Georgia is an at-fault state, and you have the right to seek compensation for accidents and injuries caused by others’ actions. This includes shooting accidents and injuries caused by the intentional, accidental, or reckless use of a firearm by another party.
At S. Burke Law our shooting injury lawsuit lawyer in South Fulton, Georgia, can investigate your case and help you seek compensation if you have grounds for a claim or lawsuit.
Shooting injuries and the law
To understand how the law handles shooting accidents and how to go about filing a claim or suing for damages, you must first identify the cause of the incident. You must then identify the party responsible and gather evidence to prove your case. We talk about each of these steps in the sections below.
Most shooting accidents are the result of one or more of the following:
- Inadequate training: Not knowing how to properly handle a firearm—whether a BB/pellet gun or an automatic rifle—increases the likelihood of an accident.
- Inadequate supervision: You can be held liable if your children had access to a firearm and caused injuries. This includes civil and, potentially, criminal charges.
- Reckless handling: From the celebratory firing of guns in the air to carelessly passing them back and forth without ensuring that the safety is engaged, reckless handling of firearms can lead to an accidental discharge and serious or fatal injuries.
- Hunting accidents: Failing to maintain a secure fire zone and correctly identify a target while hunting can lead to an accident. If you fail to wear the proper clothing while hunting (orange-blaze apparel), you can also be mistaken for game and shot.
- Inadequate maintenance: Dirt, debris, and other buildup in the barrel of a gun can lead to a rupture upon firing. This can injure the person firing the weapon.
- Ammunition accidents: If you use ammunition of the incorrect type or low-quality or repacked cartridges, it can cause a firearm malfunction.
- Intoxication: The accidental discharge of firearms under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a leading cause of gun injuries. Alcohol can impair your judgment and lead to dangerous and reckless behavior with serious consequences.
- Manufacturing defects: As a gun owner, you should be able to expect that your firearm will function correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s description for the make and model of your firearm. If manufacturing issues cause an accident, you may be able to file a product liability claim for damages.
Identifying the at-fault party
The law categorizes injuries based on cause. It is sometimes harder to win a personal injury case for injuries caused by the accidental discharge of a firearm than for those caused by negligence. An accidental discharge includes when a firearm goes off during cleaning or transportation. If you drop a gun or hold it incorrectly and it goes off, those would be examples of unintentional gun accidents.
On the other hand, negligent discharge refers to when a gun goes off because the owner or shooter did not exercise reasonable care. This includes taking precautions that could have prevented the gun from going off. The at-fault party can be held liable for placing others in danger by not exercising the care required to safely handle firearms.
The team at S. Burke Law can help identify the at-fault party and gather the evidence needed to build a case. Our shooting injury lawsuit lawyer in South Fulton, Georgia, will review the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine what kinds of evidence are necessary to file a claim or sue for damages.
Damages and evidence requirements
Based on the specifics of your case, you may be able to claim or sue for the following damages after suffering a shooting accident:
- Medical bills: These include ambulance fees, diagnostic testing, surgery costs, consultation fees, prescription expenses, and travel to and from appointments and procedures.
- Incidental expenses: These include caretaking, housekeeping, and other accident-related overheads.
- Lost income: These include lost wages and compensation for sick days and lost vacation time while you were in recovery.
In addition to the damages above, you might be able to include pain and suffering and other non-financial losses in your case. To make a compelling case, you will need to back your claims with evidence such as:
- Witness statements about how the accident in question occurred
- Security camera footage of the accident unfolding
- Proof of your damages that establish financial, physical, emotional, or other damages that you suffered because of the incident
To file a claim, you must submit this evidence along with what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurer requesting compensation for your injuries.
Our firm is just a call away
We understand how painful and life-changing shooting incidents can be. We focus on helping families secure the financial compensation they are entitled to after such an incident so that they can get back on their feet.
Reach out to us as soon as you can. If we need to file a lawsuit, we must do so before the personal injury statute of limitations runs out.
Call S. Burke Law today at (404) 842-7838 for assistance with your shooting accident. Our shooting injury lawsuit lawyer in South Fulton, Georgia, can review the case evidence and help you file a claim or sue for damages if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and legal options.