Firearm-Related Injuries in Florida
Most Americans are familiar with the violence and serious consequences that can come with using firearms – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 30,740 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2018 alone. However, the injuries and deaths we hear about in the news are often associated with murders, school shootings, and standoffs with police. Fewer people are aware of the injuries and fatalities that can occur as a result of accidental shootings and hunting accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a gun-related accident, Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick, P.A. is available to listen to your story. Our firearm accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale can determine whether negligence was involved in your accident and, if so, file a personal injury claim on your behalf so you can obtain the compensation you need to begin healing.
Contact our firm to access our personalized legal services online or by phone at (954) 905-4600. We speak English and Spanish to cater to our clients’ needs.
How Firearm Accidents Happen
Personal injury claims must be filed against an individual or entity and can only be successful if you can prove that negligence occurred. In firearm-related accidents, typically the gun user or manufacturer can be held responsible depending on the nature of the accident.
Our team has worked on a variety of these accidents and has seen several common causes of firearm-related injuries, including firearm discharge accidents and hunting accidents.
Accidental Firearm Discharge Accidents
An accidental discharge refers to negligently firing a gun that causes injuries or death to others and can also include damage to property. Drivers owe other drivers and passengers a duty of care on the road, and along the same vein, gun owners and users have a responsibility to use firearms with reasonable care. Firearm owners are responsible for keeping their weapons out of reach of young children.
Accidental discharge accidents can occur in a variety of ways. Common examples include:
- A child locates an unsecured firearm and accidentally shoots others or themselves
- An individual drops a firearm, resulting in the trigger being pulled (common among inexperienced users)
- An individual accidentally squeezes the trigger when attempting to holster or grab their firearm
- An individual tests their firearm’s safety function or some other function without realizing their firearm holds ammunition
- And individual fails to realize the safety feature is off
- A firearm malfunctions or suffers a defect
Accidental firearm discharge accidents and shootings often occur during hunting excursions, where firearms are present. These accidents can occur on hunting grounds, forests, wildlife areas, and on private property.
Injuries and fatalities can occur when hunters fail to check their surroundings before they fire a shot, as nearby hunters and individuals can be struck by shells if they’re standing too close. Guests can also be injured if they’re not wearing safety gear and colored vests so hunters don’t mistake them for animals.
Types of Firearm Defects
Some firearm-related accidents are caused by defects, which can qualify the victim to file a product liability claim. Like most product liability cases, injuries are often caused by defective design, defective manufacturing, or a marketing defect. For example, a broken safety feature may result in injuries when a user pulls the trigger thinking the gun won’t fire. Countless individuals filed lawsuits against the handgun company Taurus for failing to disclose that there were defects in the safety switch and trigger.
Who is Liable for Firearm Injuries?
No matter what kind of firearm is used, the injuries that result from an accidental discharge or defect can be severe and permanent. Injuries often associated with hunting accidents and other shooting accidents include organ damage, internal bleeding, lost limbs, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and permanent hearing loss.
Liability depends on the nature of the accident, which is why having a personal injury attorney on your side to investigate your case is beneficial. Many injuries are caused by the gun user, who can be held responsible. But if a child were to cause injuries, for example, their parents could be determined negligent in securing the firearm and keeping it out of reach. Injuries caused by defects may be the responsibility of the firearm manufacturer or designer.
Our Fort Lauderdale firearm accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting our clients after they’ve been wrongfully injured in firearm accidents. We also have experience aiding families who have lost loved ones. With legal knowledge, resources, and compassion on our side, we can be trusted to help you regain your footing after an accident.