Accidental Shooting Lawyers in Las Cruces
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Operating firearms is inherently dangerous. Often, only intentional acts of violence involving firearms get news coverage. But the reality is that firearms are more likely to be involved in accidental or unintentional shootings. Accidental shooting lawyers in Las Cruces are ready and willing to hold negligent parties accountable and seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Suffering from a gunshot wound can be quite traumatizing, especially if recovery burdens the family financially, as well. Furthermore, the effects of an accidental shooting go beyond the victim’s physical body and take an emotional and mental toll as well. They may be permanently scarred from the incident, and by extension no longer be able to perform their job or as part of their family.
What to do after being victim to an accidental shooting
If you were involved in an accidental shooting, there are a few steps you need to take to mitigate the damage and save your or your loved one’s life:
1. Seek medical attention (if necessary) and document your injuries.
If you have been the victim of an accidental firearm discharge, your gunshot wound should be addressed immediately by a medical professional. Additionally, you should contact Las Cruces law enforcement to ensure that all events preceding the incident are accurately accounted for, and any criminal liability is attributed to the correct party. Once you are in a stable condition, then it is time to call an experienced injury attorney.
When you are the victim of someone shooting accidentally, it may be one of the most traumatizing events in your life. Accidental shooting injuries are life-threatening and typically have a lengthy recovery period.
2. Contact your loved ones and people who depend on you.
After receiving the proper medical attention, the next step is to contact your loved ones and inform them of your condition. This step is critical, as you will likely have endured serious injuries and will need their support.
Beyond your loved ones, contact all others who depend on you, such as your employer. To this point, it is important to explore what options are available to you in terms of workers’ compensation, and any assistance your employer may be able to provide.
3. Contact an accidental shooting lawyer in Las Cruces.
Once you contact a personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group, we will begin working to ensure that any potential evidence is captured. Doing so will enable us to assess the viability of your claim and determine from a civil liability standpoint who needs to be held accountable.
Civil Liability for an accidental shooting
After being victim to an accidental shooting and you begin recovering from your injuries, you may think to yourself, “How can I find an injury lawyer near me?” If this is the case, your second thought is most likely, “Can I even sue the person who shot me, even though there is an ongoing criminal investigation?”
The answer to the first question is that ZLG accidental shooting lawyers are experienced in this area of law and have a team of attorneys ready to assist you in the Las Cruces area. The answer to the second question is that even if there was a violation of a criminal statute, this does not preclude a personal injury lawyer from filing a civil claim on your behalf.
Make no mistake, the penalties stemming from any criminal investigation will still be on the table, but this does not mean that the person responsible for your injury will be safe from civil liability. During the period of your recovery, you may be unable to work, lose wages, and as a result, be unable to make your ordinary fiscal contributions to your family. Having a personal injury lawyer initiate a civil lawsuit on your behalf is the first step in holding the negligent party accountable and attaining financial recovery.
Civil liability is different from criminal liability in that it seeks to make the individual whole. Essentially, civil liability seeks to protect the individual victim, whereas criminal liability seeks to protect society. Protection for the individual in the civil liability context means restoring them financially.
Criminal penalties being enforced for an accidental shooting does not preclude a civil liability suit from being filed. Do not be misled or convinced otherwise. A personal injury lawyer with integrity will work tirelessly to make sure that your rights are protected.
What is considered gun safety negligence?
The injury attorneys of Zinda Law Group are prepared to hold all parties accountable whose negligence resulted in an accidental shooting. Negligence regarding civil liability refers to holding a person accountable who at the time of the accident was aware, or ought to have been aware of an unjustifiable risk.
In other words, the party being held accountable failed to behave with the level of care that a person of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. In the specific context of accidental shootings, a person will be considered to be acting negligently if they failed to take reasonable precautions given the circumstances of the accident and the known dangers of firearms.
To reiterate, the negligent operation of a firearm will likely be subject to statutory criminal penalties—shootings are commonly associated with criminality, but again, aspects of civil liability are at play as well. At a civil trial, it will be the jury that determines whether the defendant exercised reasonable care. If the jury determines that the duty of care owed was not met as a result of the defendant’s negligence, the defendant will be held liable, and you, as the plaintiff, may be entitled to damages.
To this point, it is important to keep in mind that the defendant will not necessarily be the person who pulled the trigger. Negligence, in some circumstances, can be attributed to:
- the shooter
- the owner of the gun
- the seller of the gun
- the manufacturer of the gun
- the owner of the property where the accident occurred
- the managers of the property where the accident occurred
This is only a shortlist of the parties that may be responsible for the injuries caused by an accidental discharge of a firearm. In many civil liability cases, determining the defendant is not always as obvious as the victim may initially believe.
But regardless of who the defendant is, the burden at trial remains the same. The plaintiff must prove:
1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
2. There was a breach of the duty of care.
3. The defendant caused the accident.
4. The plaintiff was harmed as a result.
These, for the purposes of negligence, are the hurdles of litigation. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group are familiar with them, as well as with what facts and information are needed to overcome them.
