When a dog bite occurs, whose fault is it? Is it the dog owner's or the person who got bit? This is often the question that is asked when there is a Beware of Dog warning notice in the dog owner's yard. In fact, when it comes to dog bite injury lawsuits, there are instances in which these signs can be beneficial to both the dog owner as well as the dog bite victim. Here is what both individuals should know when it comes to Beware of Dog signs and dog bite injury lawsuits:
Beware of Dog Warning Notices and Dog Bite Victims
Each state sets forth its own rules regarding dog bites. Some states have what is known as strict liability where dog owners are liable for all injuries that are caused by their dogs. However, in states where the strict liability law is not enforced, dog bite victims must provide proof that the dog owner was familiar with the fact or should have known that their dog was dangerous.
One example of evidence that could be used against the dog owner would be the Beware of Dog sign that he or she had up in the yard. While this may not necessarily be enough alone (depending on the judge), if the dog bite victim has evidence of previous dog bites or additional signs of previous aggression of the dog, it could possibly be enough for the case to move forward in court.
Beware of Dog Signs and Dog Owners
When it may seem as if all hope is lost for the dog owner, the Beware of Dog sign may be beneficial to the owner's case in that the alleged victim saw the sign, was aware of the possible risk of the possibly dangerous dog and chose to take the risk by choosing to get close to the canine. Even if you live in a strict liability state, dog owners may be able to use the victim's assumption of potential risk as a legal defense. For example, in Colorado and Florida, if a warning sign is prominently displayed, it can keep you from being found liable for any injuries.
Ultimately, your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who can sit down with you, explain the dog bite laws in your individual state and go over what options you have based on your individual circumstances. Most lawyers will do these first consultations for free so you really don't have anything to lose to learn of your options. Contact a business, such as Scherline And Associates, for more information.