When you’ve been bitten by a dog without provocation, you’re probably suffering from serious pain and the risk of an infection. When you didn’t provoke the dog and the owner didn’t prevent the dog from attacking, you might be owed compensation for the owner’s negligence.

But what about “Beware of Dog” signs? What laws will affect your injury claim? You’ll need to be prepared for the defenses the dog owner may use if he or she has posted one of these signs. Read on for more information.  

Signs Show Owner’s Knowledge of Risk

Many dog owners have Beware of Dog signs on their property, and in some cases, they may even restrain the dog in question to prevent injury. This is especially important if there are young children in the area. If they don’t know the dog is dangerous, the chances of injury or death are high if the dog isn’t properly restrained.

If the owner of the dog that bit you displayed a Beware of Dog sign on the property where you were attacked, it could benefit your case. This may indicates that the owner knew the dog could be dangerous, and if the owner allowed you on his or her property or let the dog approach you without restraints, he or she could be held liable.

This, of course, depends on the laws specific to the state where the bite occurred. In a strict liability state for dog bites, the owner can be held responsible for dog bites regardless of the animal’s past behavior. Some states, on the other hand, have a so-called “one-bite rule,” which allows for the owner to be free of liability if he or she didn’t have reason to believe the dog could be dangerous.

Signs Should Warn You of Danger

In some cases, a Beware of Dog sign could work as a defense against your personal injury claim. The dog owner could use the fact that he or she posted signs to show that you knew there was a risk in entering the property with the dog.

This puts the negligence on you. You were aware that the dog could be dangerous, but you proceeded and were bitten. While this might not lead to a case dismissal, like it might if you were trespassing or provoked the dog, it could reduce the compensation you receive by putting part of the blame on you.

Let’s say the judge decides you were partly responsible and reduces your compensation because of your portion of the blame. This could reduce the funds you should have received for the medical treatment and suffering you’ve experienced.

Fighting for Your Full Compensation

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, a Beware of Dog sign could help or hurt your claim, depending on where you are and whether you have a qualified lawyer on your side. You’ll need to focus on the relationship between Beware of Dog sign laws and your injury claim before you start, or you could lose your chance to recover the full compensation you need.

Fortunately, a lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates can help. We’ll begin with a free consultation, where we’ll discuss exactly what happened and what caused the attack. From there, your attorney can use the sign to your advantage or plan to defend you against accusations of fault.

If you’re ready to get your case started, call our attorneys at 1-800-404-9000 or complete the online contact form below.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp