Tragically, thousands of Americans are injured by gun-related incidents every year. The Center for Disease Control statistics indicates that during 2019 there were 682 gunshot related deaths in Kentucky, while there were 1,270 gunshot related deaths in Tennessee.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a gun-related incident in Kentucky or Tennessee, you may have a claim for negligence against the responsible parties. Gunshot victims and their families have a right to financial compensation for the injuries sustained.
Civil Liability v. Criminal Liability for Gunshot Cases
Criminal liability is very different from civil liability in the context of gunshot cases. If you were intentionally shot by an individual, it is likely that the local police authority has investigated and potentially charged them criminally for the appropriate offense.
The criminal defendant will then go through the local jurisdiction’s criminal court system, being prosecuted by the state or federal government, and you may be called as a witness to testify in their criminal case.
Civil liability rests with those responsible for any negligence which contributed to your injuries. A civil action is a lawsuit filed by a private person (not the government) against another private person or business.
When an individual or business’s negligence contributed to the shooting injury, you may have a claim for damages against them or their insurance carrier, and may potentially pursue that action against them directly within the local civil court system where the incident occurred.
Who is Responsible for My or My Loved One’s Gunshot
Gathering evidence immediately and establishing liability is crucial in all gunshot liability cases. Flora Templeton Stuart Injury Accident Lawyer, PSC. has experienced investigators working hard on your case as soon as we are retained.
Our investigators work hard to collect good evidence, including witness statements and all available photos or videos. Our experienced gunshot liability attorneys thoroughly investigate all potential liable parties as well as all potential insurance coverage that may apply, which can include:
- Individual who fired the gun: You may be able to file a claim against the individuals homeowner’s insurance policy or may file a lawsuit against the individual directly.
- The gun owner: You may also be able to file a claim against the gunowners homeowner’s insurance policy or go after the owner of the gun personally in a legal action.
- Property owner or business where the shooting occurred: If the shooting occurred on the property of a business, they may be liable for failing to provide adequate security. For example, if you are shot at a bar or concert, the owners of the business may be liable for failing to provide adequate security for their patrons. Business owe a duty to their patrons to act reasonably in ensuring their safety. Business typically have commercial insurance policies with higher limits then homeowner policies.
Examples of Negligent Shootings
As discussed above, there are many different scenarios where one may sustain injuries from a gunshot. Whether accidental or on purpose, if you are on someone else’s property, they may owe you a duty to provide reasonable safety.
Examples of negligent shootings include:
- A bar or concert venue fails to adequate supply security or screen entrants with metal detectors and a shooting occurs.
- An unsupervised child discovers an unsecured, loaded firearm around the house and accidentally shoots himself/herself or others.
- A gun owner fires into the air in celebration, and the returning bullet strikes a bystander.
Damages in Gunshot Injury Claims
Damages for you or your loved one’s gunshot injuries may include:
- Medical Expenses: All related medical treatment including EMS, Emergency Department, Hospital, Surgery, Physician treatment, Physical Therapy, etc.
- Lost Wages: If you are unable to work due to your gunshot injury, you may be able to recover for past present, and future loss of wages.
- Pain and Suffering: If someone’s negligence led to your pain and suffering, that party should be held accountable and should compensate you for this difficult time.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for especially wrongful acts. The experienced gunshot injury attorneys at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart, PSC will be able to evaluate your claim and advise if your case may be appropriate for punitive damages.
Wrongful Death Claims in Gunshot Injury Cases
If a loved one was killed in a shooting, you or your family may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the individuals and/or companies who contributed to your family member’s death.
While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, our gunshot accident injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation that can potentially lessen the financial burden of funeral costs, an unexpected loss of income, and more.
What Type of Damages Can You Recover from a Gunshot Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages in a wrongful death claim will vary. Some of the potential damages you may be entitled to include:
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Future lost wages of the deceased;
- Loss of household services;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of consortium (limited to a spouse, minor child, or parents of a deceased minor child depending on which state the incident occurred); and
- Punitive damages (in select circumstances). To receive punitive damages, you must show that the defendant acted intentionally or was grossly negligent. The purpose behind a punitive damages award is to punish the person’s conduct, but punitive damages also compensate the deceased’s estate as a result.
Gun injuries are often serious, if not fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a gunshot injury, contact the experienced gunshot attorneys at the Flora Templeton Stuart Injury Accident Lawyer, PSC as soon as possible. Our office has direct experience handling gunshot cases and has collected numerous settlements on behalf of our clients.
Our Gunshot Accident Injury Attorneys have decades of experience needed to handle your claim. Contact us today at (888) 782-9090 so we may evaluate your case for free. We travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with our injured clients and their loved ones. We have offices in Bowling Green, Glasgow, & Greenville Kentucky as well as Gallatin, Tennessee.