Injuries from firearms send over 7,000 children to the emergency room each year, while an additional 3,000 children will tragically die from gunshot wounds before they can be transported to a hospital. A study done in 2009 showed while large portions of these gunshot injuries are from intentional assaults, more than 2,000 are accidental. Sadly, the number of children killed by handgun or firearm injuries has risen steadily over the past few decades. Perhaps most troubling are when the shootings occur at a school, but hundreds of children are injured or killed each year by a handgun or firearm in their own home, at a friend’s home, at a caregivers home or even at a gun show or firearm facility.
The United States and Firearm-Related Deaths Among Children
Overall, the rate of death from firearms among children in the United States is a staggering eighteen times higher than the rates in other high-income nations. Gun death rates for children and teens in the U.S. is four times higher than in Finland (the country with the next highest rate), fourteen times higher than in France, and 67 time higher than in the United Kingdom. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates death from firearms to be among the top three causes of death in the U.S. In fact, gunshot injuries kill twice as many children in the United States as cancer.
What Can You Do If Your Child is Injured in a Firearm Accident?
If your child is injured or killed in a firearm accident, what recourse do you have? Currently, only fourteen states along with the District of Columbia have laws holding adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely, allowing children access to the firearms. Only one state—Massachusetts—has a law, which requires gun owners to lock firearms safely away. Those in the D.C. area may be able to sue the adult in the home where the firearm accident occurred, if the gun was not kept in a safe manner where children were unable to access it.
Although most accidental gun injuries to children are the result of irresponsible storage or behaviors, some injuries can be attributed to faulty manufacturing issues. A gun may accidentally discharge when dropped, the ammunition may malfunction, the firearm cabinet lock or gun safety lock may fail, resulting in a child’s access to weapons, or there may be poor product design which leads to a misfire or other dangerous malfunction.
Getting Help for Your Child’s Injuries
If your child is the victim of a gun accident, you deserve justice. Any type of gun accident can be tragic for the child and his or her family. Such accidents can lead to life-long medical challenges or psychological damage. Having an experienced Washington DC child injury attorney by your side to fight for your child’s rights can make all the difference. A skilled injury attorney can successfully investigate the accident, which was responsible for your child’s gun injury, and will know which person or entity can be charged with negligence or even held criminally liable.
Contact Our Washington DC Child Injury Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our child injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured children and families in Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland. If your child has sustained a serious gunshot injury or has been tragically killed due someone else’s negligence working with a firearm or handgun, there are ways we can help. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The child injury attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Maryland, and throughout Virginia.