Visitor Question

Got shot in the eye by a nerf gun…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Irvine, California)

Two months ago, I went to a church to volunteer for a school club. I do not usually go to the church, it was just because their kitchen was large enough for us to cook. After we finished cooking, the church’s youth group started playing with nerf guns, and since we didn’t have anything to do we just played along.

I wasn’t carrying a nerf gun for the first game for a while, and I was picking up bullets for my friends. There was a point where I was carrying a nerf gun, but nothing bad happened until I stopped carrying it.

I was shot in the eye as I was picking up bullets and dodging people, and I went to the ER as soon as possible. It’s been two months, and I just had the last doctor appointment a week ago, and my medical bills have accumulated to over $2,000.

Can you tell me if I can have the liability insurance compensate for the medical bills? If yes, how much? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

A “Nerf Gun” is a toy gun made by the Hasbro Corporation. The toy gun fires foam darts, discs, or, foam balls. In most cases, the projectiles are harmless.

Based on the facts you present, there doesn’t appear to be evidence of negligence. As a result, it would be difficult to succeed in a personal injury claim against the church. There is no evidence the youth who shot you intended to injure you.  As a result, his or her parents also would likely not be liable.

While there doesn’t seem to be evidence of negligence, the church’s MedPay option of their liability policy may cover your injuries and resulting medical bills.

Contact the church director or the person at the church with authority to contact the insurance company. Ask for the name and contact information for their insurance company and file a claim for your medical bills.

In the event the church refuses to cooperate, or if they cooperate but their insurance company denies your claim, you will be in a precarious position. There really isn’t anyone to sue. Neither the church nor the youth who “shot you” appears to have been negligent, or appears to have acted in a grossly negligent manner.

Moreover, because of the tentative nature of the liability and the relatively low amount of medical bills, it may be difficult to find an attorney who would agree  to represent you. Small claims court might be another option, but once again, without evidence of negligence, it would be difficult to prevail.

The final alternative is to pursue a defective products claim against the Hasbro Corporation. Hasbro is the manufacturer of the Nerf Gun. However, with the relatively minor injury you sustained, and low amount of medical bills, you will likely not find an attorney who will agree to pursue a claim against Hasbro.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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