Firearm accidents are accidents caused by the negligent handling or operation of a firearm. These can involve various types of guns, such as handguns, rifles, shotguns, and other types of firearms. Due to the nature of firearms and guns, firearm accidents can be particularly serious, and can sometimes result in serious bodily harm or even death. Firearm accidents can occur in places such as:
- Shooting ranges
- Hunting areas
- Residences (homes and other dwelling places)
- In connection with police/law enforcement activity
- Various other situations
What Types of Firearm Accidents are There?
There are two general types of firearm accidents:
- A person injured by the operation of their own gun, or
- A person causing injury to property or another person
The first type of accident can often be attributed to a product defect (for instance there was an error in the way the gun was designed, making it dangerous to use).
The second type of accident can also be the result of a defect, but they can also occur in connection with negligence. For instance, if the shooter was not looking where they were pointing the gun and ended up injuring someone, they may become liable for the accident. This can commonly occur in hunting situations where the shooter was inexperienced or disregarded firearm safety principles.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Firearm Accidents?
Firearm accidents can lead to legal consequences such as a lawsuit, wherein the injured party receives a damages award for their losses. In such cases, the person may be reimbursed for costs associated with medical treatment, pain and suffering, or other issues such as wrongful death.
When evaluating a firearm accident claim, the courts need to analyze a variety of factors, such as:
- State gun possession laws
- The age and experience of the person wielding the firearm
- Whether the shooter acted recklessly or extremely negligently (or intentionally)
- In cases where the gun owner was not the shooter, whether or not they acted negligently in storing their gun improperly
- The foreseeability of the harm involved
- Whether the shooter had an increased duty of care
As mentioned, a manufacturer may be held liable for firearm accidents attributed to product liability issues.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Firearm Accident Claim?
Firearm accidents can be very serious and may also involve some complex injury and gun ownership laws. Also, every state has different laws and regulations when it comes to firearm operation. Thus, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need legal assistance or representation with a firearm accident claim.