Most hunters are meticulous in their preparation when participating in the sport and follow safety regulations and rules. Even so, many individuals still fall victim and are seriously injured in hunting accidents.
Unfortunately, most shooting accidents are preventable and often caused by the negligence of hunters, property owners, gun manufacturers, and others.
Individuals injured while participating in the sport often suffer numerous serious consequences. Serious injuries can include:
- A gunshot wound
- Wound by a bow and arrow
- Eye injury
- TBI (traumatic brain injury) or injury to the head
- Spinal injury
- Back or neck trauma
- Fractures or broken bones
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent people who have been injured while hunting due to others’ carelessness. Our attorneys are committed to getting you the compensation you are entitled to under Illinois law for severe harm inflicted by rifles and bows.
Contact a hunting accident lawyer today.. Call our office at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation and case review. Every accident lawyer in our group of attorneys has experience with these unique personal injury claims.
Firearm Accidents Too Common Amongst Hunters
Being injured in a shooting accident is a rare event, even during hunting season. Even so, hundreds of thousands of people take to the woodlands and back roads to hunt for game in the wild every year.
Most people use an extensive arsenal while in the woods, including rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, bows, and arrows. In most incidences, the weapon accidentally discharged, or the hunter mistook the target as a “game in the wild.”
Some hunting accidents happen when:
- Shooting firearms without a clear target
- Shooting randomly hitting populated areas near buildings and roads
- The weapon discharged when removed from a sheath or placed in a vehicle
- The rifle discharged while the hunter was climbing, walking, or running
- The hunter failed to engage the firearm’s safety
- The hunter performed an awkward action while climbing a tree or crossing the fence with a loaded gun or rifle
In nearly all cases where negligence is involved, the shooter can be held legally liable to the victim for the injury they caused. Other parties may also be at fault for the accident, including a weapons manufacturer, property owner, or another hunter.
Not every hunting accident is firearm-related. In some incidences, people are injured because of a defective or improperly installed tree stand and defective hunting and camping equipment, including defective heaters.
Staying Safe While Hunting
Many enjoy the outdoors during the autumn months for exercise, fresh air, and hunting wild game. However, shooting firearms often pose dangers, leading to accidental shooting with severe injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
A hunting accident could involve a personal injury, including head or back trauma, heart attacks, and broken bones when hunting. However, through proper education, outdoor enthusiasts can better understand their surroundings and identify any problems that might arise unexpectedly.
Some of these include:
The warning signs of a heart attack – Many middle-aged men and women enjoy outdoor activities, including hunting that requires walking and rough terrain, sitting for hours in a tree stand, shooting animals, and dragging the dead carcass for hours, increasing the risk for heart attacks
Harm from falling – Anyone can be severely injured when falling from a tree stand, elevated area, or cliff when startled by animals
Harm from impairment – Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the susceptibility to harm, like hypothermia and frostbite
Failure to communicate – Some accidents are the result of friends and family members disconnected from the group without the ability to talk through two-way radios or use loud whistles to identify where the others have gone
Harm from loaded guns – Every member of the group should always assume that every rifle is loaded and ready to fire to make sure every rifle muzzle remains pointed downward in a safe direction until it is ready to fire
A targeted death – Every member of the group is responsible for firing the rifle only when the target has been identified in a clear shot can be taken at only the target and not nearby
Preventing a hunting accident is not difficult when family and friends follow the rules. Hunting season can be safer when wearing blaze orange clothing to increase your visibility to others with rifles in the area.
Proving Negligence Against the Individual or Manufacturer
A hunting rifle can be a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. Most firearm-related hunting accidents usually involve specific factors used to prove negligence when the victim seeks financial compensation from the shooter.
These factors include:
- The shooter was poorly trained in gun safety
- The rifle was improperly stored
- Inexperienced adults or young children were showing off or playing with the weapon
- Someone impaired by alcohol or drugs handled the weapon
- The weapon had a manufacturing or design defect
If the victim dies, all parties responsible can be held financially liable in a wrongful death lawsuit and possibly face extensive criminal charges.
Seeking Compensation for an Injury or Fatality From an Illinois Hunting Accident
If you have been injured in an Illinois hunting accident, you have a legal right to seek compensation to recover all of your damages and losses.
