The danger of firearms is well documented. However, this danger can be minimized when dealing with a weapon devoid of defects that is properly maintained and handled. Unfortunately, accidental shootings in the United States are far from uncommon. If you were injured in an accidental shooting, an accidental shooting attorney in Santa Fe can help you collect damages.
At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys have helped accident victims recover over $210 million in damages over the past 15 years. Our Santa Fe personal injury lawyers are ready and waiting to help you get the money you need. Get in touch today through our website or over the phone to schedule your free case evaluation.
Proving Fault Following an Accidental Shooting
When attempting to prove the negligence of another party so you can collect the compensation you need and deserve following an accidental shooting, certain facts must be established. There are four elements of negligence that you need to be able to show apply to the defendant.
Duty of Care
When working to prove negligence, the first thing you must establish is that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. Depending on who is responsible for your accidental shooting injury, there are different approaches you can take to prove that a duty of care existed.
If you are pursuing compensation from the person in possession of the gun that shot you, you simply need to prove that they were handling the weapon at the time it was discharged. Anyone using a gun owes a duty of care to behave safely and not endanger others.
If attempting to collect damages from the gun manufacturer, you need to show that the weapon in question was indeed produced by their company. Those who manufacture these weapons owe a duty of care to the public to ensure the firearms they produce are not dangerous apart from their intended use.
Breach of the Duty of Care
The next thing you need to show is that the defendant committed a breach of the duty of care. An individual handling a gun can breach this duty of care in a variety of ways, including by:
- Failing to check if the gun is loaded
- Failing to ensure the gun is pointed away from others
- Touching the trigger when not ready to fire
- Not engaging the firearm’s safety mechanism
A gun manufacturer breaches their duty of care if they fail to run proper safety checks of the weapons they produce or cut corners in manufacturing to save money.
You must also prove that you sustained damages. Medical records from shortly after the incident documenting your losses are typically the best way to prove that you came to harm. Expert testimony and photographs of your injuries can also be used to establish that you suffered damages.
Lastly, you need to tie everything together. An experienced accidental shooting attorney in Santa Fe can help show how your damages were directly caused by the defendant breaching their duty of care.
For a free legal consultation with a accidental shooting lawyer serving Santa Fe, call 800-863-5312
Product Defects in Accidental Shooting Cases
While people tend to look to the party handling the firearm when it was discharged, the manufacturer can also be to blame for an accidental shooting. Three types of product defects can result in the manufacturer being responsible.
When a firearm is built correctly according to the specifications and handled properly by the user but still discharges accidentally, a design defect may be to blame. A flaw in the weapon’s design may create an unnecessary and unintended danger.
When a firearm is designed properly, but an error is made in manufacturing, the resulting manufacturing defect can create a danger to the user. Manufacturing defects can be caused by human error or equipment malfunction. While sometimes these defects are due to unfortunate mistakes, cutting corners to save time and money can also be responsible.
Everyone understands that a firearm has the potential to cause harm. However, it is still important and legally necessary to warn the consumer about the potential hazards of the weapon and what to avoid. Failure to include proper warnings can leave the manufacturer liable for any resulting damages.
Accidental Shooting in Santa Fe lawyers near me 800-863-5312
File Your Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
If you are planning to file a lawsuit to recover compensation after an accidental shooting, you need to be aware of the filing deadline. In New Mexico, the personal injury statute of limitations grants accidental shooting victims three years to take legal action against the liable party. If you miss this filing deadline, you will likely be out of options for recovering damages.
However, you should reach out to an experienced attorney, even if you believe your window for filing has already closed. When you hire an experienced attorney soon after your accident, they can help you identify how long you have to file your personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will ensure all the required paperwork is completed and filed on time.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Accidental Shooting Attorney in Santa Fe Today
If you were injured in an accidental shooting, securing the services of an accidental shooting attorney in Santa Fe can be essential. Most people who attempt to recover compensation on their own end up with far less money than those who hire a professional to handle their case, even after lawyer’s fees.
At Zinda Law Group, we have helped over 10,000 clients recover the compensation they need and deserve. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule your free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.