Can Shooting Victims Bring a Lawsuit?

Shooting victims have legal rights and can bring a lawsuit for their medical bills and pain and suffering. Shooting victims can bring three different types of lawsuits: (1) a lawsuit against the shooter, (2) a negligent security case against the owner of the property where the shooting occurred, and (3) a possible negligence case against the owner of the gun.

Lawsuits against the shooter.

If the identity of the shooter is known, the shooting victim can bring a case against the shooter. The type of case will depend on if the shooting was intentional or accidental. If the shooting was intentional, the victim can bring a case against the shooter for assault and battery. The court will order the shooter to pay all the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the victim. In intentional shooting cases, the court may also award punitive damages to punish the shooter for their actions. Many insurance policies have exclusions for “intentional acts,” meaning that intentional shootings might not be covered by the shooter’s insurance policy.

If the shooting was accidental, the victim still might have a case for the shooter’s negligence. Negligence means that the shooter did not take reasonable precautions to ensure that the gun was handled in a safe manner and the victim’s injury occurred as a result. These types of cases often occur when someone discharges a gun accidentally, and the bullet hits an innocent bystander. Negligent shooting cases are often covered by the shooter’s homeowner’s insurance policy, even if the shooting did not occur in the home of the shooter.

Lawsuits against the owner of the property where the shooting occurred.

Most states also allow a shooting victim to bring a negligent security case against the owner of the property where the shooting occurred. Property owners, and the property management company, are legally required to keep their premises safe for visitors, customers, and tenants. If the property owner has knowledge that crime is occurring on the property and takes no action to protect others, the property owner will be liable for shootings that occur on that property. Most often, these cases involve dangerous apartment complexes where gates are broken, security is not provided, and violent crime occurs. Negligent security cases almost always require an experienced lawyer to successfully handle the case – especially when the wrongful death of a loved one or serious injury occurs.

Lawsuits against the gun owner.

In the days of mass shootings, more and more courts around the country are allowing victims and their families to bring civil cases against the owner of the gun for failing to make sure that the gun was not stolen or used in a crime. If the victim’s lawyer can identify the owner of the gun that was used in a shooting and trace the gun back to its owner, some courts will allow the victim to bring a negligence case against the owner of that gun for the shooting. This means that the owner could be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death.

An experienced shooting victim lawyer can better advise you on whether you have a case for the shooting death or injury of a loved one. An experienced and effective lawyer will explore every possible lawsuit that can be brought and every possible insurance policy that can pay for expensive medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost time from work. Do not trust your shooting victim case to just any lawyer. These cases are much more complicated and complex than simple injury cases. Our firm recently settled an apartment shooting case for $2.2 million dollars, one of the highest settlements in Georgia that year. If we can give you advice and see if it makes sense to hire our firm, please give us a call today.

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