There is one in almost every neighborhood, a “Beware of Dog” sign. We have all seen them, and most of us will usually take them as a suggestion to steer clear of the property and the dog. But if the sign is placed on a property you are visiting, in some cases, the dog cannot be avoided. Perhaps you have an appointment with someone on the property. Or, maybe it belongs to a friend or family member you are visiting. Whatever the case may be, at Jeff GOULD Law, we understand that it is not always possible to avoid encountering potentially aggressive animals. So what legal weight does a “Beware of Dog” sign have and can it protect you from liability in the event of a dog bite lawsuit?
That’s Not a Good Sign
Oftentimes, a dog owner will put up a “Beware of Dog’ sign thinking that it is enough to protect them legally from liabilities in case of a dog bite. The truth is Arizona is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. It is not necessary to prove that a dog owner knew their dog had violent tendencies or even to prove negligence to recover from dog bite injuries. The only proof required is that the dog bit you, that your injuries were caused by the bite, and that you were legally allowed to be in the place the incident occurred.
Therefore, not only does the sign not protect you from liability in the event of an attack, but it may actually work against you in a court of law. It is possible in some cases for a “Beware of Dog” sign to imply knowledge of an aggressive animal. As a dog owner, you are 100% liable and responsible for the actions of your pet. And as such, in the event your dog attacks
someone, the victim has the right to file a dog bite lawsuit.
As a dog owner, there is no guarantee of avoiding liability, warning sign or not. However, if your purpose in placing a sign is to help deter trespassers consider choosing a sign with more neutral wording. Instead of a sign reading “Beware of Dog” seek out a “Dog on Premises” or “No Trespassing” sign. These options may help you to avoid an inaccurate interpretation if an incident occurs.
There are many different factors that help to determine both a compensation amount and the owner’s liability in case of a dog bite. The most important factor is whether or not you (or your loved one) had permission to be in the area the attack took place. If you were trespassing, trespassing is a crime that doesn’t require the property owner to post a sign stating as much. If you or the dog bite victim were trespassing when you sustained injuries, no compensation is owed. That is because in the eyes of the law, you were injured while committing a crime.
Have You Been Injured by a Dog? You May Have a Case
The best way to determine if you have a case – and how much you could potentially receive – is to speak with an attorney well versed in dog attack cases like Jeff GOULD Law. Our office has helped countless victims just like you and your family receive the compensation they deserve.
Whether you know the dog’s owner or it was a stray, it is always a good idea to speak with an attorney to see if you have a case. If you’ve been injured by an aggressive dog in Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, or the Sahuarita areas, contact us today. We are the Attorney in Your Corner, and we’ll fight for the compensation you deserve.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.