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When is a property owner responsible for a gunshot injury in Louisiana?

By August 25, 2021No Comments

In 2020, a year where many businesses shuttered and people sheltered in place, more than 20,000 people died of gun violence. And sadly, the great state of Louisiana has ranked in the top five worst states for shooting-related deaths and injuries. 

Luckily, victims of gun violence have legal options beyond pressing charges– they can pursue lawsuits against assailants and property owners. Property owners have responsibilities to provide safe environments—especially when that property is used as a venue for social gatherings. 

Read on to learn more from the personal injury attorneys at Wright & Gray about when to pursue legal action against a property owner when you were shot on their property.

Business Owners Have a Legal Responsibility to Take Safety Precautions

The legal concept behind holding property owners accountable is called “premises liability.” 

Businesses can be found negligent in civil suits if they do not take appropriate measures to increase premise safety. One example of negligence in the event of a shooting is a nightclub or bar that does not have enough staff like bouncers and security personnel. Without adequate staff, potential threats are less likely to be detected and patrons are at higher risks for being harmed. 

Inadequate staffing isn’t the only way that property owners can be held responsible for gunshot injuries. Opportunity plays a role in the cause of crime—particularly crimes that involve violence. Business owners have a responsibility to limit criminal opportunity. 

Lawsuits may be brought against property owners for a number of reasons, including:

  • Broken or inadequate security cameras
  • Poorly-lit areas
  • Entrances and exits with broken locks
  • Businesses operating in areas with high crimes rates or businesses that have had similar crimes occur in the past
  • Mishandling employee terminations and/or allowing former disgruntled employees access to premises
  • Over-serving patrons with alcoholic beverages and/or turning a blind eye to drug use

Lawsuits filed against property owners must be able to prove that there was negligence in preventing criminal activity and can involve all types of businesses and properties, including:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Retail stores
  • Malls
  • Movie theaters
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Sports complexes
  • Houses of worship
  • Parking garages

What kinds of damages can victims sue for?

Gun violence can cause lifelong disabilities and debilitating pain, if not death. If a shooting victim wins a lawsuit against a property owner, he or she may be entitled to compensation for any of the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income due to injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses (in the cases of wrongful death)

It’s not uncommon for gun violence victims to be unable to work for the duration of their life. The financial burden associated with surviving a shooting could seriously affect a person’s quality of life—especially if they have dependents such as aging parents, children, or spouses.

Get in touch with Wright & Gray today

If you or someone you love has been shot, you may be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury law firm Wright & Gray serves people in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. We offer complimentary consultations to help you understand your legal options. Our experienced attorneys provide aggressive and compassionate representation. 

Call Wright & Gray at (504) 500-0000 to schedule a free personal injury consultation.