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Firearm Malfunctions and Liability

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Firearm Malfunctions and Liability

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When a firearm malfunctions, the effects can be devastating. Firearm defects can cause serious injuries and even fatalities when they misfire or discharge outside of the gun owner’s control. When someone is injured due to a firearm, it can be difficult at first to determine who is liable: the gun owner, the distributor, the manufacturer, or another party. Because of the general severity of firearm injuries, sensitivity surrounding the subject, and specificity of laws governing the issue, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced gun injury lawyer before taking action.

Situations in which firearm injuries occur include:

  • Allowing minors access to unsecured, loaded firearms. This is a common concern and can result from firearms being stored in locations to which a child could easily access, either intentionally or by accident. It’s important to train children in basic gun safety if firearms are going to be kept within a home, and/or keep the firearms locked away in an inaccessible location.
  • Hunting accidents. Carelessly handling weapons, missing the animal and hitting a person instead, and even mistaking a person for an animal through the underbrush are common causes of firearm injuries in hunting accidents.
  • Human error. Unfortunately, human error will always be a primary cause of many injuries, including firearm injuries. Aiming for a target and missing, firing a bullet into the air and accidentally striking a bystander, and allowing minors and untrained individuals access to firearms by accident or with intention are all forms of human error that can result in severe injuries for those involved.
  • Firearm malfunctions at a shooting range. When a gun explodes at a firing range, the manufacturer is often to blame. This could indicate a defect either in the product’s design or manufacturing process.
  • Unexpected discharge or misfire due to a manufacturing defect. Faulty triggers and safety failures are unfortunately common reasons for injuries resulting from unexpected discharges/misfires.

Common defects in firearms include but are not limited to the following:

  • Safety failure
  • Overly sensitive trigger
  • Rifle drop
  • Faulty accessories
  • Barrel failure
  • Defective chamber indicator
  • Design flaw, often in regard to the safety mechanism

If an injury occurred due to a gun unexpectedly discharging or misfiring, a manufacturing defect could be at play for which the manufacturer could be liable.

This is why it’s particularly important to contact a gun injury attorney after one of these situations. These attorneys are trained in recognizing situations when a manufacturing or design defect could have contributed to a firearm injury, and know exactly how to go about investigating and proving the legitimacy of the defect in order to give an injured party a chance at receiving fair compensation for their damages. In any kind of situation where a product defect might have resulted in harm to one or more parties, it’s important to retain possession of the product as well as any packaging or instructional material that came with it. This can help an attorney sort through what kind of liability the manufacturer is open to, and can also help distinguish between defect and user error. If you or a loved one were injured in a firearm accident, seek legal counsel to discuss your situation and eligibility for compensation.

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