An air gun, also referred to as an airsoft gun, fires a small plastic pellets at a high range of speed via compressed gas or air containers. Air guns are legal in most states and are not classified as firearms.
Common injuries caused by air guns include welts, bruises, fractures and serious eye injuries. A person can sue for the injuries caused by an air gun depending on the circumstances.
For example, an individual may have used the gun negligently or it may have been manufactured in a defective way. Some common air gun injuries include:
- Eye injuries
- Injuries to the face or head
- Puncture wounds
- Injuries involving burns or small explosions
- Various other types of injuries
What is an Ultrahazardous Activity?
Recovering damages in a negligence lawsuit can be difficulty because participating in a sport using an air gun may be deemed as participating in an ultrahazardous activity. This sort of activity is highly dangerous, such as sky diving or paintball.
In majority of these situations, a person has already signed a waiver releasing the organization or a person from being liable of any injuries sustained.
How is Negligence Determined in an Air Gun Lawsuit?
Negligence is a legal theory that allows a person to recover damages for actions that weren’t necessarily intentional. In such cases, liability is determined by whether the defendant used the ordinary care an individual in the same or similar situation would have.
Specific elements are used to determine whether the defendant was negligent. For instance, in an airgun negligence lawsuit, the injured party would need to prove:
- Duty: The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (such as a duty to handle the air gun safely)
- Breach of Duty: The defendant’s actions can be considered a violation or breach of the duty
- Causation: The defendant’s actions were the direct cause of the injuries
- Damages: The injuries sustained can be calculated into a damages award
Compensatory damages can be extensive in such cases, and may cover costs like hospital bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
Can I Sue If the Air Gun Was Defective?
A defective product causes an injury because it possesses a design defect, a lack of a proper warning label, or a manufacturing defect. To prove the air gun was defective, a plaintiff must show:
- The air gun had an unreasonable defect in it
- The defect caused the injury while the air gun was properly used
- The gun was not modified in a substantial way after it was purchased
An example of an air gun defect is where the manufacturer uses poor materials to construct the item, making it more likely to explode when in use. In such cases, the injured party might be able to sue under a product defect legal theory.
Do I Need an Attorney for an Air Gun Lawsuit?
Air gun lawsuits can involve some complex laws. A local personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer or user of the air gun. Also, an attorney will can file a negligence or defective product lawsuit on your behalf.