Accidental Shooting Accident Lawyers in Tucson, Arizona
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with accidental shooting lawyers in Tucson today
An accidental shooting can be devastating for everyone involved. The victim obviously suffers the greatest damage, as their life and limbs are affected. Additionally, family members who relied on them may lose their support as they recover from their injuries. Our accidental shooting lawyers in Tucson are here to help.
When someone is a victim of an accidental shooting, the effects go beyond their body and reach their consciousness. They may be permanently scarred from the incident, and by extension may no longer be able to perform at their job or as part of their family. Indeed, suffering from a gu nshot wound can be the most traumatizing event that you experience in your life.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a gunshot wound in Tucson, call our accidental shooting injury lawyers in Tucson at (800) 853-5312. With your free case evaluation, we can begin to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Civil Liability for an accidental shooting
When someone suffers a gunshot wound, the criminal aspect of the shooting is typically the first thing that comes to mind. While it may be true that violations of statutory criminal law were a factor in the shooting, the shooter may nonetheless be held civilly liable for their actions. In other words, 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.
Criminal penalties for an accidental shooting, such as manslaughter, will still be on the table, but this does not mean that the same person will be safe from civil liability. 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 as a whole.
Protection for the individual in the civil liability context means restoring them financially. Suffering from a gunshot will likely put you out of commission for an extended period.
During that time, you may lose wages, leaving your family without the support that you ordinarily provide. 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.
Gun Safety negligence
Gun safety negligence is the failure to take reasonable precautions given the circumstances of the accident and the known dangers of firearms. Reasonableness is the standard by which the trier-of-fact will determine the culpability of the accused. When someone is accused of being negligent, it is essentially being alleged that they acted, or failed to act, in a way that disregarded an obvious risk.
Negligence in the civil liability sense means that the liable person was aware, or ought to have been aware of an unjustifiable risk. In other words, there was a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Parties who neglect their duty of care must be held accountable, and the accidental shooting lawyers from ZLG are prepared to help you do so.
Keep in mind that neglect is not limited to the person who was in possession of the gun; liability may also extend to the person who sold it to them or the owners of the property where the accident occurred. An experienced injury attorney would approach this type of injury from a birds-eye perspective.
They would gather all the facts to determine who had the responsibility of ensuring safety in the context of the accident. In many cases, there may be multiple parties who are contributorily negligent.
The Importance of Gun Safety
Firearms are amongst the most regulated forms of personal property, and for good reason. A gun is a weapon, specifically designed to cause injury and death.
For this reason, possessing a firearm requires extensive safety training and demonstrable knowledge of customary safety practices. But the reality is that many firearm owners are not equipped with the knowledge that’s necessary to safely operate a firearm.
Shooting accidentally typically results in an innocent bystander being injured or killed. According to the Center for Disease Control, 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%)
- hunting (13.8%)
Firearm training is necessary to ensure that people can own and operate a firearm while keeping those around them safe. Lacking a proper understanding of the mechanics of a firearm creates a risk to everyone in its vicinity.
Even in areas where gun use is controlled and monitored, like at a gun range, inexperienced users pose a risk to everyone there. That is why it is so important that people receive the necessary training before even coming close to a gun.
Duty of Care
For a defendant to be held liable for accidentally shooting an individual, there must have been a particular action or condition that caused it. The action or condition need not be the sole cause of the accidental discharge, but it must have led to the accidental discharge in some way. In most cases, when an accidental discharge occurs, it is by reason of defective manufacturing, lack of supervision, or inadequate training.
In a civil action for negligent discharge and firearm-related injuries, the plaintiff must first prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. “Due care,” sometimes referred to as ordinary care or reasonable care, refers to a defendant’s obligation to perform or refrain from some action to keep the victim safe. Once it is determined that a duty of care was owed, the next step is to prove negligence; this is the stage of the litigation where an injury attorney will best assist you.
Accidental shooting lawyers know that neglect refers to the mental state of the defendant. They also know that the key inquiries in the determination of neglect are:
- Was there an unjustifiable risk; and
- was it a risk that the defendant was aware of or ought to have been aware of?
These questions call upon the standard of reasonableness (i.e., what the ordinarily prudent person would have done considering the circumstances).
The person in control of the firearm may not ultimately be the one held liable for your injuries. In the case of a products liability claim, it is asserted that it was the manufacturer or the seller of the firearm who is responsible for the accidental shooting. Under this type of claim, one who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer.
