Can the Victims of a Shooting Sue for Compensation?


Shooting deaths and injuries have become far too common. Between workplace shootings, mass shooters in public spaces, and political unrest, there is a chance that any one of us could become a victim of one of these violent incidents. If the worst should happen and you or a loved one is harmed, you may wonder who is responsible for covering your expenses. 

In any shooting, you are going to be left with medical bills and the cost of emergency transportation. If the victim was employed, they may lose wages or lose their ability to work entirely. If the shooting was fatal, the survivors may be left to cover the cost of the funeral and burial. All for something that wasn’t the victim’s fault.

What can you do if you become a victim? Keep reading to learn more about this growing problem and what victims can do to get compensated.

Gun Violence in the United States

Gun violence statistics show that the number of shootings has increased around the country, with some cities reporting shootings regularly. What used to be a severe issue or criminal offense has now turned into a common occurrence in many parts of the country. Part of the problem is too many people who should not be allowed to have guns are able to purchase and own them anyway.

In the Sandy Hook shooting, 26 lives were lost, including the shooter. The parents of the child victims sought justice through civil court proceedings. A judge threw out a lawsuit the parents filed against the school district and the state, but the families were able to settle with the Nancy Lanza estate for an undisclosed amount. 

Victims of shootings and their loved ones have the right to sue any parties they can prove were at least partially liable for the incident. 

Legal Rights To Sue for Compensation

Victims of the shooting have the legal right to sue for compensation. Here are some common types of compensation that you may be awarded:

  • Damages for Medical Expenses
  • Damages for Loss of a Loved One
  • Damages for Emotional and Physical Pain
  • Replacement of Income in Case of Impairment

Because the circumstances of each shooting incident are different, there is no way to tell which damages you can claim without speaking to a lawyer. 

Who Can Be Sued for Shootings

After an act of gun violence, there may be several different parties who are legally liable for the resulting damages. These include:

The Shooter

The shooter bears the largest burden in civil lawsuits that are filed by the victims of the shooting. As a victim, this is where your anger will be directed, and you would like justice to be administered quickly. However, it is worth noting that other parties may also be brought into consideration, especially when the shooter is killed on site or someone else had a duty to stop them.

Negligent Security

The owners or operators of the premises where the shootings occurred can also be sued if they failed to provide adequate security. Failing to prevent the shooting is an issue of concern that the court will want to analyze. If it was negligent security that allowed the shooter to access the victims, it could have been prevented if the maximum security was offered.

Understanding liability and who can and cannot be sued is the foundation of any potential lawsuit. Trends have shown that many people have lodged complaints against gun dealers or manufacturers. So far, these parties have been protected by the law as they were not in any way involved in the use of the weapon. 

Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer

In case you or your loved one has been involved in a shooting, you may want to consider speaking to an attorney. According to one personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas, if there was something a venue could have done to prevent a shooting, they may be responsible for the damages of the innocent victims who were affected by the tragedy. 

Even if the shooter died in the incident, as is often the case, you may be able to get compensation from their estate as the parents of the Sandy Hook victims did. There is nothing that will bring your loved ones back or take away your pain if you were shot, and the very least you are owed is financial relief. 

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