Have you or a loved one suffered a personal injury or were killed in a shooting on a commercial premises? You may have common questions like:
You can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with an experienced crime victim lawyer. We can connect you.
It’s no secret that the United States has a gun violence crisis. In 2019, over 15,000 people were fatally shot in the United States. These shootings range from single event shootings in apartment complexes, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and parking lots to mass shootings such as the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook and Las Vegas.
Those who survive shootings are often left with debilitating injuries that require long recovery periods and expensive medical care. Many of these victims have permanent injuries that leave them disabled for life.
The families of fatal shooting victims also often struggle with financial setbacks along with the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one in a shooting.
An experienced shooting victim lawyer can help these victims and families get the support they need. We can help refer you.
If you or a loved one has recently become the victim of a shooting, there are some situations in which you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
In some cases, shooting victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the shooter. However, it’s more common to file a lawsuit against a negligent third party for a shooting. There are also some cases currently pending against gun manufacturers and the gun industry. However, such cases have not yet had success due to the powerful lobby of the National Rifle Association and their insurance companies.
For example, a property owner can be sued for a shooting if the property owner’s negligence created conditions that allowed the shooting to occur – such as having inadequate or negligent security on the property.
In the aftermath of a shooting, it’s common for victims and families to wonder how the shooting may have been prevented with appropriate safety precautions. Some shootings involve property owner negligence and could have been prevented if not for this negligence. In cases that do involve negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the property owner.
Additionally, many states have crime victim compensation funds for victims of violent crimes. However, these funds can be limited and many victims may need to file a shooting victim lawsuit to recover the full financial compensation they need.
Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe from preventable dangers so that visitors to their properties aren’t at risk of suffering preventable injuries. This legal concept is known as premises liability. If a property owner takes the correct safety precautions, these tragic events may not happen.
Premises liability includes protections against shootings and other violent crimes. Some shootings may not have happened if not for a failure to meet this legal obligation.
Most premises liability lawsuits or shootings involve negligent security. Property owners have a legal duty to make sure their properties are reasonably secure. Sometimes a failure to do so opens the door for an otherwise preventable shooting to occur.
Preventative measures that may reduce the risk of a shooting include:
For example, if an intruder enters an apartment building and shoots people inside because the building owner failed to take reasonable measures to secure the property, the victims and their families may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner based on negligent security.
Several different types of property owners have a legal duty to provide adequate security. Shooting victims at these and other locations may have grounds for a premises liability shooting lawsuit holding a business liable for inadequate security.
Foreseeability is also considered when determining whether a property owner could have prevented a shooting. Had there been previous shootings or other violent crimes at the same location? If so, the property owner would have had a legal duty to make safety improvements, such as hiring security guards to pat down guests for weapons.
Violent crime rates in the area where the shooting occurred are another factor to consider when establishing whether a shooting was foreseeable or preventable. If the property where the shooting occurred had high violent crime rates but the property owner failed to have preventative measures in place for preventing shootings and other violent crime, that property owner could possibly be held liable in a shooting victim lawsuit.
The available legal options for shooting victims depend on a number of factors, including the place where the shooting took place, local and state laws, and the various circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Determining your best course of legal action as a shooting victim or the loved one of a shooting victim will require legal guidance from an experienced lawyer with a track record of helping shooting victims file lawsuits.
You can learn more about your legal rights by contacting us and we will refer you for a free consultation with one of our experienced shooting victim attorney network firms.
We hope this article answers these questions: