The sheer number of firearms in the hands of the public leads to numerous gun accidents annually. At Emroch & Kilduff, we represent gun accident victims needing compensation to rebuild their lives.
If a gun accident has ruined your life or the life of a loved one, you may have access to valuable compensation for your losses. Our Virginia gun accident attorney can review your case and potentially help you take the appropriate action to address your injuries.
Don’t suffer through your losses alone. Contact our office for a free consultation and take the next step toward getting justice for your injury.
Virginia Gun Accident Guide
- Gun Accidents by the Numbers
- How Gun Accidents Happen in Virginia
- Our Gun Accident Lawyers Can Help
- Compensation for Gun Accidents
- What to Do After a Gun Accident
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Speak to Our Gun Accident Lawyers Today
Gun Accidents by the Numbers
It is no secret that the United States has the most guns in the world. According to some numbers, there are around 121 firearms for every 100 persons in the U.S. That works out to more than one gun per person, including individuals who do not own a gun.
The numbers are clear: Almost 500 people die from firearms accidents or unintentional shootings every year, according to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV). That works out to more than one preventable firearm death each day.
In reference to nonfatal accidents, around 37 percent of gunshot wounds that don’t lead to death are unintentional.
Also according to the EFSGV, people living in the United States have a much higher risk of dying in an unintentional shooting than people living in other countries—up to four times higher.
Gun ownership comes with a high level of responsibility, and owners and handlers must pay when they are negligent and cause an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a gun accident, we are ready to help you get compensation. Call our office today for a free consultation.
How Gun Accidents Happen in Virginia
The word accident strongly suggests error. With guns, errors are destructive and deadly. Victims of accidental gunshot wounds suffer through physical and mental trauma that leads to all manner of losses in their lives—all because of a preventable accident.
Most of the accidents fit in one of a few different categories of negligence. Negligence refers to behavior that falls below a required standard of care. In traffic, motorists who fall below the standard of care typically engage in negligent actions such as drunk or distracted driving or excessive speeding.
In gun accidents, negligence usually manifests in one of the following manners.
There is no training requirement for individuals who want to purchase a firearm in Virginia. However, some jobs and professions mandate specialized firearms training. Those who receive this training have a higher standard of care when handling a firearm.
If the training is flawed and an accident occurs, there may likely be a claim for negligent training.
Negligent handling of a firearm means using it in a way that poses an unreasonable risk of danger to others. In some cases, negligence is obvious. It may consist of someone attempting to do tricks with a pistol or a partygoer discharging a firearm into the air.
No explicit laws require Virginia gun owners to store their firearms in a locked safe or box. However, gun owners must not leave loaded guns where children under 14 can access them.
Also, licensed family day homes do have a storage requirement mandating the safe and inaccessible storage of guns and ammunition separate from one another.
Impairment During Discharge
Guns and alcohol make for a deadly combination. Yet, some gun owners continue to put others at risk by drinking while handling firearms.
As with vehicles, it becomes more difficult to safely manage a firearm while drinking. Alcohol also impairs one’s judgment, leading to dangerous behavior and decisions.
In some cases, a negligent act occurs before the sale of the gun. A gun manufacturer may have assembled a gun using defective or inferior parts. Or a designer may have unintentionally designed a dangerous flaw in a gun. Whatever the case, gun manufacturers and designers may be liable if there is a defect.
Our Gun Accident Lawyers Can Help
Every day, we help injury victims put their lives back together by fighting for the compensation they deserve. We may be able to help you, too. In a free consultation, our gun accident lawyer will review the circumstances of your accident and recommend the appropriate next steps.
When you choose Emroch & Kilduff to represent you, you no longer have to worry about the claims process and all it entails. Your gun accident lawyer takes care of all aspects of the compensation recovery process while you get better. The peace of mind you have when you go with Emroch & Kilduff will help much during your road to recovery.
Some of the many tasks your gun accident lawyer will handle include:
- Managing all claim-related paperwork and communications
- Investigating the accident and collecting evidence for your case
- Hiring and managing investigators and experts
- Representing you at hearings, arbitration, mediation, or court
Your gun accident lawyer will also represent you during negotiations with the insurance company covering your claim. Insurance adjusters work hard to save insurance companies money by denying or devaluing claims.
With our skilled negotiator representing your interests, you stand a better chance of getting a compensation payment that will truly address the losses you have suffered.
Compensation for Gun Accidents
Compensation is available for many of the losses you might suffer from a gunshot wound, even non-monetary losses. The truth is that gunshots inflict extreme physical and psychological damage.
Physical injuries caused by gunshots include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Abdominal injuries, which threaten major organs
- Limb injuries, which involve nerves, tendons, and vessels
- Bone damage
- Persistent infections
Accompanying psychological injuries from gunshots typically include:
- Severe anxiety
- Panic attacks
Dealing with these consequences of a gunshot injury costs you and your family time, money, and much of your well-being. If someone else caused your injury, they might owe you significant monetary compensation for their negligence.