The amount of compensation should cover:
- Hospitalization and medical bills
- Outpatient rehabilitation and therapy
- The cost of durable medical equipment to assist in healing
- Psychological counseling when necessary
- Lost wages
- The loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment
- Mental anxiety, depression, pain, and suffering associated with your injury
The hunting injury accident should be reported to law enforcement as soon as possible to ensure the victim receives the financial compensation they deserve.
Filing a police report is necessary, as is obtaining a copy of all paperwork you sign. Typically, local authorities and government agencies will investigate the accident to determine its cause and the parties responsible for the injury or death.
Hunting Accidents FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that some families have concerns about filing civil lawsuits to financially recover from an accidental shooting. A hunting accident lawyer answered some common questions below.
Contact our personal injury law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for a free consultation and case review to discuss your shooting accident case’s merits. Our injury lawyers are here to help your family with your accidental shooting claim.
What Causes Most Accidental Deaths Hunting?
Following hunter safety guidelines save lives. Some hunters suffer a wide assortment of severe injuries on varying terrains. The most common causes of accidental hunting deaths include:
Tree stand accidents – In 2019, there were about 3000 tree stand-related accident injuries were hunters or position twenty feet or more above the ground without a lifeline or safety harness
Accidental shooting – Some hunters lose their lives and every year in the United States when being mistaken for a deer or other animal on a hunting trip even when wearing brightly colored safety gear
Inexperienced shooters – Some shooters lack experience in handling a firearm and will shoot outside their safe zone of fire, hurting, injuring, and killing others
What is One of the Most Common Types of Serious Accidental Shooting Injuries?
The most common types of hunting accidents include:
- Shooters falling from their tree stand to the ground below, causing traumatic brain injuries, concussions, broken bones, and fractures
- Skin, bone, and eye injury from shrapnel and flying debris
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations from slip and fall accidents
- Explosions, burns, gunshots from malfunctioning weapons
- Drowning and near-drowning experiences
What Are the Dangers of Hunting?
Some outdoor enthusiasts use firearms to hunt for deer, quail, squirrel, and other wildlife.
However, the sport has hidden dangers that include:
- Exposure to the elements without protection and safety gear
- An errant shot that harmed, injured, or kills others
- Getting lost in unfamiliar terrain
- Slips, trips, and falls on uneven ground or cluttered areas
- Animal attacks
What Is the Safest Way to Transport a Firearm?
In most states, it is the law to unload your firearm and place it in a case before transporting the gun or rifle anywhere. Beforehand, open the gun or break it down to make sure there is no mishandling of the firearm.
Also, never display the firearm in your vehicle’s window gun rack to avoid provocation from anyone with an anti-hunting sentiment.
How Many Hunters Fall from Tree Stands?
Statistics reveal that in the United States, approximately 4000 individuals fall every year from tree stands while hunting. Nearly every shooting accident could have been prevented had the hunter followed the established rules and worn safety restraints.
Some of these accidents involved the need for immediate medical attention, especially for a young shooter who did not wear a lifeline hook or safety harness while climbing or resting on a ladder stand or tree stand.
What Is the Safest Way to Find Out If You Have an Obstruction in Your Firearms Barrel?
Checking for a firearm obstruction saves lives. If you believe there is an obstruction in your firearm’s barrel, stop what you are doing immediately and remove the object safely.
Checking should include:
- Pointing the firearm’s muzzle in a safe direction
- Checking for any obstructed debris lodged in the barrel that can be seen through the breach end of the barrel on a break-action firearm or using light to inspect the barrel for obstructions
- Using a cleaning rod to remove the obstruction
- Rechecking the firearm’s barrel again to make sure that all obstructions have been removed
Hiring a Lawyer Who Appreciates Dangers Related to Hunting
Are you the victim of a shooting while hunting, or did you lose a loved one in a hunting accident due to someone’s negligent action? Injured victims should seek legal consultation before the statute of limitations expires to ensure they receive the financial compensation they deserve.
Surviving family members have a legal right to seek financial compensation if their loved one is killed in a hunting accident caused by the negligence or reckless actions of another. Receive payment for your injury claim that could include medical bills, lost wages, hospital expenses, rehabilitation and therapy expenses, pain, and suffering.
Hunting accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have extensive experience in hunting accident cases. Our legal team fights aggressively to protect your rights to ensure you receive fair and adequate compensation for your losses.
Contact us today. Call (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or reach out through the contact form for legal advice and schedule a free consultation and case review to discuss receiving maximum compensation. All information shared with your hunting accident lawyer remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
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