After medical- and automotive-related incidents, gun-related fatalities round out the top three causes of death in the US according to the Center for Disease Control. Gun use has become so prevalent in fact that in a 2012 article from Bloomberg, it was reported that “by 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time…” For reference, in 2013 there were 32,719 motor vehicle fatalities.
Shockingly, many of these deaths are pure accident. Not the end result of murder or suicide, but accidents or carelessness and neglect. As many as 15% of total gun-related hospitalizations are the result of accidents.
If you, or a friend or loved one, have been injured in a gun accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. And if a gun accident contributed to the death of a family member, their estate may have a valid wrongful death claim.
When making a personal injury claim, there are generally two types of firearm discharge being discussed. Accidental and Negligent.
Accidental discharge can occur even when the gun owner had proper training and took all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of others. Yet the gun owner may drop the gun or mishandle it in a way that results in a discharge.
Negligent discharge occurs when the gun owner or shooter fails to exercise reasonable care and precaution when handling the gun, thereby endangering the safety of others.
The difference between accidental and negligent discharges is that it’s more difficult to succeed in a personal injury claim when the discharge was accidental. However, the more evidence showing someone’s negligence was responsible, the stronger your claim. Common evidence used in gun-related personal injury and wrongful death claims include witness statements and security footage.
Because the inherent risk surrounding firearms, it is important that anyone with the intent of using a gun have proper training. Even if you are going on a hunting trip over the weekend, a quick day-trip to a local range can equip you with potentially life-saving knowledge on how to properly handle firearms.
And if you or a family member find yourself injured as the result of poor or negligent gun handling. Do not hesitate to contact the law offices of Collier & Collier at 877.825.0543 for legal assistance.