Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewer question about the beware of dog signs.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a question from Jamika in Smyrna, Delaware.  She wrote in she said, “I have a Rottweiler at home, should I put up a beware of dog sign to let everyone know?” That is a good question. In some states, a lawyer would tell you that you should never put up a sign acknowledging that there is a dangerous dog. In those states, the reasons why a lawyer would tell you that is because in a state where the injury victim in a dog bite case has to prove negligence, if they can show that you put up a sign because you knew that you had a dangerous dog and you let the dog bite them anyways, that helps their case.

In Delaware, I would say that there is no risk to you, as a dog owner, for putting up a beware of dog sign. The reason I say that is, because in Delaware if you own a dog and your dog bites somebody, you are strictly liable. It does not matter if you are negligent.  You could have taken all of the steps in the world to protect your visitors from that dog, but it does not make any difference. Delaware is called a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. If you were bitten by a dog, the owner is responsible under the law for all of your injuries and damages. It is not a state where you have to prove that the owner did something wrong. So by putting-up a beware of dog sign or a sign that warns people the dog might be dangerous, you are not creating a situation where you are giving a plaintiff in a civil personal injury case proof that you knew the dog was dangerous and failed to protect them. I would say in Delaware it is a great idea to put up a beware of dog sign. You may actually be able to prevent dog bite injuries from occurring if people know to be on guard and avoid the area where you have your Rottweiler. I hope that answers your question.

I’m attorney Ben Schwartz and I enjoy answering these questions so if you have a question about the law pertaining to personal injurydog bitescar accidentsslip and falls, what have you, feel free to send me an email below. Thanks for watching!