Gun violence is a tragedy that has become all too common in our society. Victims of gun violence are often left with physical, emotional, and financial scars that can last a lifetime. In cases where the victim is harmed fatally, their loved ones must carry the grief resulting from someone else's intentional harm or negligence.
Shooting victims have the right to seek compensation for any physical, emotional, and financial damage caused by an attack. Under personal injury law, victims may be able to file a claim against the perpetrator, as well as any other parties whose negligence or recklessness may have contributed to the incident. Depending on the circumstances of each case, this may include gun manufacturers, retailers, landlords, and/or property owners.
Understanding Negligence and Liability for Gun Violence
Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise reasonable care in performing a task, resulting in harm or injury to another person. In cases of gun violence, negligence might involve failing to provide adequate security at a business or property, leaving a dangerous weapon in an unsecured location, or any other careless behavior that leads to harm. In other words, those responsible for injury due to gun violence can be held accountable if they failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing harm. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, this could include manufacturers, retailers, landlords, property owners, and/or other parties whose actions may have contributed to the attack.
When pursuing a personal injury claim for damages resulting from gun violence, victims may be able to seek compensation for injuries suffered and associated medical costs as well as emotional distress. Victims’ families may also be eligible for wrongful death compensation if the victim was fatally injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
In the state of Florida, victims of gun violence have a limited time in which to file a claim for damages. This is known as a statute of limitations, and it varies depending on the type of case being filed. Claimants must take legal action within four years from the date of the incident to be eligible for compensation. If more than four years has passed since the incident, then any chance of recovering damages is likely to be barred by law. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
When taking legal action due to gun violence, it’s important to understand the process for filing a claim and any applicable statutes of limitation that may apply. To ensure timely filing of an injury or wrongful death claim, victims should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise them on their options. An experienced shooting victim's attorney should be able to help:
- Advise on applicable statutes of limitations
- Investigate injury/wrongful death claims
- Guide you through the claims process
- Represent you in court proceedings
- Seek maximum possible compensation
Types of Damages Available for Gun Violence Victims
The damages available for victims of gun violence are wide-ranging and may include both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages refer to actual financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral costs. Non-economic damages refer to a victim’s psychological and physical suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the responsible party’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious.
In Florida, some of the most common types of damages that may be recovered in a personal injury case resulting from gun violence include:
- Medical expenses: Compensation for all medical costs related to the attack—including past, present, and future costs—such as hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and psychiatric treatment.
- Lost wages: Reimbursement for any income lost due to an inability to work due to injuries sustained in the attack or time taken off work (e.g., sick days) to seek medical care.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for any physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the incident.
- Loss of consortium: Monetary awards for a loss of companionship or spousal support suffered by a victim’s spouse or children because of their injuries or death.
- Funeral and burial costs: Reimbursement for funeral arrangements and related expenses incurred following the death of a victim due to gun violence.
- Punitive damages: Monetary awards intended to punish and deter particularly reckless behavior by perpetrators where applicable.
Victims of gun violence should not be afraid to seek justice through legal action against those responsible for their harm or suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help victims understand their legal options, investigate claims thoroughly, seek maximum compensation possible under the law, represent them in court proceedings, if necessary, ensure timely filing before statutes of limitation expire, and more.
Call Mitchell & West LLC if You or a Loved One Has Been Harmed
At Mitchell & West LLC, we understand how devastating gun violence can be for victims and their families and are committed to helping those affected pursue justice and fair compensation for their losses. Our team of experienced attorneys has an extensive understanding of personal injury and wrongful death law in Florida. We provide comprehensive legal services tailored to each individual case we handle and seek maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a shooting, reach out to us online or call us at (305) 783-3301 to schedule a consultation so we can discuss what your legal options may be.