Certain areas of New York State are renowned for their abundant hunting options. In November, hundreds of people armed with shotguns head to designated wooded areas to hunt pheasants, wild turkeys, deer, and other game animals. While enthusiasts insist that hunting is no more dangerous than other outdoor sports, the fact is that every year nearly 1,000 people throughout North America are accidentally shot by hunters, and an estimated 100 of these victims die from their injuries. Other injuries also occur out in the wilderness, often miles away from medical assistance.
Common causes of accidents during hunting season include:
- Target misidentification—the hunter mistakes a person for an animal
- Missing the target and accidentally hitting a person
- Hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Accidental weapon discharge
- Defective weapons or ammunition that blow apart in the person’s hands
- Falling objects such as tree branches and rocks
- Defective heaters that cause tents and clothing to catch fire
The problem with hunting accidents is that they can be complicated to investigate. There are not always witnesses, and in cases of accidental shooting, there may even be an issue of comparative fault between the parties. It often becomes necessary to obtain expert opinions on what exactly happened, and even after fault is determined, figuring out how to get the compensation you need to recover presents its own problems.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is the organization responsible for investigating hunting-related injuries. If it concludes that the hunter who injured you broke safety regulations, then local district attorneys may initiate a prosecution for assault or criminal negligence, but this does not do anything to make up for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A hunter’s homeowner’s insurance generally covers these economic and noneconomic losses, but initiating a claim is not something you can easily do alone when you’ve been injured. If a defective product was the issue (e.g., a shotgun exploded in your hands), then you’re facing an even bigger obstacle: a large company with an army of lawyers that will fight your claim tooth and nail.
To get the compensation you need to pay your current and future medical and rehabilitative expenses, assistance from an experienced New York personal injury attorney is indispensable. They understand the need for those who manufacture and handle firearms to take reasonable precautions to prevent people from being hurt and will fight for your rights by presenting a case for your fair and full compensation. Your attorney pursue all viable avenues of recovery and even take the matter to court to protect your best interests, giving you the peace of mind you need to recover properly. Call 718-514-6619 to set up a free in person consultation with Jayson Lutzky. He is a Bronx personal injury attorney with more than 34 years or legal experience and has helped numerous clients recover millions of dollars in compensation after accidents. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com/Accidents to learn more.