Due to restrictive gun laws, Maryland is relatively safe when it comes to gun violence. Anyone that would like to own a gun in Maryland must first go through a background check, complete a course on firearm safety, and get a permit to carry the gun. All assault weapons are banned in Maryland. Accidents still happen, though, causing severe injuries for innocent bystanders. Determining who is liable for these accidental gunshot injuries can be difficult, which is why hiring a lawyer who has experience with accidental gunshot wounds is the best option for victims to receive compensation for their damages.
Contact the Maryland accidental gunshot lawyers from The Law Offices of Randolph Rice if you would like to learn more about what you can do in the wake of your accidental gunshot injury. Our attorneys can work with gun manufacturers, gun stores, property owners, insurance companies, and other parties to figure out who is responsible for your injury. Call us at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Causes of Gunshot Injuries that Happen by Accident
Improper handling, failure to adhere to safety protocol, defects due to faulty manufacturing, and negligent behavior are potential causes of accidental gunshot injuries in Maryland. The most common causes of accidental gunshot injuries are:
- Negligence and recklessness (including failing to lock and store the gun in the right way, failing to participate in gun safety training, using a firearm while intoxicated or using substances, or practicing shooting targets in an unauthorized area)
- Product failure due to defective manufacturing
- Failure to alert others to a gun on the premises
- Accidentally shooting bystanders during criminal acts such as assault and robbery
- Selling a gun to someone without having performed a background check
The injuries that result from an accidental gunshot injury are severe. Accidental gunshot wounds can result in bleeding and hemorrhaging, organ damage, broken bones, nerve damage, lead poisoning, and PTSD.
Who Is at Fault for an Accidental Gunshot Injury in Maryland?
It can be difficult to determine who should be held responsible for your accidental gunshot injury. A considerable degree of care is required when handling guns, which means the opportunity for negligence that can result in a severe injury is high. It may be the case that all of your injuries are attributable to one negligent party; in other cases, multiple parties may be partially responsible.
The Shooter of Gun Owner
Either the gun owner or the person that shot you may be responsible for your accidental gunshot injury (a shooter is not always the owner of the gun they use). A gun owner could be responsible for an accidental gunshot injury even if they did not do the shooting; for example, if they did not lock and store their gun in the right way and someone else accesses the gun and uses it to cause accidental gunshot injuries to someone else. If an accidental shooting takes place within a home, the homeowner may be responsible for the shooting if they were the one that did not take care to make sure that a gun was adequately locked and stored (this is especially true if the shooter was a child).
A shooter that accidentally shot someone and caused an injury may be held responsible if they acted negligently in the presence of the gun. Negligent behavior near a gun includes handling a gun while intoxicated or under the influence of substances, carelessly playing with a gun, firing a gun into the air (the bullet can cause injuries when it falls back down), and ignoring commonly accepted safety procedures.
Exceptions can be made to shootings that happen under special circumstances. If a shooter accidentally shoots someone while they are using the gun in self-defense against an attacker, they are not likely to be held responsible. Police officers that accidentally shoot people while they use a gun because they believe they are in imminent danger are not usually liable for injuries they cause.
If a gun goes off without provocation and is otherwise appropriately handled, the manufacturer of the gun may be held responsible. This is a type of product liability and depends on proving that the gun manufacturer made a defective product.
The Store That Sold the Gun
In Maryland, gun dealers must perform background checks before making gun sales. If a gun store fails to complete a background check and the person that buys it accidentally shoots someone, the gun store may be responsible for having sold the gun in the first place.
How Our Maryland Attorney Can Victims Recover Damages for Accidental Gunshot Injuries
A Maryland accidental gunshot injury lawyer can help you recover damages for your injury by helping you prove who is at fault for the accident. In addition to providing support throughout the legal proceedings, an attorney can help you by sorting through the evidence around your injury. They can also help you by negotiating a settlement that includes compensation for your damages on your behalf. Damages that you can receive following an accidental gunshot injury in Maryland include medical bills, loss of income and loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Call Our Maryland Accidental Gunshot Injuries Lawyer Available for a Free Consultation
The Maryland accidental gunshot lawyers from The Law Offices of Randolph Rice are eager to help Maryland residents get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. Contact our Maryland personal injury attorneys soon to learn more about how we can help you—you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Call (410) 694-7291 to speak with our attorneys today.