Firearms are popular in America—but when users fail to observe appropriate safety precautions, accidental shootings can happen. When someone is injured by a negligently stored or operated firearm, they may be able to recover damages for their injuries.
Firearm safety and negligence
Firearms should be properly secured and stored when not in use, especially if there are young children living in the same area. When gun owners leave their firearms loaded and unsecured, injuries are more likely to occur.
To prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to avoid harming them, they breached that duty and as a result, actual injury occurred. In accidental shooting cases, liability often hinges on how guns were stored or operated. If the owner or user did not exercise reasonable care, they could be liable for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more.
To avoid negligence claims, follow these safety tips:
- Take a safety and training course:It’s crucial to understand how your gun works, and how to operate it properly. Invest in a course to teach you proper care and handling.
- Secure weapons when not in use: Firearms should be stored, unloaded, in a safe. If you intend to carry the gun on your person, use a holster. Never carry a gun in a purse, briefcase or other bag. This can lead to accidental discharge.
- Avoid unnecessary handling:The more you handle your gun, the more likely you’ll accidentally discharge it. Keep your gun in its holster until you need to use it.
- Watch out for the trigger guard:Don’t let anything get into the trigger guard (the loop outside the trigger), since that can lead to accidental discharge.
If you’ve been the victim of an accidental shooting injury, help is available. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Sarasota, FL can explain your legal options.