Negligent gun owners or hostile criminals are not always the cause of injuries involving firearms. According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts report, in 2011, accidental firearms discharges accounted for 591 fatalities in the United States. While negligent gun owners caused many of these accidents, a portion of them might have occurred because the firearm was defective.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury because a firearm did not operate properly, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages and losses. However, proving a product malfunctioned and then connecting that malfunction to your injury or loved one’s death is tough. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we focus solely on personal injury law and know what it takes to win these cases. To discuss your case with an experienced defective firearms attorney in New York at no cost, call 1-800-NOW-HURT.
How do I know if a defective firearm caused my injury?
Even highly experienced and cautious gun owners can suffer injury or death because their firearms did not function properly. The following list provides some common defects that can lead to a firearm malfunctioning and injuring or killing someone:
- Loose trigger
- Failed safety mechanism
- Jammed gun barrel
- Defective firing pin
While some of these defects can cause a bullet to enter your body, others, such as a defective firing pin or jammed gun barrel, can cause burns or lacerations from exploding shrapnel.
Who is responsible for my injury or loved one’s death?
As we mentioned previously, product liability cases are extraordinarily hard to win without help. Injured parties are up against powerful corporations who employ massive legal teams to protect their reputations and financial well-beings. For this reason, you should consider working with an experienced product liability attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates who can level the playing field and look out for your best interests. We handle all communications with opposing attorneys and insurance adjusters, investigate your accident, gather compelling evidence, and fight for maximum compensation under the law.
The first step in assigning fault in a defective firearm case is to rule out negligence on behalf of the injured party. For example, if a toddler finds an unsecured gun and shoots herself, it is the gun owner’s fault for not securing the firearm. However, if the same gun owner is cleaning the gun while the safety is on and the safety fails, causing it to discharge and injure the toddler, the gun manufacturer could be held liable for selling a firearm with a defective safety switch.
To identify a gun defect, you must determine which mechanism in the gun did not operate properly. Our firm may enlist a firearms expert who can examine the gun and offer testimony to confirm it was defective. Also, as part of the investigation, we would determine whether or not the gun manufacturer was aware of the defect and issued a recall. Even in this situation, however, the manufacturer may assume liability if they did not take the proper steps to offer repairs or replacements.
For defective firearms under recall, gun distributors can be liable if they continue to sell the recalled items. This liability only holds true if you can prove the distributor knew of the defect and recall but continues to sell the gun despite the danger.
Other types of evidence in defective firearm cases can include:
- The preserved gun and all accessories, cleaning tools, and manuals
- Receipt of purchase
- Photographs of the scene where the accident occurred
- Medical reports
- Police or incident reports
What can I recuperate from my defective firearms accident?
Your financial recovery depends on the degree of the damages you suffered in the accident. Non-fatal wounds may allow you to recover damages related to the care of the injury, lost wages, and in some cases, punitive damages against the gun manufacturer or distributor. Fatal cases may allow the surviving family to collect damages for funeral expenses and economic loss of support.
Speak with a New York Defective Firearms Lawyer for Free
When a defective firearm damages the safety of your family and causes you great harm, the defective firearms attorneys in New York at Buttafuoco & Associates are here to help. We provide trusted legal assistance and build a strong case of evidence proving the defect and connecting it to your rightful damages. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.