Does a sign warning about a dog mean you can’t sue for a bite?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | personal injury

If a dog turns vicious and bites you, you may have thousands of dollars in medical costs and lost wages. The injury itself could damage your body or cause disfigurement. You could also develop an infection or require cosmetic surgery to fully recover. 

Under New York law, you may have the right to bring a claim against an animal’s owner if you did not provoke the animal and didn’t break the law immediately prior to the attack. However, New York does not have a strict liability statute for dog owners, which means you have to prove that the animal was dangerous and that the owner knew it. 

If they have a sign on their front door or fence warning visitors to beware of the dog, does that mean you can’t take legal action against the owner?

The sign shows that the owner knows of the dangers the dog poses

Hanging up a sign to warn visitors that an animal might attack them is a clear indicator that the owner knows that their animal is dangerous to others. Given that you need to establish that knowledge or previous violent act by the same animal to bring a claim, documenting that they have a sign on their house warning about the dog could actually help your case. 

Simply hanging up a sign on the property does not absolve an owner of their obligation to properly train and adequately restrain their animal so that it doesn’t pose a risk to the public or people who visit their property. Learning about the rules governing dog bite claims in New York will make filing your claim a little easier.