Injured in an Accidental Shooting

CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING ATTORNEYS IN EL PASO FOR FREE

Being a gun owner carries with it a great deal of responsibility.  Even when used properly, guns can still malfunction and hurt or kill a bystander. This is especially important in Texas, which has the most registered guns of any state in the US. In fact, at the end of 2018, nearly 1.4 million people had a state-regulated license to carry a firearm in the state.  It was estimated in 2019 that roughly 36% of Texans owned guns.

If you or a family member has been injured in an accidental shooting, contact the El Paso accidental shooting lawyers at Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.

TYPES OF SHOOTING ACCIDENTS

When most people think of shooting injuries, they likely think of the intentional discharge of a weapon. Scenes from old western movies or war movies might come to mind. However, injuries from an accidental discharge of a firearm can be just as serious. A few common types of shooting accidents include:

User Error

This broad category encompasses many of the accidental shooting accidents that occur each year in Texas, and it can include many different factual situations.  For example, a child might discover a firearm and shoot themselves or others.  It could also include a gun owner acting recklessly and doing something like firing a bullet into the air that eventually comes down and strikes someone.  Whatever the case may be, the handling of a gun by someone who is inexperienced or does not exercise proper caution can quickly lead to devastating results.

Gun Malfunction

Any small malfunction in a gun can be disastrous.  Given the massive amounts of firepower contained in even the smallest handgun, it is critical that all components of a gun are in good working condition before discharge.  Guns can malfunction in any number of different ways. For example, you could run into an incomplete discharge, which is when a round is fired but gets lodged inside the gun barrel.  A second round can strike the first one and cause the gun to explode.  However they occur, gun malfunctions can result in very serious, even deadly, consequences.

Hunting Accidents

Hunting is a popular activity across the country, and especially in Texas.  Because it often involves guns, though, very serious accidents can occur.  For example, if a hunter is walking carelessly with a loaded gun or has failed to turn on the safety, the gun can unintentionally discharge.  Even purposeful discharge can result in an accidental shooting if the hunter is aiming at an animal but misses and instead hits a person.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY INJURIES?

To be able to recover compensation for your injuries, it is important to be able to identify who might be legally responsible for them. However, this is not always a simple process.  Multiple parties can be responsible for a single incident, and even accident victims may be at least partially responsible.  However, the parties that are most likely to bear at least part of the liability in an accidental shooting are:

The Gun Operator

If an accidental shooting occurs as a result of human error, then it is likely that the operator of the gun will at least share in the fault.  This could come in the form of an accidental discharge, such as a gun operator walking carelessly with the gun, or the reckless use of a gun, such as a hunter who fails to take full stock of his surroundings before discharging his gun.

The Gun Owner

Because guns can cause such damage, gun owners are held to a certain standard in keeping the public safe.  Gun owners need to make sure that they keep track of their firearms and exercise care in using or loaning them out.  For example, suppose a gun owner knows that their friend is very irresponsible with firearms and has been reckless with them in the past.  There may be an argument that that gun owner should share in the liability for your injuries if they lend the gun to that friend and you end up injured in a subsequent accident.

The Gun Manufacturer

Gun manufacturers enjoy certain protections from lawsuits in shootings involving the firearms that they produce.  However, this does not mean that they are totally immune from liability in situations in which their guns don’t function in the way that they were designed.  If a gun accidentally discharges or explodes due to a defect in the design or production of the gun, then it is possible that the gun manufacturer may be responsible for any injuries that result.

Read More: Product Liability

STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A SHOOTING ACCIDENT

Accidental shootings may seem like an extremely rare situation.  However, unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case, especially in a state like Texas with such a high rate of gun ownership.  Thus, it is important to be aware of the steps to take after such an incident occurs.

Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, it is critical that you seek the appropriate medical attention for any gunshot wound. Depending on the location where the victim was struck by the bullet, gunshot wounds can worsen quickly and require immediate medical attention. Even if the injury is not life-threatening at the moment, it is important to seek medical attention quickly to avoid infection or other complications.

Report the Incident

As soon as possible, contact the police and fill out a police report.  Doing this can make sure that you document the details of the incident soon after its occurrence while they are still fresh in your mind.  This will also allow the police to begin any criminal investigation that they deem appropriate based on how the situation occurred.

Speak with an El Paso Shooting Accident Attorney

Depending on how the shooting occurred, the next steps after seeking medical attention and reporting the accident can look a lot different. For example, a gun malfunction that happens in a neighborhood will probably look a lot different than a hunting accident that takes place in the outskirts of El Paso.  A shooting accident attorney may be able to help advise you on what to expect, as well as handle gathering the necessary information for your case and developing a unique and effective strategy in attempting to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.

WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?

After suffering a gunshot wound, the expenses can pile up quickly.  It is no secret that medical care is expensive, and there may be several other expenses that victims need to deal with.  Victims may wonder, “What exactly is my case worth?”  There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but you may be able to put together a rough estimate by combining damages from the two main categories.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are expenses that can be calculated with a reasonably high degree of certainty. They are damages to compensate you for the monetary loss of your accident. It may include medical costs, costs to replace personal property, and lost wages if your gunshot wound prevents you from working. Because gunshot wounds can be physically devastating, medical costs after a shooting accident may be particularly high.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are a bit more abstract than economic damages.  They typically refer to pain and suffering, mental anguish or emotional distress, or the loss of enjoyment of life.  They can also include what is known as “loss of consortium” if the accident victim’s spouse is forced to go without the support or company of their partner.  As with economic damages, this number will generally be higher the worse the accident is.

HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP MAY HELP

Shooting accidents can be very complicated.  Not only do they often involve very serious injuries, and potentially even death, but it can be an arduous process to wade through the police report, medical reports, and mechanical firearm features to determine who might be at fault for your injuries.  Zinda Law Group has experience with many different kinds of injuries and may put their experience to work assisting you and your family.  Zinda Law Group’s El Paso attorneys have the access to the resources of a large firm to be able to hire expert witnesses, conduct investigations, and use cutting-edge technology, but the individualized attention of a small firm to be able to put those resources to work for you.

Zinda Law Group believes that accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about being able to afford legal representation, which is why we use a no-win, no-fee policy—you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case for you.

If you or a family member has been injured in an accidental shooting, contact the El Paso accidental shooting lawyers at Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation.

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