CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A NEW MEXICO ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT DEATH LAWYER FOR FREE
Firearm-related violence is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Although many of these shootings are intentional, many others are a result of accidental firing or negligent handling.
Deaths caused by accidental gunshots are tragic and affect people across the country. These accidents can be devastating for surviving family members.
How often do gun accident deaths happen?
Although gun violence itself is an ever-present threat and topic in the United States, accidental gun shootings alone cause substantial harm nationwide. According to a study conducted by the Associated Press and USA Today Network, gun accidents caused the death of a child every other day during the first six months of 2016 in the United States.
Although all age groups are affected by accidental shootings, there are a few demographics that seem to be more frequently involved in gun accidents. Among all of the accidental gun deaths recorded in 2016, deaths and injuries were most common for children under the age of five, with 3-year-olds the most common shooters and victims among that at-risk age group. These accidental shootings most commonly occurred at the child’s home with guns that are legally owned by the adults or parents residing there. In 2016 alone, more than 320 minors and 30 adults were killed in the United States by accidental gun shootings. Additionally, nearly 700 children and 78 adults were seriously injured, but not killed.
Accidental deaths caused by firearms are tragic and can inflict serious hardship into the lives of surviving family members. If you have been affected by a gun accident death in New Mexico, you should contact an attorney who handles accidental death claims to help you assess the accident. An accident attorney may be able to help you gather evidence, determine liability, and move forward with your claim.
Why do accidental gunshot deaths happen in New Mexico?
In 2017, firearms were the third leading cause of death in New Mexico after poisoning and motor vehicle traffic deaths. Firearm injuries contribute significantly to premature mortality in New Mexico, accounting for a total of 12,283 years of potential life lost. In the United States, New Mexico had the 10th highest rate of age-adjusted firearm deaths in 2017, with a staggering death rate 53% higher than the national average.
Although some gun accidents may be unavoidable, many have common causes. Some common gun injury accidents occur from:
- Child accidental firing
- Accidentally firing a gun while cleaning
- Improper handling
- Handling while drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Defective safety features
- Design flaws
- Firing range accidents
- Hunting accidents
- Failing to follow safety advice
- Lack of product warning
Gun accidents can occur in many different settings and situations. However, many occur in the aforementioned ones. Regardless, gun owners and handlers should always be extremely careful when handling a firearm because of the dangerous nature of the weapon. Taking great care whilst handling a firearm protects not only the owner, but everyone around them.
How can accidental gun deaths be prevented?
Gun-related deaths are devastating and can cause substantial grief in a family’s life. Luckily, many gun accidents can be prevented through strict adherence to safety protocols and procedures.
The best way to protect you and your children from a gun-related injury or death is to keep your home free of guns and to avoid situations where guns are present. If you do own or operate a gun regularly, experts recommend that you follow a set of established safety measures before doing so. These safety tips include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Store guns in a secure location
- Store bullets in a separate location
- Own a gun safe and securely lock it after using
- Keep gun safe keys in a secret location
- Always use trigger locks
- Utilize child lock gun features, even if you do not have a child
- Emphasize gun safety
- Take a gun safety course and learn correct handling procedures
- Never point a gun at another person
- Never point the gun at yourself
- Use locking features and remove bullets when cleaning
- Remove bullets when not in use
While these tips may help prevent injuries, gun owners should still conduct ample research before handling a firearm. There are many online sources that provide thorough instructional videos on how to own a firearm and stay safe while doing so. Due to the growing concern with gun-related deaths and gun violence, gun owners should be increasingly careful to follow local laws and any recommended safety guidelines. New Mexico has a variety of statutes concerning gun ownership and handling that may apply to you, depending on your specific type of gun license. It is imperative that gun owners take the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them. If your loved one was involved in an accidental gunshot death incident in New Mexico, you should contact an attorney who handles gun-related deaths to help you seek compensation and prevent others from being harmed in the future.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A LEGAL CLAIM FROM AN ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT INCIDENT?
Accidental gunshot deaths can be devastating for surviving family members. Some survivors may wish to seek legal redress and compensation for the death of their loved one. Different lawyers may choose to follow contrasting legal theories based on the needs and specifics of the case at hand. However, in general, accidental gunshot death suits typically utilize one of two legal theories—negligence or product liability.
1. Negligence. If a person’s carelessness contributed to or caused your gunshot accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit under this legal theory. To prove that the defendant was negligent, you must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, the defendant breached that duty, and that the defendant’s breach was the cause of the injuries. Negligence statutes vary by jurisdiction, but New Mexico law requires an adequate showing of the aforementioned elements. When evaluating whether a breach occurred, the court may ask the jury to determine if the defendant used reasonable care when handling or storing the weapon. Depending on the specifics of the incident, the court may hold a variety of people responsible, including the victim’s parents, the gun’s owner, or the person who fired the gun. Ultimately, if someone’s unreasonable actions led to your loved one’s death, New Mexico law may allow you to recover in civil court.
2. Product Liability. In accidental gunshot deaths, the firearm itself plays an important role. While some gun accidents are caused by user error, some others may be caused by faulty firearms. In these situations, the victim’s family may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the firearm itself. In these cases, the plaintiff must prove defectiveness through inadequate warnings, manufacturing defects, or design defects. If the plaintiff can present enough evidence to prove one of the aforementioned theories, they must then show that the defectiveness directly caused or contributed to the death.
Negligence and product liability cases are common in civil courts. Although these may not be the only options available to you, these theories have significant precedent and history behind them. A New Mexico accidental gunshot death lawyer may have the experience necessary to apply the specifics of your accident to the legal theories used in your local courts. Thus, it may be helpful to retain an attorney to help you evaluate the legal merit and standing of your claim.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP FOR HELP
Deaths caused by gun accidents are tragic and can cause irreparable harm. The surviving members of an accidental gunshot victim may be left with substantial grief, debt, and trauma because of the incident. Cases involving accidental gun deaths may require extensive legal analysis of negligence or product liability theories. These types of cases typically require intense investigation and thorough inquiry. If your loved one was killed in a New Mexico accidental gunshot death incident, you should contact a group of experienced injury attorneys as soon as possible. A wrongful death attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a settlement for your loss.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If your loved one died in a gun-related accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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