Accidental Firearms-Related Injury Or Death Is A Growing Trend In The United States
The United States ranks number one globally in gun ownership. Unfortunately, due to poor training or lack of attention, people sometimes unintentionally harm those around them while using their guns. In addition, defectively designed or manufactured guns can unexpectedly or improperly discharge, causing severe injury or death to the user or others nearby. The CDC estimates that, nationally, nearly 2 out of every 10 injuries from firearms are unintentional.
Accidental Firearms-Related Injuries Are On the Rise In Missouri
It is estimated that 48% of Missourians own at least one gun. In 2019, Missouri ranked fourth overall in deaths caused by accidental shootings. Because accidental shootings are increasingly the cause of serious injury and unnecessary death in Missouri, it is important to understand how and why they occur. Accidental shootings typically happen when:
- a person uses a gun while under the influence of intoxicants;
- insufficient care is taken when aiming the gun;
- a person lacks awareness of his surroundings;
- a person is unfamiliar with the gun or how to safely use it;
- a gun is not properly maintained;
- a gun is improperly modified;
- a gun is loaned to someone who is unqualified or not permitted to use it;
- a gun is left unattended and not properly secured;
- a gun is not properly designed or manufactured; or
- the warnings or instructions for the gun are inadequate.
Missouri’s law requires gun owners to exercise “a very high degree of care” when using, maintaining and storing their firearms. Likewise, manufacturers and retailers can be “strictly liable” for injuries caused by firearms placed into the stream of commerce that are “unreasonably dangerous” due to defects in design or manufacture, or if the firearms are accompanied by inadequate or confusing warnings or instructions.
Who We’ve Helped
Hall Ansley has helped many individuals injured by accidental shootings obtain recoveries. For example:
- Steven Blair and Ben Stringer represented a hunter who was accidentally shot in the leg by a friend while the two were duck hunting. The friend had laid the gun on the ground momentarily to attend to his dog. When he picked up the gun, he accidentally tapped the trigger while sweeping the gun to his shoulder to take aim at some incoming ducks. The matter was resolved by confidential settlement with the shooter’s insurance company.
- Steven Blair represented an 18-year-old who was accidentally shot in the leg by a friend as the friend was carelessly handling a gun that he had purchased only days earlier, and with which he was generally unfamiliar. The matter was resolved through a policy limit settlement with the insurer for the parents of the shooter.
- Steven Blair and Charles Lee represented an 18-year-old who was accidently shot in the back while driving her car. The shooter was a passenger riding in her car in the seat behind her. The friend had purchased the gun that evening from a private seller and was generally unfamiliar with it. As he was inspecting the gun, he unintentionally discharged it, sending a bullet through the driver’s seat and into the 18-year-old’s back, causing her severe internal injuries. The matter was resolved through a policy limit settlement with the insurer for the parents of the shooter.
- Steven Blair and Adam Pihana represented the family of an individual who was killed when his firearm accidentally and unexpectedly discharged. Steven Blair and Adam Pihana obtained a recovery for the family.
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Accidental Firearms-Related Injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.