IS DOG OWNER STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR DOG BITE / ATTACK EVEN IF BEWARE OF DOG SIGN POSTED?
Our top MN dog bite dog attack lawyers have been asked this question many times of the years. The answer is yes, the dog owner is often still responsible even if there is a “beware of dog” sign posted. The law in Minnesota is that the dog owner is automatically responsible if his dog attacks or injures someone as long as the person bitten was not trespassing, did not provoke the dog, and was otherwise acting peaceably. For example, a mail carrier or pizza delivery person who is bitten by a dog has a claim despite the beware of dog sign.
Laws concerning dog bites vary from state to state, and even county to county and city to city. But a handful of judges in civil dog-bite cases have ruled that the simple act of posting a “Beware of Dog” sign suggests that the homeowner knew that the pet was dangerous and that the plaintiff who was bitten – whether it was a friend, postal worker or trespasser – was entitled to monetary damages. In Minnesota, the law is clear that the dog owner is responsible even if such a sign is posted. However, sometimes our best dog bite lawyers also investigate the possibility of punitive damages against the dog owner, and the sign may be an indication that the owner knew the dog was dangerous and should have done more to protect people from coming in contact with the dog. In other words, if you own a dog that people need to beware of, you should confine the dog if you are inviting people onto your property to make a delivery or to visit.
Not surprisingly, a judge is more likely to rule in a victim’s favor on punitive damages if evidence shows that the dog had bitten someone before. It’s also worth noting that many cities and counties across the nation now have laws that require a canine to be euthanized if it has two or three bites on its record.
It might be wise to replace your current signs with a less-threatening “Dog on Premises” placard, which can be purchased for $5 or $10 at most home improvement or hardware stores. Doing so will alert visitors that you have pets on your property without suggesting that the dog may maul them.
If you are injured in a dog attack or a dog bit you, please call us for a free consultation with a lawyer. Our best MN dog bite attorneys have represented hundreds of people bitten by a dog or injured in other accidents for the last 25 years. The primary focus of our dog bite lawyers is to make sure you are fully compensated for the attack, including medical bills, lost wages, future medical care, and compensation for pain and suffering and scars. You can meet a dog bite lawyer at our offices in Edina, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park or Woodbury. A best dog bite lawyer will also come to your home to discuss your case in St. Paul, Brooklyn Park, Mankato, Anoka, Duluth, Roseville, Chanhassen, and other cities throughout Minnesota.