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The real cost of dog bite injuries

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Dog Bites

Dog bites often result in injuries that go beyond just the physical pain. The aftermath of a dog attack may involve a complex and costly medical journey.  For those hurt by a dog bite, knowing what medical care they might need and understanding the costs involved are key steps to getting better and managing the situation.

What care might someone need to heal after a dog bite?

The journey to recovery after a dog bite can involve various medical procedures, from initial emergency care to possible long-term rehabilitation. The path to healing may include:

  • Emergency treatment – The first step is usually a visit to the emergency room to clean and assess the wound. This may involve stitches for minor bites or more extensive procedures for severe injuries.
  • Reconstructive surgery – The numbers tell us that thousands of people each year need surgery to fix the damage to their skin and muscles and to make the injured area look better. In 2022 alone, 18,917 individuals needed such surgeries, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
  • Rabies and tetanus shots – If the dog’s vaccination history is unknown, victims may need shots to prevent rabies and tetanus, which are additional costs to consider.
  • Physical therapy – Some dog bites result in reduced mobility or function, necessitating physical therapy to help the victim regain strength and flexibility.
  • Psychological counseling – The harm from a dog bite is not only physical. Dog bites can lead to psychological trauma, such as fear of dogs or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may require professional counseling.

Because no two dog bites are exactly the same, each person’s recovery plan will be different, addressing both their physical and emotional healing.

How much could that care cost?

Unfortunately, each of the treatments dog bite victims undergo comes with its own set of complexities and costs, and those costs can add up quickly. The Insurance Information Institute tells us that the average insurance claim for a dog bite in 2022 was an eye-opening $64,555. Unfortunately, even an insurance claim might not fully cover the financial impact of a bite.

With the high price of medical care, the impact of a dog bite can be significant. Those who have been bitten have to deal with a potentially long and tough recovery. They also have to navigate insurance claims and possibly legal action to cover their costs. However, it is important to remember that, with help, dog bite victims and their families can make path forward to secure the compensation they deserve.