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Children and Guns:  The Dangers and Liability Issues Surrounding Child Firearm Violence

Each year, over 70,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms across the nation for non-fatal gunshot injuries.  Another 30,000 will die due to unintentional shootings, as well as homicides and suicides.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that gun accidents cause more than 15 percent of all injuries and deaths from gunshot wounds.

Children, who are often unaware of the dangers of firearms or lack the control necessary to safely handle a gun, are tragically sometimes involved in gun related incidents.  Recently, the was a gun accident in Florida where a two year old boy was killed after fatally shooting himself with his father’s gun.  In Idaho, a toddler accidently discharged a handgun, killing his mother.  Several incidents occurred in a short time frame in Texas, with a three year old and four year old accidently shooting themselves and a five year old critically injuring his sibling.

On average, 62 kids per year die from gun related accidents like those described above.  In addition to these purely accidental shootings, there have been a number of highly publicized school shooting involving older teens who were able to obtain guns from their parents to shoot others.

Parent’s Liability for Gun Related Accidents

            In most cases, parents are deemed legally responsible for the actions of their children.  This means that if a minor injures another with a firearm, the parents may be held accountable and be required to provide compensation to the victim or the victim’s family.

Parents who fail to safely secure firearms out of the reach of children can be considered inherently negligent.  In the event that a child gets a hold of an unsecured firearm and discharges it, causing injury or death to another, the injured victim or their family may pursue a civil action against the parents.

Liability in the Event of School Shootings

            School shootings present another complex area of potential liability.  Each day across the United States, parents send their children to school expecting that they will be kept safe while receiving an education.  Schools, sadly, have become the site of shootings, stabbings, and other attacks.

The victims of school violence or their families may have several different avenues for recovery in the event of a school shooting or other act of violence.  One possible defendant will be the school itself.  Federal and state laws require schools provide adequate supervision to students, including responding to threats and taking actions to prevent violence.  A school’s failure to address a potential threat and provide appropriate action or security could lead to liability in a personal injury or wrongful death action.

Shooting victims or their families can seek compensation for their medical expenses, mental and emotional pain and suffering, disability, burial and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and much more.  Contact an attorney immediately if you or your child has been injured in a gun related incident.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Dedicated Representation for Shooting Accident Victims

            Gun violence is on the rise and sadly children are often the responsible parties.  The Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano assist victims of all sorts of accidents and wrongful acts.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has handled a wide variety of personal injury claims across South Florida.  We will fight for your civil compensation against the at-fault party, which may include parents or supervisors.  Our dedication and talent has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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