To this point, having a competent team of accidental shooting lawyers will increase your chance of attaining the maximum possible recovery. A Zinda Law Group Las Cruces injury lawyer would approach this type of injury from a perspective forged from years of legal practice, as well as from their knowledge of local custom as it pertains to gun safety.
The importance of Gun Safety
Probably the most regulated form of personal property is firearms, and for good reason: Guns are designed specifically to cause injury and death. Safely possessing and using a firearm requires extensive safety training and demonstrable knowledge of customary safety practices. Unfortunately, the reality is that many firearm owners are not equipped with the knowledge that’s necessary to safely operate a firearm. The neglect which causes a gun shooting accidentally is typically a result of a person failing to observe ordinary safety practices; the result: an innocent bystander being injured or killed.
The Center for Disease Control has made the prevention of firearm injury a key focus point for their organization. Based on CDC data, nearly 500 people die from unintentional firearm injuries each day. Among these deaths, the most common circumstances in which they occurred include:
- playing with a gun (28.3%)
- believing that the gun was not loaded (17.2%), and
- hunting (13.8%)
Lack of firearm safety training is often the reason that being around a firearm is an unsafe situation. To ensure that those in the vicinity of a firearm are safe, people must be taught the ordinary practices of gun safety. For example, lacking a proper understanding of the mechanics of a firearm can cause an accidental discharge. That is why it is so important that people receive the necessary training before even coming close to a gun.
Common Causes of Accidental Gun shootings
As explained, negligence or some other form of carelessness is typically the root cause of accidental shootings. To experienced gun handlers, gun safety is the foremost priority when handling a firearm. In contrast, less experienced gun handlers may not even be aware of the numerous oversights of gun safety that they must know in order to use guns wisely.
An experienced injury attorney would account for many variables of an accidental shooting if hired to prepare this type of case. Accidental shooting lawyers have a depth of knowledge when it comes to the laws governing firearms. They are in the best position to ensure that you retain the utmost protection under the law.
Below are some of the most common causes of accidental shootings:
Reckless handling typically involves failing to check for a bullet in the chamber when removing the clip, waving the gun around without a definite aim, losing the firearm, and throwing the firearm around carelessly, among other things. Reckless handling is the type of conduct that can be addressed and corrected easily. Unfortunately, when someone fails to observe the proper methods of handling a firearm, it may already be too late.
Poor Trigger Discipline
Trigger technique is so important to preventing injury because at this point the gun is in someone’s hands and the chances of shooting someone or something are very high. The widely known technique involves resting one’s trigger finger on the frame of the gun as opposed to the trigger itself.
When otherwise keeping your finger on the trigger itself, it is easy to spasm, become startled, or get bumped and accidentally discharge the firearm. Using the proper trigger technique is as simple as it sounds, but it is often neglected by firearm users.
Poor Gun Range Management
Poor gun range management can be as simple as ensuring that patrons of the gun range are adequately aware of the risks of a firearm. This cause of accidental shooting reminds of an earlier point made that not only can the shooter be held liable but so can the owners of the property where the accident occurred and the managers of that property. Not only are gun ranges loud, but they are also crowded with multiple people firing weapons—the potential risk of injury is easy to see.
Use of Alcohol and Drugs
A firearm is a dangerous weapon and being intoxicated while being in possession of one elevates the level of risk for the possessor and anyone near them. Drugs and alcohol are known to negatively impair judgment and motor skills. Therefore, intoxicants and firearms should never mix.
Lack of Parental Supervision
The year 2021 saw 379 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 154 deaths and 244 injuries sustained nationwide. In the absence of parental supervision, a child should never be in the possession of a firearm. The most unfortunate fact regarding the number of unintentional shootings in 2021 is that they could have been easily avoided had the weapon been kept in an inaccessible area such as a locked safe.
Products liability refers to manufacturing defects that make the weapon unsafe. This, again, recalls an earlier point that the person wielding the gun may not ultimately be the one who is held responsible.
Products liability in the context of firearms relates to the gun being poorly constructed or having defective parts which make the weapon unavoidably unsafe. If, for example, the safety of the firearm does not function properly, the manufacturer of the gun may be the one responsible for an accidental discharge of the weapon.
Get help from our accidental shooting lawyers in Las Cruces
After being victim to a gunshot, you will most likely need an extended period of time to recover. At Zinda Law Group Las Cruces, our experienced team of attorneys is focused on preserving evidence and ensuring that formalities of the court are adhered to. Our experienced team of attorneys can help you pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Suffering from a gunshot wound can be a life-changing event. A lawyer with Zinda Law Group can start working on your behalf to hold negligent parties accountable and seek the highest possible award for your losses.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of an accidental shooting, please consider using the resources available at Zinda Law Group. An injury attorney from our firm would be honored to serve you during this challenging time.
If you were injured in an accidental shooting anywhere in the Las Cruces metropolitan area, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a Las Cruces injury lawyer today. We are ready and willing to assist you!
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.