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What are my compensation options as a gunshot victim?

March 10, 2021

Like many large American cities, New Orleans has more than its fair share of crime.

Shootings are an almost-daily occurrence, but what’s important is this: If you have been shot by another person, you deserve justice for your injuries.

Victims of gun violence can face serious debt and financial hardship due to the burden of paying medical bills and missing or adjusting work. While you might have some savings and personal insurance coverage that can help, it’s still devastating to face financial burdens due to someone else’s dangerous actions. 

Wright Gray Louisiana personal injury attorneys see these financial hardships with our clients who are shooting victims, and it’s our job to help you fight for the compensation that can help you move forward with your life. 

Compensation options for gunshot victims in Louisiana

You have a few options for compensation as a gunshot victim. These include:

  1. The courts could order restitution as part of the criminal penalties against the perpetrator.
  2. You could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the liable individual’s insurance provider.
  3. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or other negligent parties, where applicable.

Although court-ordered restitution may sound like a great route, the courts do not always order such payments. Secondly, these funds are generally limited and paid out over a long period of time.

That's why it’s often better to seek counsel from an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney as soon as possible after sustaining a gunshot wound. Personal injury lawsuits can help you recover medical bills, missed work or decreased compensation due to changes in your work, pain and suffering, and more.

Let’s take a look at how each of these compensation types works and what to consider when evaluating these options.

Court-ordered restitution

A big difference between court-ordered restitution and personal injury settlements is that court-ordered restitution does not compensate a victim for pain and suffering in any way.

Instead, it aims to make the perpetrator clean up after their crimes. In addition to paying for medical bills and physical therapy for their victims, it can also require that the perpetrator pay for damaged property or to clean up a crime scene. 

Getting court-ordered restitution relies on the courts to find, charge, and convict the criminal who shot the gun that injured you. For this to happen, the court must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the individual did commit the shooting crime. 

In many cases, charges are decreased or even dropped due to a lack of clear evidence. 

That could mean that the victim is left paying the bills for their own medical treatment. 

Filing a Louisiana personal injury lawsuit

Instead of relying on the courts to order the criminal to pay you restitution, you can take matters into your own hands. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you recoup your expenses as well as reasonable pain and suffering compensation to rebound financially from the ordeal.

In a civil lawsuit, you don't have the same burden of proof that a criminal case must present. You'll have to show that the shooter's actions against you were negligent and that negligence directly caused your injuries and caused you to suffer damages.

When pursuing a Louisiana personal injury lawsuit, you could name multiple parties in your case, depending on the circumstances.

These parties could include:

  1. The shooter, specifically
  2. A third party who failed to secure their property accordingly
  3. An insurance company that provides liability insurance for the third-party business you’re accusing of negligence 

The best way to know who to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against is to discuss the matter with Wright Gray New Orleans personal injury attorneys. Your team of attorneys will recommend the best next steps for your case.

Hiring a New Orleans personal injury attorney

Your first step after sustaining a gunshot wound is often to seek medical care. But once you’re on your way to recovery, get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The sooner you involve an attorney, the easier your lawsuit against the shooter or other third parties will be. That’s because you’ll have a legal expert guiding you throughout the process and ensuring you don’t say or do the wrong thing that could jeopardize your case.

Schedule a free consultation with the legal experts at Wright Gray to discuss how we protect shooting victims and ensure they get the financial support they deserve.


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