Can a Sign “Beware of Dog” Legally Protect Dog Owners From Lawsuits?

Dog owners usually place a sign “Beware of Dog” on their fences. This is a warning that should inform people that there is a dog in the house or yard, but also to make trespassers think twice before they walk on the property.
But, the truth is, this sign does not do much if the dog is aggressive and puts visitors in danger.

When a dog attacks someone, the dog owner may be found liable for the injuries. If you are a dog owner, this means that the victim has the right to seek compensation for their injures. If you were bitten by a dog, you should consult with an Indianapolis personal injury attorney if you want to seek a compensation claim.

People are not entirely sure whether the sign keeps the dog owner at bay, so if they got attacked by the dog, they believe they stand no chance to get the settlement.

The sign won’t keep people from filing a lawsuit

If you have a dog and place the sign “Beware of Dog” at the door, you are not immune from lawsuits. 

In fact, these signs can make it even easier for the plaintiff’s attorney. The court might agree that by putting the sign, that you were aware that your dog is aggressive. In this case, the sign may only mean that you let others know about the risk of walking on your property (or even just passing by).

If a person gets bitten even if they saw the sign, and you did nothing to prevent the bites, you will hold responsibility. 

Things will not go in your favor if your dog previously has bitten another other people. So, the court might assume that you knew your dog was aggressive and did nothing to protect people from it. 

What to do?

If you are still going to post a sign to avoid potential lawsuits, it would be a good idea if you use neutral words. You can pick a sign that says “No Trespassing” for example. 

This way you are simply telling people to keep away from your property. If someone trespasses, they are committing a crime. So, if a person enters your property and gets attacked by your dog, you may not be responsible for the action, because the person unlawfully entered your property. 

There was a sign at the fence; the dog bite you

Getting bitten by a dog can be quite a traumatic experience, not to mention potential health risks you are exposed to. But, if there was a “Beware of Dog” sign on the fence, you may be in a favorable position. Your lawyer will decide if the sign will play an important part in your case. In some situations, the sign may be entirely insignificant. 

Numerous factors will play a part in determining liability in dog bite cases. Let’s check them.

What did the owner do to protect the public?

The main question when a dog is aggressive and the owner knows that their dog is a threat to public safety, is what did the owner do to protect the public? 

Keeping the dog behind a fence is not enough. The dog can simply jump the fence and attack someone who passes by. 

To take an actual step to prevent the public from the dog, the owner should put the dog on a leash or have them in a gated kennel (especially when the dog is alone). 

Severity of the wounds

The severity of the wounds will determine the settlement amount. The severity of the wounds will not determine whether you have a case. If the victim has severe and permanent wounds, they are likely to get a higher settlement. The claim will cover medical fees, lost wages, and other tangible losses. 

You may have a case if you were bitten by an aggressive dog

If you were bitten by a dog, make sure you get the needed medical help first. Then, do yourself a favor and contact an attorney who has experience in this area and let him or her determine if you have a case. 

Dog bites are not uncommon, unfortunately. Many dog owners are not keeping their pets properly, which is why such cases raise day by day.

Our team at Rowe & Hamilton has long experience in this area. If you were recently a victim of a dog bite, we are expecting you. Call us and schedule your first free consultation.

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