Accidental Shooting Accident Lawyers in Arizona
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Every year, more than 27,000 individuals are admitted to the emergency department for unintentional firearm injuries. An accidental shooting can leave victims with serious injuries; some of them and their families may feel guilt for the accident, while others may realize the fault could actually lie elsewhere. These families often call us, asking who can be held responsible to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after accidental gunshots that caused their injuries.
The gunshot lawyers at Zinda Law Group have experience representing victims of accidental shootings in Arizona and helping them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with accidental shooting lawyers in Arizona.
Common accidental shooting injuries
Each year, nearly 500 people die from unintentional firearm injuries. Unfortunately, accidental shooting injuries affect children at a disproportionately higher rate, with nearly 350 children unintentionally shooting themselves or someone else when they find unlocked, loaded guns. In 2020, there were at least 292 unintentional shootings by children under age 17, resulting in 117 deaths and 183 injuries.
Some of the most common accidental shooting injuries include:
One of the most serious consequences of an accidental shooting can be an injury to the head, skull, and brain. When victims survive, about half will suffer from seizures and require anti-epilepsy medication, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Survivors may also require long-term rehabilitation and be unable to return to their same level of functioning prior to the accident.
A lack of training, protective equipment, or understanding about the nature of guns causes thousands of accidental eye injuries each year. Non-powder guns, like BB, pellet, and paintball guns, can fire at the speed of traditional guns, leading to nearly 22,000 injuries each year, especially eye injuries.
Spinal Cord Damage
Gunshot wounds to the spine are the third most common type of spinal cord injury. Depending on the severity of the injury and where the spine was injured, the spinal cord may be crushed, torn, or severed. This means victims may be paralyzed or require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation.
After a gunshot wound, the skin around the injured area may be especially susceptible to infections. It is important to ensure that wounds are cleaned and cared for. Victims should continue to monitor their skin throughout the healing process and watch for signs of infection.
Internal organs and other tissue can be damaged from an accidental gun shot. The extent of internal damage may not be immediately known, and many victims need special medical care or follow up surgery to repair damaged organs.
Common causes of accidental shootings
Unintentional firearm injuries account for 37% of nonfatal firearms injuries but less than 2% of all gun deaths. Most of the causes of accidental shootings also point to how to prevent accidental shootings. When someone is accidentally shot in Arizona, some of the most common reasons and combinations of circumstances include:
Improper Storage of Firearms
An estimated 4.6 million American children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked. It is recommended that guns be stored unloaded in a locked gun safe and the ammunition stored separately. Correctly storing guns can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidental shootings.
Lack of Training
Without gun safety training, individuals may not know to check to see if a gun is loaded or how to use the safety feature, making them more likely to accidentally shoot themselves or others.
Lack of Supervision
Children who are left unsupervised with improperly stored guns may be unaware of the dangers they pose. Pediatricians warn that children as young as three years old are strong enough to pull the trigger on a handgun.
When alcohol and firearms mix, they can have deadly consequences. Alcohol and drugs impair coordination and judgment, increasing the chances of an accidental shooting.
A mistaken target can occur in hunting accidents when one hunter mistakes another hunter for game or a moving target. An accidental shooting can also occur when a hunter aims for a target, but misses and hits a person.
Even individuals who are experienced gun users can still be involved in an accidental shooting when they are careless. Errors when handling a gun or cleaning it can result in serious or fatal injuries.
In some cases, an accidental shooting can occur because of a mechanical malfunction with a defectively manufactured firearm. Firearm defects may also be the result of failing to maintain the firearm or keep the ammunition in proper condition.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING
After an accidental shooting, victims and their family members may feel uncertain and overwhelmed about what to do next. The below steps outline what to do after an accidental shooting.
1. Seek medical attention
In many accidental shooting cases, emergency services will need to be called. However, after being treated at the hospital or doctor’s office, you should continue to monitor your injuries for infections.
2. Document the accident
One of the most important steps is to document the accident. This means keeping and maintaining an organized file that contains important pieces of information related to the accident and injury, such as:
- Photos of your injuries
- Contacts of witnesses who saw the accident
- Pictures of the location of the accident
- Pictures of the firearm that caused the accident
- Damage to surrounding property from the bullets
3. File a Police Report
In Arizona, if you are brought to the hospital with a gunshot wound, medical professionals will have an automatic duty to notify the police. If victims are not taken to the hospital, they may also call the police and file a report, which will be beneficial to help you recall specific details about the accidental shooting later on.
4. Document Your Expenses
An accident can be expensive; hospital costs, missed work, and rehabilitation costs can quickly add up. But you shouldn’t have to pay if the accident was not your fault. So, keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Physical therapy invoices
- Dental bills
- Adaptive equipment expenses after an injury, such as a wheelchair
- Documented time taken off from work due to injuries
LIABILITY FOR AN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING
Liability for an accidental shooting will depend on the specific details of an accident. However, in general, the following people may be liable for an accidental shooting:
If an accidental shooting occurs because of a gun operator’s negligence, then the operator will likely be at least partially at fault. This may include situations where a gun operator is walking and carelessly discharges the gun, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or points the gun at someone without intending to shoot.
When firearm owners take all safety precautions and an accidental shooting still occurs, it may be the result of a defectively manufactured gun. In 2005, legislation was passed to shield gun manufacturers from most liability in gun accidents and deaths. However, a gun manufacturer may still be liable if a gun is defective and that defect results in an injury; for example, if a gun is manufactured with an incorrectly installed trigger, and that manufacturing defect causes the gun to fire and injure a person, the gun manufacturer may be liable.
Unfortunately, accidental shootings can happen to children when they visit their friends’ homes and play with their parents’ guns. When a person is injured or killed in an accidental shooting while visiting the home of someone else, the homeowner may be liable if the homeowner failed to lock up and secure the weapon in a safe manner.
What Can an Experienced Accidental Shooting Attorney in Arizona Do for Me?
Our gunshot lawyers are here to handle your case through every part of the process. There are many different requirements for filing your claim, deadlines that must be met, and experts who need to be consulted to determine exactly who is to blame as well as the potential damages you may be able to receive. Our accidental shooting lawyers in Arizona have experience investigating, negotiating, settling, and going to court on behalf of our clients.
What Compensation Can I Seek After an Accidental Shooting?
At Zinda Law Group, we may be able to help you determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to after an accidental shooting. Victims of shooting accidents are often left with serious injuries that can take months to heal; some may end up being permanent, life-long injuries. While every case is unique, the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, and lost wages may all be used to calculate an amount that compensates victims for injuries and bills.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in an accidental shooting and want to file a lawsuit, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Arizona, you have two years from the date of the accidental shooting to file a claim for your injuries. However, it is best to contact an accidental shooting attorney in Arizona as soon as possible to help you navigate the filing timeline and so that they will have plenty of time to build a case that will help you receive the compensation you deserve.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our accidental shooting lawyers in Arizona have helped many victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one were the victim of a shooting accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and much more.
We believe victims and their families should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. It’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. If you were injured in a shooting that may have been through no fault of your own, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced accidental shooting attorneys in Arizona.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.