Accidental gunshot wound in the leg... who's at fault?

by Mike
(Spokane, Washington, USA)

My son-in-law is in the hospital after accidentally shooting himself. He was working at a friend's house doing some remodeling. He saw a gun, picked it up, went to check if it was loaded, the gun went off, and he shot himself in the leg. I haven't seen the police report yet, so I don't have any further information.

He is still in the hospital. He had to be life-flighted from a small town. Does the homeowner have any liability for this? Is it only my son-in-law's fault because he picked up the gun? Who is responsible? Thank you for any information you can give about this.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Accidental gunshot wound in the leg... who's at fault?":

Mike (Spokane, Washington, USA):

While fault obviously lies within your son's own actions, he may be able to recover the cost of some, or all of his medical bills. Hopefully, the homeowner carried homeowners's insurance. If so, whether or not negligence was a factor is irrelevant.

Homeowner's insurance normally pays for medical bills sustained by a third party (up to $1,000, under the MedPay portion of the policy), and does so without regard to who was at fault.

Have your son-in-law contact the homeowner and ask for the homeowner's insurance contact information. Your son-in-law then needs to contact the homeowner's insurance company and tell them he wants to file an injury claim.

His claim will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will review his medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Homeowner's insurance MedPay normally does not pay for an injured party's pain and suffering.

If the homeowner fails to cooperate, your son-in-law will be in a precarious position. He really can't sue the homeowner, because your son-in-law was at fault for firing the gun, whether intentional or not.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Gun Accident Questions.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION