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Holding a Gun Owner Liable for an Accidental ShootingStatistics on gun violence mostly focus on the number of deaths, but twice as many people are wounded by firearms. According to a recent study by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, more than 73,000 people are shot and injured in the U.S. each year. Shooting injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, including attempted homicides, self-inflicted wounds, and weapon malfunctions. It is also possible to be accidentally shot due to someone else’s negligence, for which you can receive personal injury compensation by filing a lawsuit.

Proving Liability

A person can be liable for causing an unintentional injury with their firearm, even if they do not face criminal charges. You will have a stronger case to hold someone liable if you can prove that the shooting was caused by negligence and not simply an accident. Examples of negligence by the gun owner includes:

  • Carrying or handling a firearm in a way that increases the risk of accidental discharge
  • Using a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Pointing a firearm at someone without intending to fire

Gun owners are expected to exercise reasonable care when handling their weapons. Witnesses to the shooting can help you establish that the gun owner showed a lack of caution that put you at risk of being shot.

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Gathering Evidence for a Dog Attack Injury ClaimThe injuries you can suffer from a dog attack are painful, whether they are from a bite or being knocked down. As uncomfortable as the situation may be, it is sometimes necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. Illinois’ strict liability law makes the process easier than in some states because you do not need to prove that the owner was negligent. The only situations in which the owner is not liable are if you provoked the dog or if you were trespassing on the property. Gathering evidence is still important in order to prove the severity of your injuries and to connect those injuries to the dog attack. There are several details you must collect in a dog attack lawsuit:

  1. Owner Information: In order to file a dog injury lawsuit, you need to know who owns the dog. If the owner is not present, you can ask nearby property owners if they recognize the dog. Once you have found the owner, you need the contact information for them and their insurance company, if they have one. 
  2. Police Reports: It may be necessary to call 911 after a dog attack if your injuries are severe or you believe that the dog may be a danger to others. If police or animal control are dispatched to the scene, they will create a report on the incident and the action that they took. You can obtain a copy of that report as evidence of the details of the attack.
  3. Witness Accounts: You should talk to anyone who may have seen the dog attack and ask them to provide testimony during your case. A witness could tell what happened during the attack and refute a claim that you provoked the dog.
  4. Physical Evidence: Having the presence of mind to document and save physical evidence of the attack will be useful during a lawsuit. Have someone take pictures of your injuries, including bite marks. Save clothing that was torn during the attack.
  5. Doctor’s Reports: You should seek medical attention after a dog attack to treat your injuries and check for other injuries that you may not have noticed. Your doctor’s report will establish the extent of your injuries and how they are related to the dog attack.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

You have two years after your dog attack incident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner, but it can be helpful to start the process well before then. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can explain how much compensation you may be able to receive in your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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How Does Premises Liability Work with Airbnb?For years now, travelers have been forgoing hotels in favor of renting a living space at someone’s home through services such as Airbnb. Vacation rentals can offer better deals, convenient locations, and home amenities that many hotels do not have. As with any business, your host has a duty to keep you safe while you are paying to stay at their home. If you are injured due to the condition of the property, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation through the premises liability law of the state where the injury occurred.

What Is the Duty to Protect?

The owner or operator of a property has a duty to show reasonable care towards the safety of visitors. In Illinois, this means they must make a reasonable effort to:

  • Maintain the property’s condition
  • Detect and repair dangerous conditions in a timely manner once they are aware of them
  • Warn guests about dangers that they may be unable to predict on their own

When staying at someone’s home, dangers could come from uneven walking surfaces, faulty appliances or other areas that the owner has failed to maintain. However, the owner may not be liable for your injuries if you acted in a way that was reckless or that you knew put you at risk of injury.

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Lung Disease from Vaping Can Be Subject to Product Liability LawsuitsE-cigarettes were introduced to consumers more than a decade ago as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco products. Vaping has caught on with younger smokers, partly due to its cleaner image and the variety of flavors. However, it has become clear that e-cigarettes are not as safe as their manufacturers claimed. There are hundreds of cases of e-cigarette users developing lung diseases, with several patients dying as a result. If you have developed a lung disease due to vaping, the manufacturer may be liable for your personal injury if the product did not warn you about the risk.

Dangers of Vaping

While e-cigarettes may contain fewer toxins than normal cigarettes, that does not make them safe to use, particularly for teens and pregnant women. Most e-cigarettes still contain nicotine and chemicals that can cause cancer and lung disease. Long-term vaping is believed to lead to several diseases, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis

The device itself has also been dangerous to consumers because of numerous incidents in which the battery exploded. Because e-cigarette users often carry the device in their pocket, an explosion can cause serious burn and shrapnel injuries.

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How Holiday Decorating Can End in InjuryWhen it comes to holiday-related injuries, people may think of classic comedies such as “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” While the accidents are played up for comedic effect in the movies, holiday injuries are real and no laughing matter for those who are hurt. According to one study, Christmas decorations injured around 173,000 people in the U.S. from 2007 to 2016. Recovering from an injury can put a damper on your holidays, which is why you should be careful when decorating in and around your house. In some cases, a faulty product may cause your injury, which could allow you to seek personal injury compensation from the manufacturer.

Outside Decorations

Decorating your house can be dangerous because you may be installing lights and hanging objects from high places. There is always a risk of electrocution and fire when handling electricity. Climbing up a ladder or onto your roof puts you in a precarious position, particularly if you are dealing with ice and snow. Falling from the top of even a one-story home may cause broken bones, head trauma, and other serious injuries. You can protect yourself while putting up outside decorations by:

  • Waiting for a day with clear weather
  • Removing snow and ice from surfaces
  • Replacing strings of lights that have exposed wires and broken bulbs
  • Testing your ladder to make sure it is stable

Indoor Decorations

The largest decoration hazard inside your home is likely your Christmas tree. Whether you have a real or artificial tree, it can injure you if it falls on you or catches on fire. Broken ornaments can cause cuts, and leaving small ornaments or hooks in the reach of young children could be a choking hazard. Illuminating your tree with lights once again brings risks related to electricity. You can protect your family against indoor decoration injuries by:

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