Being the victim of a violent crime or shooting can not only shake your sense of safety but also result in substantial lost wages, medical bills, and other long-term financial implications. Determining whether you might be entitled to compensation for the damages associated with your violent crime injury could make the difference between financial strain or stability for your household into the foreseeable future.
Victims of crimes often experience not only physical injuries but also emotional and mental trauma. The person responsible for the crime may be charged criminally and could end up in prison; however, this does not provide the victim with compensation for the costs and damages linked to the crime. To collect compensation for these costs, a civil action is necessary, whether through the issuing of a demand letter or the filing of a lawsuit. Determining how to proceed with a personal injury case often requires a careful review of the evidence by a Georgia crime victim attorney.
Shootings are a Leading Cause of Emergency Department Visits in the US
The United States and the Second Amendment are closely interrelated, and the right to carry firearms in Georgia is strongly supported. When a firearm leads to an injury, however, the issues of both civil and criminal liability will impact the outcome of your case and/or claim to recover damages for your shooting injury.
The National Institute of Health, NIH, found that in 2018 firearm gunshot injuries were the 16th most common cause of emergency department injuries in the United States. Emergency department visits are costly in and of themselves, and shootings can result in additional long-term and life-altering healthcare implications. When your shooting injury also impacts your ability to return to work or to earn as much as you could before your injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation and should seek counsel from a Georgia crime victim attorney.
The Georgia Constitutional Carry Act Has Expanded Firearm Rights
The GA Constitutional Carry Act of 2021 states that “Since objects or instrumentalities in and of themselves are not dangerous or evil, in a free and just society, the civil government shall not ban or restrict their possession or use.” Persons are now allowed to possess a weapon or long gun so long as that person is a lawful weapons carrier.
A “lawful weapons carrier” under Georgia law means:
- Any person who isn’t prohibited by law from possessing a weapon or long gun
- Any person who is licensed through Code Sec. 16-11-129
- Any person licensed to carry a weapon in another state whose laws are reciprocal with Georgia
A license holder is an individual with a valid weapons carry license (WCL). Persons who are carrying firearms without a WCL violate the GA Constitutional Carry Act and will be liable for any damages and injuries they cause through the illegal use and possession of a firearm. Your Georgia crime victim attorney from Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC will carefully review the circumstances surrounding your injury in addition to the legal status and right to carry a weapon held by your attacker.
Even Persons with Valid Weapons Carry Licenses can be Liable for Shootings Due to Improper Use of a Firearm
Possessing a valid WCL in Georgia does not give an individual the right to use their firearm in violation of other laws. The improper use of a firearm is often illegal through one statute or another, such as the statute against assault with a deadly weapon. When an individual violates the law and causes another person injury, they should be held liable for the resulting damages.
Damages for Crime Victims Can Be Extensive
Not unlike other personal injury cases, a successful claim for your injuries when you are the victim of a violent crime or shooting will cover your short and long-term medical and occupational costs. Medical costs include your visit to the emergency room and the treatment immediately following your injury, as well as any medical treatments needed in the future, such as:
- Pain management
Any decrease in the number of earnings and benefits you receive from work is generally covered from the time of your injury through the remainder of your working life. The pain and suffering associated with your injuries are also generally recoverable.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the individuals who engaged in the prohibited action while also discouraging society at large from engaging in the targeted behavior. Engaging in violent crime is detrimental to society, and if you have been a victim, you may also be able to receive punitive damages in your compensation. Identifying the types of damages you are entitled to and in what amount can be complex and confusing, but with a Georgia crime victim attorney on your case, the entire process will be handled for you.
Explore Options on Your Case with a Georgia Crime Victim Attorney
If you’ve been victimized and injured as a result of a violent crime or shooting, a Georgia crime victim attorney from Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. According to the circumstances of your case, the perpetrator of the crime may not be the only party that should be held liable. For example, if you were attacked on a commercial property, the property management company’s poor security could also be liable in part for your injuries. Your initial case consultation with our Georgia crime victim attorney is free, and we only get paid if you win your case, so there is no risk and no out-of-pocket expense to you.