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How do 'Beware of Dog' signs affect personal injury lawsuits?

Victims of dog attacks in Wisconsin will likely consider their legal options. However, dog owners are not necessarily always at fault, and various aspects will have to be considered to establish negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. While owners of dangerous dogs may believe that posting signs to warn people of the presence of dogs on their properties may prevent lawsuits, that may not necessarily get every Wisconsin dog owners off the hook.

A Beware of the Dog sign could be interpreted in two different ways by the law. Wisconsin has strict liability laws that govern dog owners, meaning that owners will automatically be held liable for unprovoked injuries caused by their dogs. The victim might claim that the owner posted the sign because he or she knew of vicious propensities or previous injuries. This argument, along with evidence of prior complaints might lead to a higher monetary judgment.

Conversely, the presence of a warning sign might suggest that the dog bite victim chose to disregard the warning, thereby assuming the risk. This argument might benefit the owner of the dog, despite the strict liability statute. However, every dog attack case is unique and might be best treated as such.

The most logical step for a dog bite victim in Wisconsin might be to consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in all matters related to animal attacks. The lawyer can assess the circumstances and explain the applicable laws. With strict liability laws in play, the chances will likely be good for recovery of medical and other damage.

Source: FindLaw, "Do 'Beware of Dog' Signs Legally Protect Dog Owners From Lawsuits?", Daniel Taylor, Accessed on Jan. 19, 2018

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