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Wrongful Death Involving Guns & Shootings

Call (406) 233-1302 for Representation in Your Wrongful Death Case in Montana

Montana has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the United States. Unfortunately, not everyone who has a gun in Montana is trained to safely use it. Persons born before 1985 are not even required to undergo hunter’s safety before obtaining a hunting license in Montana. Throughout Montana and the surrounding areas, negligent gun use and accident shootings are a growing cause of serious injury and unnecessary death. Owners of firearms must be held to a high standard of care and awareness because failure to properly maintain, store, and operate guns of any kind, such as shot guns, weapons, handguns, rifles or pistols, can have disastrous consequences. If someone you love has been hurt as a result of an accidental shooting or because of negligent gun ownership, training, or use, you must seek legal representation right away in order to hold the responsible party accountable.

Contact Hoyt & Blewett PLLC today for a free consultation.

Gun Violence vs. Accidental Shootings

According to the CDC’s Wonder database, nearly 40,000 people in the United States lost their lives in shootings in 2017. Many of these deaths were the result of intentional violence, but many others resulted from lack of care by gun owners.

Gun violence is the willful, deliberate use of a firearm to harm another person. This involves an act of will and is a criminal offense, punishable by years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and in some cases the death penalty. Insurance coverage may be available in cases involving willful and deliberate gun violence if a third party was negligent in contributing to the incident.

Accidental shootings due to gun negligence, on the other hand, can have equally tragic effects but usually occur due to one or more of the following forms of carelessness:

  • Leaving a loaded firearm unattended inside a motor vehicle, home, storage unit, or other area where another person might easily gain access
  • Failing to store firearms in a way that would prevent children and other unauthorized parties from gaining access
  • Negligently entrusting a firearm to someone who doesn’t know how to use it or doesn’t have capacity to use it.
  • Failing to implement trigger locks for guns when placing them in storage
  • Failing to unload a gun before handling or cleaning it
  • Failing to make sure the safety is on at all times (except when preparing to lawfully shoot at an intended target)
  • Negligently operating, aiming and using poor judgment
  • Operating a gun or firearm while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Unsafely designed guns that fire without the trigger being pulled

Gun negligence can also take the form of negligent self-defense, in which one party may carelessly threaten to shoot another person, shoot them without legitimate cause, and/or shoot them accidentally while attempting to defend themselves or their property.

Montana law prohibits concealed weapons from being carried while a person is under the influence of alcohol.

Filing an Injury Claim After Gun-Related Wrongful Death

If someone you love has been killed through another person’s negligent mishandling of a firearm, you may have a viable injury claim or wrongful death case. Filing a wrongful death claim may not make up for the loss you have experienced, but it can alleviate the financial burden imposed by their death and help ensure the negligent party does not cause similar harm to anyone else. It can also allow you to recover compensation for the years of lost wages and benefitsthat have been taken away from you through your loved one’s death.

In order to prevent future harm and fight back against the injustice caused by accidental shootings and negligent gun use, it is important for shooting victims to seek compensation from the shooter, their insurance provider, and other parties who may have played a role in your loved one’s death, such as a gun manufacturer or retailer.

At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we can help you evaluate your options and take the appropriate legal avenue toward justice. Connect with a member of our legal team as soon as possible to schedule a consultation and speak with a Montana wrongful death lawyer right away at (406) 233-1302.

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