With over two million new guns in households across the US, gun ownership has increased in the United States year over year. In January, the country saw an 80% spike in the number of guns sold. At the beginning of the year, the spike was the third-highest sales total since gun purchases have been tracked. Because data shows an increase in the number of guns in an area directly corresponds to an increase in accidental shootings, there will likely be an increase in unintentional shootings in the coming year.
Frequency of Accidental Shootings in the US and Florida
Accidental shootings happen across the country. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 70,000 people suffered from accidental shootings requiring emergency room care. Of all gun injuries in the United States, 13% are from accidental gunfire. In Florida, data from 2018 reported 4.34 accidental shootings per 10,000 people.
Some common gun injury accidents occur from:
- Passing a gun to someone
- Operating a firearm while intoxicated
- Gun defects and safety issues
- Firing range accidents
- Hunting accidents
- Guns fired by children
- Accidental firing while cleaning
With so many people suffering from accidental shootings, issues of liability abound. Being involved in an accidental shooting due to another person's negligence could mean the victim has the right to financial compensation.
Liability in Shooting Accidents
Gun ownership is a right requiring skill and responsibility to ensure safety. When guns are not secured and made inaccessible to children or untrained persons, they can present a serious safety hazard. A gun owner is responsible for their weapon, and they have a duty to use it legally. If they use their gun or allow it to become used in a manner leading to death and injury, they could be held liable.
Once a gun is fired, the responsible and liability is determined by the following factors:
Accidental Firing or Discharge: If a gun is fired by a provable accident. This type of firing is from actions that can be proven as accidents, for example, a gun discharging from being dropped while being stored. If the discharge resulted in injury to another party, this could be considered an accidental discharge.
Negligent Firing or Discharge: If a gun is discharged or fired due to the direct fault and negligence of the user, for example, a gun discharges from distracted cleaning or joking and playing with the weapon. If a person is injured in an accidental shooting in Florida, then a lawyer can help you answer some of the critical questions regarding your specific situation.
Civil liability is assigned to any one or more of the following:
- The owner of the gun
- The property owner (negligence, lack of security or supervision)
- The manufacturer of the gun (product liability from defect)
Legal Representation for Your Personal Injury Case
If you think you have a case, contacting legal representation is the first step to ensure that you are making the right choices for your situation. The attorneys at Mitchell & West LLC have more than a century of combined experience. We can help you develop a strategy for your accidental shooting case.
Call us today at (305) 783-3301 to schedule a consultation, or you can use our online contact form to request more information.