Personal injury claims, no matter how large the award, can never erase the tragedy of an accidental shooting. They can, however, provide reasonable compensation for those who are injured or for the families who have lost a loved one.
Even more important, successful legal claims also hold the responsible parties accountable for medical expenses, lost income and earning ability, pain and suffering and wrongful death.
The Growing Trend of Accidental Gunshot Injuries
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 100,000 people in the United States died as a result of an unintentional firearm discharge in 2013. Add to that staggering statistic another 16,864 people out of every 100,000 who were injured by accidental gunshots that same year, and you have a grim picture indeed.
Accidental or intentional, gunshot injuries always require medical attention, as bullets cause skin fragmentation, muscle tearing and bone fractures. Nonfatal gunshot wounds also can result in organ and brain damage, which is often permanent. Many victims of unintentional shootings must undergo surgery to repair the damage, and many face permanent disability or disfigurement and require a lifetime of care.
Causes of Accidental Shootings
You can hear news stories every day about people being inadvertently shot; approximately 50 people are injured or killed by accidental gunshots every day in the United States, 10 of whom are children.
Accidental shootings occur for a variety of reasons.
In some cases, improper gun maintenance or inadequate firearms training are cited as the cause of the gunshots. Other common reasons include improper or negligent gun storage, such as the failure to use a gun safe or trigger lock, or failure to remove ammunition from the weapon.
Alcohol or drug consumption are also extremely common factors in unintentional shootings.
Liability for Accidental Gunshots
Some unintentional gun discharges occur because of manufacturer defects or poor workmanship. In these cases, the manufacturer of the weapon and the store that sold it may be held liable. And of course, a personal injury claim may be filed against the gun owner as well as the shooter.
If a gunshot is determined to be accidental, the gun owner’s insurance may provide compensation for any injuries or deaths that result. A claim for negligent discharge of a firearm, however, requires proof of the negligence.
In most cases, this means demonstrating to the court that the gun owner or shooter failed to take reasonable care and precautions when handling the firearm, and that he or she endangered the safety of others.
Having an experienced attorney file your claim or lawsuit can help ensure that you receive fair compensation, and that the responsible parties are held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an unintentional shooting, contact the experienced attorneys at Montgomery Dowdle in Boise to schedule a consultation. Our team is standing by to help you with any type of personal injury claim.