A firearm can be an extremely dangerous weapon when it gets into the wrong hands. However, it can be even more dangerous if it's defective. Indeed, defective guns have been known to go off without even pulling the trigger, explode into the user and malfunction in a host of other dangerous and potentially fatal ways.
When a serious firearm accident result in injury or death due to no fault of the user or owner of the weapon, victims and their family members may want to hold the manufacturer of the defective rifle or gun accountable in court. However, just because you or your family member got hurt by a firearm doesn't mean you have a case. Here are the three types of personal injury or wrongful death claims relating to firearms:
- A firearm might not be defective per se. It might just have various dangers associated with it that the users will not immediately know about. Manufacturers of firearms have a duty to warn users of foreseeable risks, and they have a duty to provide adequate instructions for use. If failing to warn the user or failure to give appropriate instructions causes an injury or death, it could give rise to a lawsuit.
- A firearm that's flawed due to a manufacturing defect presents serious dangers to users. However, a manufacturer might continue to produce the firearm despite these dangers and knowingly risk the safety of its customers. Such defects could later give rise to a lawsuit.
- Another category of firearm injury case involves a gun that was created exactly as it was designed, without any manufacturing-related flaws; however, design flaws result in the gun being dangerous. In these cases, the manufacturer often knew about the design flaws but did not try to reduce the risks by creating an alternative design to fix the problem.
When someone loses a life or gets seriously injured in a gun-related accident, the victim's family members, or the victim, might want to investigate his or her legal rights and options to hold the manufacturer liable in court.