People have the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property against criminal assault. Statistics show that most Americans prefer to do that with a firearm. Nearly 45% of homeowners have a gun stored in their home. The wide ownership of firearms makes gun safety of paramount concern. It is an unfortunate fact that young children bear the brunt of gun accidents. Children who are barely old enough to crawl have managed to find a gun in the most obscure places. Given their curiosity about the world, they tend to handle it and accidently press the trigger.
It is the responsibility of gun owners to ensure the safe and secure storage of their weapons when there are children in the home. Most gun owners take this responsibility seriously, but there are those who do not—who are careless about where they put their guns and heedless to the hazard it poses to the small children of friends or family who may be visiting.
Your Best Response
The accidental discharge of a weapon is a startling and terrifying experience. It is even worse when the result is the injury of a child. If your child has been injured in a gun accident that owes to the negligence and carelessness of a gun owner, you have legal options.
Your top priority is to get your child the emergency care they need. But even while you are dealing with the emotional turmoil of the accident’s aftermath, you need to start thinking about holding people accountable. Your first move in this direction should be to contact a lawyer such as the ones found at Emroch & Kilduff, LLP.
Suing over a gun accident is not always a straightforward manner. You will need a lawyer with extensive expertise and experience in these kinds of cases if you have any hope of getting justice. During the first consultation your lawyer will ask you to recall the events leading up to the accident and all that happened afterward. Based on such preliminary facts, your lawyer will determine whether you have a case. If you do, they will use your narrative as a foundation for their legal strategy.
Holding the Reckless Accountable
The owner of the gun will push back hard against your claim. They will try to put the blame on you, painting you as an inattentive parent who failed to look after their child. Your lawyer will prepare a forceful counter to this claim by arguing that gun owners have a duty to keep such dangerous weapons out of reach of young children and that reasonable measures should have been taken to do this.
It can be hard going up against the owner if they are a friend or family member. However, you may need to sue as a practical matter. A child wounded by a bullet will require extensive and expensive treatments. You should not have to bear the burden of this expense alone. The person whose recklessness led to it should offset some of the costs.