffering damages must be developed in order to provide a full picture of the extent of the short and long term injuries.
If you or a loved one would like to discuss your rights regarding a dog bite case in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please feel free to contact our dog bite lawyers. We have handled many dog bite cases with much success. 877.944.8396