Injuries from accidental weapons discharges are relatively rare compared to other types of injuries that prompt injury claims, but they do happen. Studies indicate approximately 7,000 accidental shooting injuries within a 10-year span.
When such an accident occurs, who is liable? Here’s an overview of what you should know.
Owner or user?
Gun owners can be held liable for accidental firearm discharges in several circumstances.
A failure to secure guns, for example, can result in the owner being held liable for any injuries caused by accidental discharges. This is especially important when the gun owner lives with minors who should not be capable of obtaining the weapon. Proper securement of the gun should involve locking it in a gun safe or case in a secure, isolated location.
In addition, loaded weapons should never be left in an accessible area, and ammunition should not be stored with the gun. Instead, ammunition should be kept in a separate area that is cool and dry at all times, inside another lockable safe.
Gun owners also have a responsibility to ensure anyone who enters their property is safe and protected. If an accident happens as a result of carelessness or distraction, the homeowner could be held liable.
There are, though, circumstances in which the person who handles the weapon can be held liable for any accidents that occur even if they were not the gun owner, due to their own negligence.
For more information about accidental weapons discharges and what to know about personal injury cases stemming from them, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.