In 2013, the Florida Times-Union reported that gun accidents in Florida were double the national average for three years straight. To make matters even worse, shootings that were considered accidental rivaled statistics of intentional shootings by a long shot. The medical costs incurred for gun injuries are phenomenal, and while gun safety has been projected across the country, gun accidents are still occurring at unbelievable rates.
Common Causes of Gun Accidents
Common causes of gun accidents include the following:
- Lack of Training – Lack of adequate training and knowledge of how to use a gun is one of the most common causes of gun accidents. There is a wide variety of guns and each one requires proper training to understand how to load, carry, hold, and shoot the firearm. Accidental discharges usually fall under this category.
- Poor Management of Gun Facility – Gun ranges are noisy and people who are not fully knowledgeable about guns are often handling the dangerous weapons in confined areas. Beyond accidental shootings, gun ranges can also pose other health risks, such as slipping and falling on shell casings on the floor.
- Lack of Supervision – When children are anywhere near firearms, parents should be supervising. Sadly, too many gun accidents have occurred when children got their hands on guns and parents were nowhere to be found.
- Alcohol or Drugs – When firearms are combined with alcohol or drug consumption, the end result could be tragic. Cleaning or showing off a gun to friends should never occur when a person has been drinking.
- Defects – Each gun is made with a certain degree of quality, but the consumer expectation is that a gun is made without defects. A defect could make the gun function incorrectly, which could lead to injury or death.
Who is Liable in Gun Accidents?
When an accidental gun shooting occurs, the situation can be tragic enough without the pain and suffering, possible death, and expenses that are incurred. Who is ultimately responsible for the medical expenses, the time off of work, the pain and suffering of the victims? If inadequate training or knowledge of a firearm results in an accidental gun accident, the owner of the gun, or even the owner or director of a training course where the incident occurs may be held liable.
Negligent vs. Accidental
The law recognizes a difference between accidental and negligent gun accidents. For example, in the shooting of six people at a Florida gun range, the antique shotgun accidentally discharged. There was no horseplay or drinking involved. However, if a gun owner was showing off his shotgun to his friends while drinking, and it accidentally discharged, the owner of the gun could be held liable because of his negligent behavior of handling a gun while drinking.
Contact A Legal Representative
If you or someone you love has been injured in a gun accident, contact a Tampa Bay gun accident attorney to help you with all of your questions about liability concerning gun accidents. Reach out to our firm today by calling 727-796-8282 or813-288-8282 for professional assistance.