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Can I Sue for a Hunting Accident?

Were you injured during a hunting accident?

If so, you may have a claim and might be able to sue for damages, dependent on the circumstances of the case. If you feel you may require a personal injury lawyer, please read on or contact Robert J. DeBry & Associates to speak to an attorney for further assistance.

Causes of Hunting Accidents

According to the Center for Disease Control, gun-related deaths in the USA alone during 2019 accounted for on average 110 people per day. With two out of ten non-fatal gun-related injuries being due to an accidental discharge. Hunting accident injuries can be due to several factors. 

They usually fall into the following categories. So if you were in one and sustained an injury, please contact a personal injury lawyer as you may have a case.

  • The hunter who discharged the weapon and caused the injury was not well trained in the safe use of the firearm. Many cities and states require certified firearms use training before licensing.
  • Reckless behavior, such as joking around with the weapon or not paying attention to the firearm or hunting safety rules. Was there consumption of drugs or alcohol leading up to the hunt? Or randomly discharging the weapon, be it in the air or any general direction without concern.
  • The hunter’s firearm that caused the accident had a defect. It could have come from either the manufacturer during production or improper maintenance or care from the owner.
  • The hunter who caused the accident was a child. According to this article, during 2012-2014, over 1200 children aged 13 to 17 years of age were the victims of hunting accidents–and lack of parental supervision was the chief cause.

Do You Have a Case?

Hunting accident injury cases due to firearm discharges, in legal theory, fall under negligence. But first, we need to establish a defendant. 

They could be any of the following depending on the circumstances:

  1. The hunter or gun owner who caused the injury
  2. A training instructor or the facility that provided the gun safety training to the hunter
  3. The parents of a child were the cause of the accident.
  4. The weapon manufacturer.

In legal theory, the person who sustained the injury must show that the defendant owed a duty of care, which they breached and thus resulted in the accident. So in layman’s terms, did the hunter show all reasonable care and adherence to safety precautions when handling the firearm in the presence of others?

Courts may look at many factors when determining negligence. So to build a good case, it’s best to get a personal injury lawyer involved.

Depending on which state you live in, courts will try hunting accidents under a legal theory of strict liability. It is because firearms are known to be potentially dangerous if improperly used. So in these cases, there is no need to show negligence.

What Damages Can I Get If I Have a Case?

In a hunting accident injury case, a bodily injury must have occurred. Your personal injury lawyer will present the case in front of a judge or jury. They will ultimately decide on what the proper reward should be. The damages rewarded would typically compensate you for medical expenses incurred during hospitalization and recovery—the inability to work during any sustained time off, as well as any personal damages.

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