Accidental Shootings

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Shootings and Insurance

Accidental shootings are among the most tragic and sudden events that can occur.

Having handled several accidental shooting cases where a resident accidentally discharged a firearm causing serious injury or death AND with a clear understanding of how to handle a gun, people are surprised that homeowners insurance generally is involved in these claims.

Broadly speaking, for homeowners insurance to be invoked, the homeowner or a resident must be liable for injuries.

These injuries most often happen when someone unfamiliar with the firearm is showing it to another person.

In one case I handled, the owner of the pistol was showing it to another person when it discharged into the floor and threw concrete debris up injuring the eye of the bystander.

In another case I worked with out-of-state, a young man thought he had unloaded the shotgun and was playing around with it when it discharged.

These types of cases are different than accidental shootings which occur in a hunting environment. In those cases, the intent is to shoot but they may be negligent as to what they’re shooting. The most common mistake is to assume movement in the woods is a deer, and then shoot another hunter. Due to the intentional nature of the shot, some insurance policies will more aggressively defend those cases.

However, the insurance company in a negligent discharge situation should be quick to pay out policy limits for any wrongful death or serious injury that results. In addition, medical payments can be used to pay for funeral expenses up to the amount of that coverage.

The cardinal rule of gun safety should always be followed: “never under any circumstances, point a gun at anything that you do not wish to destroy.”

Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.