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Civil Liability For Gun Violence


Gun violence is seemingly everywhere in America, and it’s tragic. It isn’t just the mass shootings that cause heartache either; on plenty of occasions, a single gunshot can alter a family’s life forever. When there is gun violence, we often think of criminal liability and criminal penalties. But many people don’t know that there often could be civil liability as well.

Suing for Civil Damages

When someone is shot, there are a number of ways that there could be a lawsuit in negligence, or for the intentional act of shooting the weapon. Here are some ways that someone can be held liable for the injuries that happen because of, and with a gun, in civil court.

Suing the shooter – This is the most obvious avenue. In some cases, depending on where the event happened, there may even be insurance, such as a homeowners insurance policy, that will either pay the claim or that can be sued directly for the liable party.

Remember that shooting isn’t always intentional. Someone may shoot a gun accidentally, when cleaning it or mishandling it. Other times, someone may shoot, but not at someone, such as someone shooting in the air, which can cause injury.

Suing the owner of the gun – Often, people who own guns are careless as to who can access the gun. People who are too young to use a gun, or who may have other mental disabilities that make them unsuitable to handle a weapon, can get their hands on guns when the owners fail to properly secure the guns. Owners even sometimes purposely allow others, such as kids, to use guns, in hopes of “training” them how to use the gun.

Supervisors – Prisons, schools, nursing homes, or other areas often have supervisors, whose job it is to monitor people and make sure there is no violence on the property. Supervisors and managers can often be sued, when there is an incident with a gun.

Property owners – If a shooting happens on someone’s business, the business can be liable. A business may not have had proper security or metal detectors. Or, the business may simply be aware of crime in the local neighborhood, but do little to make sure there is security on their property. Businesses with overcrowded parking lots may direct customers to park far away, often in isolated areas that make the customers prime crime targets.

Sometimes, businesses that sell the guns may be held liable, if they were aware that they were selling the weapon to someone who should not have been allowed to purchase it.

Damages After Gun Violence

When you sue for an injury caused by a gun, you can have an injury claim, allowing you to recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and many other types of damages. If the victim has passed away, you or your family may be entitled to additional damages, through the Tennessee wrongful death laws.

Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today if you are injured in an accident of any kind, whether intentional or accidental.



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