Did you know that a sign advising to "Beware of Dog" is required to avoid liability for an animal attack that occurs on your property? Even if your dog is in your yard with a six foot high fence and the gate is locked, should some child climb over it to retrieve a frisbee or a power company employee opens it to read the meter and that person is injured by your dog, you do not have a valid defense unless "there was posted at the main entrance of the enclosure a notice to beware of the animal", per Indianapolis Municipal Code 531-109.
Now there is an exception/separate defense if "the person was attacked during the commission or attempted commission of a criminal act on the property of the owner or keeper of the animal", but otherwise that sign is an absolute must. Since the minimum fine for an unprovoked animal attack is $500, plus liability for any actual damages caused, you may want to invest in one of those signs the next time you're at the hardware store.
Disclaimer: This article is designed to provide a basic understanding of concepts of the law. The law, however, is very much subject to change and to interpretation by different courts. Additionally, the applicable law varies from situation to situation. Accordingly, this article should be viewed as educational in nature, and not to be considered as either legal advice or a substitute for competent advice from a qualified attorney. Mulvey Law LLC and the author of this material encourage that you seek independent legal counsel to address any questions pertaining to particular issues or situations which you may encounter.
Joseph Mulvey, Owner and Attorney.
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Joseph Mulvey Direct: 317.721.1339
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Indianapolis, IN 46204
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