To establish a products liability claim, the seller must be engaged in the business of selling firearms, and the product does not substantially change by the time it reaches the consumer/user. An experienced personal injury lawyer is likely to bring multiple claims if the circumstances of your case allow for such a strategy. Described below are various types of products liability claims which can be brought.
When a firearm contains a manufacturing defect, the weapon as produced does not comply with the manufactures’ intended design, thereby rendering the product unreasonably dangerous. This is the type of case where all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product, but when the product left the manufacturer’s control, the weapon was defective and dangerous.
This may manifest itself in a delay between the pull of the trigger and the firing of the gun, for example. If there was a modification to the weapon, the manufacturer may escape strict liability, as post-production modification will make the assessment of liability more difficult. But, if for instance, an extra piece of metal becomes lodged in the firing chamber or part of the firearm is improperly installed during production, and it causes the performance of the firearm to change, the manufacturer will likely be responsible for the injury.
A firearm contains a design defect if the manufacturer could have invested in an alternative design that could have prevented the accident. Such a defect makes the weapon unreasonably dangerous given its foreseeable use or misuse. For example, a highly sensitive firing mechanism might be considered a design defect.
A Tucson injury attorney would know that whether the firearm contained a design defect is determined by a two-prong test. The first prong is considered the traditional consumer expectations test, where it is up to the jury to decide whether a product is dangerous to an extent beyond that which would be contemplated by the ordinary consumer who purchases it.
The second prong is known as the risk-utility analysis, which allows the fact finder to balance the risks associated with using the product against the product’s utility. Some states only apply one test in these types of cases, but courts in Arizona can apply either, or use both in combination.
A product is defective because of inadequate instructions or warnings when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced by the provision of reasonable instructions or warnings by the seller and the omission of the instructions or warnings renders the product not reasonably safe. Under this standard, the risks posed must be
- known or knowable at the time of sale;
- nonobvious; and
- those which without warning or instruction are unreasonably safe.
A recurring theme amongst these types of products liability claims is that there was a relevant and knowable safety hazard. In the context of firearms, these types of warnings are crucial to preventing serious injury and death. If a manufacturer fails to provide instructions about how to unload the weapon or disengage the firing pin, for example, they may face liability for any resulting injuries.
Laws governing Firearms
In Arizona, citizens are not required to register their firearms with the state. Additionally, local jurisdictions and municipalities are prohibited from requiring licensing or registration of firearms and ammunition.
According to this standard, it is generally acceptable to conceal carry a loaded firearm. However, there are limitations to this law for adults ages 18-20 years old; for example, the law does not permit an 18–20-year-old to conceal an unholstered gun underneath his car seat.
A Tucson injury lawyer would be aware of these particular standards and would use violations of the law to your advantage when seeking recovery. That is why it is so important to find an injury attorney who is familiar with the specific rules of the jurisdiction in which the accident occurs. A personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group Tucson is equipped with this knowledge and ready to help pursue maximum compensation.
What to do after being victim to an accidental shooting
The first step for anyone who has suffered a gunshot wound is to seek immediate medical care. Additionally, they should speak with law enforcement to ensure that all events preceding the incident are accurately accounted for. Once you find yourself in a stable medical condition, then it is time to call an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When someone shooting accidentally strikes you, we can begin immediately working on your behalf. We can try to contact all parties who were likely involved and attempt to retrieve any evidence giving light to the circumstances of the incident. The injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group will do our best to capture any potential evidence so that we can assess the viability of your claim and determine which parties need to be held accountable.
After you have sought proper medical attention and retained an attorney, contact your employer and let them know that you were a victim of a gunshot. By contacting your employer, you can explore what options are available to you in terms of workers’ compensation and any assistance your employer may be able to provide. As much of this can be overwhelming during recovery, we encourage you to speak with your attorney so that they can understand your needs and better assist you.
Get help from our accidental shooting lawyers in Tucson at Zinda Law Group
During your recovery, the thought will likely cross your mind, “How do I find an injury lawyer near me?” At Zinda Law Group Tucson, our experienced team of attorneys is focused on the preservation of evidence and ensuring that the proper procedures of the court are followed. With our expertise, we can help you and your family pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, and much more.
Being the victim of an accidental shooting can be a life-changing event. A lawyer with Zinda Law Group can work to seek awards on your behalf and hold negligent parties accountable. That is why we offer a 100% free consultation, and you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your accidental shooting case. That is our No Win No Fee Guarantee.
A lawyer from our firm would be honored to serve you during this challenging time. If you were injured in an accidental shooting in or near Tucson, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a Tucson injury lawyer today. We are ready and willing to assist you!
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.