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Holding a Gun Owner Liable for an Accidental Shooting

Posted on in Personal Injury

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.

Proposed Illinois Law

Shooting someone, whether accidentally or intentionally, can be very costly. A conviction for a weapons-related charge will carry hefty fines. A personal injury lawsuit for a firearm injury may ask for extensive compensation for medical costs and suffering. A bill was recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that would address these issues in different ways:

  • In order to receive or keep their Firearm Owner Identification card, gun owners would need to prove each year that they have liability insurance for accidental firearm injuries that covers at least $1 million.
  • Liability insurance could not cover costs and fees for firearm-related criminal charges.

The liability insurance requirement is likely to face strong opposition from gun rights advocates, who may argue that the cost is prohibitive to people’s right to own firearms.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

Accidental firearm injuries are rare compared to car accidents or slipping and falling, but being shot may require emergency surgery and prolonged hospital stays. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.




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