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Filing a Personal Injury Claim for the Accidental Discharge of a Firearm

When your child goes over to a friend’s house, it’s unlikely that you have considered whether or not there is a firearm in the house they are visiting. Gun control has long been a hotly debated topic across the country. Unfortunately, situations can arise where children gain access to a gun. The result can be tragic. Scenarios surrounding the accidental discharge of a weapon can range from situations in which no one is hurt, to sustaining significant injuries and, in the gravest of situations, death. If your child has been injured in such a way, it may be in your best interest to take legal action, speaking with a personal injury attorney Bristol, TN residents trust will be beneficial in outlining your next steps.

Taking Legal Action in the Name of a Child

When a child is injured, a parent can take legal action if the child is under the age of 18. Depending on where you live, each state has variations to personal injury claims involving children. Often a settlement is divided into two portions. The first is set aside to provide payment to the parent for expenses they covered due to the child’s injury. The second sum of money is set-aside until the child reaches adulthood.  Children are not able to file a claim for themselves. Parents can take legal action on behalf of their children. Depending on where you reside, the court may have to first give their approval prior to moving forward. It’s important to note that a child does not have the same expectations in avoiding risky behavior as an adult does. Children under the age of seven, are usually not responsible for accidents because they are not yet old enough to understand dangerous or unsafe behavior.

Negligent Supervision of Your Child

When a parent leaves their child in the care of another person, they assume responsibility of the child. In cases surrounding negligent supervision, there are a few things you will have to prove:

  1. The person accused of negligent supervision must have knowingly taken responsibility for taking care of the child.
  2. Either you or your child must have suffered damages as a result.
  3. The victim of the accident must have damages that resulted from negligent supervision.
  4. Finally, you will have to prove that the defendant could have prevented the accident from occurring.

Negligent supervision cases do not only pertain to cases surrounding children. Other areas where cases of negligent supervision may arise include:

  • Negligent Supervision of Employees

  • Negligent Supervision of the Elderly

If a firearm that discharges accidentally injured your child, the person caring for them may be liable. When a person has not secured a firearm, and a child is injured as a result, their negligence could also result in criminal charges.

When Can a Child be Held Responsible?

When a child is under the age of 7, they cannot be held responsible for any part they played in an accident. This is because they do not have the capability of making decisions that would prevent personal injury. A child of a young age is not yet emotionally or mentally developed enough to be able to make same decisions as a competent adult capable of avoiding an injury.

If you or your child was injured due to a weapon accidentally discharging, you may have a strong personal injury case. An attorney with experience in representing personal injury cases can help you obtain the compensation your child may be entitled to.

Thank you to our contributors at the law office of Mark T. Hurt for providing information on personal injury claims above.

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