Know Your Rights in Gun-Related Injuries
The right for American citizens to own firearms is written into our Constitution. But, while owning a gun is a fundamental right, it also comes with great responsibility. Accidents involving guns can easily have tragic consequences, and gun owners whose reckless mistakes lead to accidents deserve to be held accountable under the law.
In many circumstances, non-gun-owners will have a responsibility to protect members of the community from gun-related injuries as well. For example, a shooting range or nightclub that provides inadequate security may be liable for gunshot injuries suffered on its premises. Or if a gun is defective and the defect leads to a gunshot injury, the gun manufacturer may be liable for the victim’s medical expenses and other losses as well.
Your Local Gun Injury Lawyers in Volusia and Flagler Counties
Our attorneys bring over 180 years of combined experience to representing gunshot victims and grieving families in Volusia and Flagler Counties. If you are recovering from a gun-related injury, or if you have lost a loved one due to injuries from a gunshot, it is important that you speak with a local attorney about your legal rights. Gun-related injuries can have lifelong financial and non-financial consequences. So for surviving spouses, parents, and children, securing financial compensation can be critical to meeting your family’s needs now and in the future.
How do you know if you are entitled to financial compensation for a gun-related injury? While there are several potential theories of liability, determining your rights isn’t easy. It requires a thorough investigation of the incident and a deep understanding of the laws that apply. With our decades of experience representing gunshot victims and their families, we know what it takes to win just compensation. We will provide you with a free assessment of your legal rights; and if you choose to work with us, we will not stop fighting until we have won the compensation you deserve.
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4 Ways to Secure Financial Compensation for Gun-Related Injuries
Depending on the specific facts and circumstances involved, there are four primary ways that gun injury victims can seek financial compensation for their losses. These are claims for (i) negligent security, (ii) negligent hiring, (iii) product defects, and (iv) negligent acts.
1. Negligent Security
In locations where there is a potential for gun use, business owners and gun owners have a responsibility to protect against gun-related injuries. Gun stores and shooting ranges must have appropriate security measures in place. Also, bars, nightclubs, and certain other businesses must take reasonable steps to protect their patrons against clear risks of gun violence.
Likewise, gun owners must secure their guns when they are not in use. If a child or teenager has access to a parent’s gun, this too can potentially support a claim based on negligent security.
2. Negligent Hiring
From shooting ranges to police forces, all businesses and organizations that hire individuals who will have access to guns must conduct thorough background checks during the hiring process. Employees who will handle guns must have adequate firearms training as well; and, if they will be providing guns to others (e.g., at a shooting range), they must be able to effectively communicate both the risks and proper shooting procedures.
3. Product Defects
Defective guns, gun accessories, and safety equipment are to blame for a significant portion of accidental gun injuries every year. If you were shot accidentally, were hurt while shooting or cleaning your gun (e.g., due to recoil or accidental discharge), or suffered eye, ear, or facial injuries despite wearing safety equipment, you may have a strict liability claim for a product defect.
Unfortunately, negligent acts are to blame for a significant portion of gun-related injuries as well. From horseplay to using firearms without the requisite knowledge, it only takes one simple mistake to cause a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Q: What are some examples of issues that can support claims for financial compensation for gun-related injuries?
In our experience over the past 40-plus years, we have seen numerous examples of cases in which gunshot victims and their families have been entitled to financial compensation. While each individual victim’s rights will be highly-dependent upon the unique facts and circumstances involved, some examples of issues that can support personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death claims include:
- Inadequate safety protocols at gun stores and shooting ranges
- Too many shooters in close proximity at shooting ranges
- Hiring employees with criminal backgrounds or inadequate firearms training
- Failure to keep guns locked in a safe at home
- Lack of parental supervision
- Alcohol and drug consumption
- Reckless handling and use of firearms in public places
- Gun, gun accessory, and safety equipment design and manufacturing defects
Q: Can I seek financial compensation if I caused my own gun-related injury?
Even if you fired the gun that injured you, it is important not to assume that you caused your own injury. Depending on the circumstances involved, there are still a number of ways in which you may be able to seek financial compensation.
Why were you injured? Did the gun discharge unexpectedly? Did it recoil more than you anticipated? Were you handed a gun without proper warning and instruction? These are just a few examples of issues that could support claims for financial compensation.
Importantly, even if you were partially at fault in the accident, under Florida law, you could still be entitled to partial compensation. Florida is among the minority of states that follow a rule known as “pure comparative fault.” This means that even if the accident was mostly your fault, you can still seek compensation from the other party (or parties) that contributed to causing your injury.
Q: What compensation is available to families of gunshot victims in Florida?
If you have lost a family member to a fatal gunshot accident, you and certain other members of your family may be entitled to survivor benefits and compensation for wrongful death. Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, eligible family members and the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can seek financial compensation for:
- Loss of emotional support and companionship
- Mental pain and suffering
- Medical, funeral, and burial expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of “prospective net accumulations”
Wrongful death claims are unique, and different family members are eligible to seek different forms of financial compensation. For more information, please contact us and one of our attorneys will sit down with you to explain everything you need to know.
Q: Can I file for disability if I am unable to work due to a gun-related injury?
Potentially, yes. If you have physical limitations that prevent you from working as the result of a gunshot, you may be eligible for disability. Depending upon your work history and the insurance coverage you have available, this could include Social Security Disability (SSD), long-term disability, or both. In addition to personal injury and wrongful death claims, a significant portion of our practice is devoted to helping Volusia and Flagler County residents successfully apply for disability benefits. To find out if you are eligible for benefits, please contact us today.
5 Reasons to Choose Rue & Ziffra Law Offices
If you have been injured or lost a loved one, we want to help you. So, why should you choose Rue & Ziffra Law Offices for your gun-related injury claim?
1. We Are “Your Local Attorneys.”
We have been dedicated to representing Volusia and Flagler County residents with accident-related injuries since 1976.
2. We Have Unparalleled Local Experience.
Our attorneys have over 180 years of combined legal experience and have handled thousands of cases, including numerous cases involving gun-related injuries.
3. We Put Our Entire Team on Your Side.
Unlike other firms, we don’t assign cases to individual attorneys. Our entire team will work on your case to help maximize your financial recovery.
4. You Deserve Just Compensation.
You deserve the best legal representation for your gun-related injury claim. Our local community voted us the “Best Law Firm” for 2017.
5. You Pay Nothing Unless We Win.
With us, you do not pay anything out of pocket. We will take care of your legal costs while your case is pending, and you do not owe us anything unless we win just compensation.
Speak with a Florida Gun Injury Attorney at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices
For more information about your legal rights after a gun-related accident in Florida, please contact us to arrange a confidential initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys for free, call (386) 788-7700 or request a free case review online now.