After a gunshot accident, the question of liability immediately arises for criminal and civil purposes.
Various evidence can demonstrate fault, such as:
- Gunshot residue
- Parts of the gun
- Record of ownership
- Gun storage evidence
- Video footage
- Witness testimony
This evidence is not only helpful in proving negligence, but it establishes causation as well. Causation exists when a person’s negligence actually causes the injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a firearm, your gun accident lawyer must find and collect this evidence as part of your case. In some instances, challenges may arise in collecting evidence, which makes having an experienced attorney at the helm a good idea.
Damages are the legally compensable, specific losses you experience from your injuries. For gunshot victims, medical care and missed income are common losses.
Other financial damages may include costs associated with hiring someone to help with your basic personal and household needs and travel costs associated with treating your injury.
But these are just the economic losses you might suffer. Non-economic losses also come into play for compensation in injury claims. Sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of companionship, comfort, or guidance are also actionable losses.
In the case of wrongful death, more damages become available. A wrongful death is the unlawful killing of another person, leading to losses such as burial and funeral costs and end-of-life expenses.
In some cases, punitive damages are assessed against the defendant. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, can lead to multimillion-dollar verdicts. Juries award them in cases where the defendant demonstrated particularly malicious behavior.
What to Do After a Gun Accident
Gun accident injuries are sometimes fatal. As such, victims need to seek immediate medical care after being injured. Call 911 and wait for first responders. They will provide emergency medical stabilization care and get you to a hospital. Calling 911 will also bring the police.
The police report is not only required by law in most instances but is also essential for your claim for compensation. It will contain important information and witness testimony that your gun accident lawyer will need to help establish fault for the gun accident.
After getting medical care and involving the authorities, you should reach out to an experienced gun accident attorney next. You need to know the value of your case before you can decide whether to accept an insurance company’s offer or not.
The insurance adjuster will not tell you how much you can potentially get. Instead, they will typically offer you a smaller payout in the hopes you take it and close the case.
Having a skilled gun accident lawyer represent you can help keep inadequate offers off the table.
After a gun accident, you need to focus all of your efforts on healing. Let a gun accident attorney manage the compensation process. The sooner you contact an attorney after an accident, the better for your claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Gun Accident Lawyer Charge?
Typically, a gun accident lawyer will take their fee at the end of a case, basing their fee amount on the amount of compensation they recover for you. This arrangement means you will not have to pay any money out of your pocket to start your claim.
Additionally, gun accident attorneys front all of the costs associated with your claim and lawsuit, which typically include:
- Copying and faxing documents
- Court costs and filing fees
- Costs to hire investigators and experts
- Travel and research expenses
This type of payment arrangement, known as a contingency-fee-basis, allows gun accident victims to conserve their money and not worry about paying for their legal action until and unless they get compensated.
If your gun accident attorney cannot recover any compensation for you, you will owe nothing and will have spent nothing.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Gun Accident Lawsuit?
In Virginia, you have two years to file a gun accident lawsuit. In most cases, this is a hard and fast rule. Claims regularly expire because of this time limit.
In a few instances, an exception may be available to the two-year limit. Even if two years have passed, speaking with an experienced gun accident lawyer is a good idea in the event your claim is still valid.
How Much Will I Get for a Gun Accident Claim?
Your compensation award will depend on how you were injured and the seriousness of the gunshot wound. In general, serious injuries get the most compensation due to their extensive treatment costs. However, each case is unique, making it impossible to predict a potential compensation value without reviewing your case.
Having a skilled gun accident lawyer representing you can also make a big difference in the amount you recover. A successful track record speaks volumes.
At Emroch & Kilduff, we have a reputation for not backing down when our clients deserve more. If we believe your case deserves more than an insurance company offers, we will fight to get you the appropriate payout.
How Long Does a Gun Accident Claim Take?
It all depends on the seriousness of the injury and the complexity of the case.
As a general rule, any quick settlement offer from an insurance company will not pay you what you deserve. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the gun accident, it may take time for your gun accident lawyer to negotiate for a higher figure.
Speak to Our Gun Accident Lawyers Today
Gunshots disrupt lives. Long roads to recovery and reduced quality of life can make victims’ lives practically unbearable. Financial compensation goes a long way in easing some of the burdens involved.
“Emroch & Kilduff was a great company to help me in my time of need. The staff was very kind and professional. They kept me very informative on everything and were very pleasing and easy to work with. Everyone was very friendly and knew all their information. Definitely would recommend and go back to them for help again. Thank you Emroch & Kilduff for all your time and help.”
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3600 W Broad St # 700
Richmond, VA 23230