Hunting Accident in Michigan
Michiganders have grown accustomed to Michigan’s outdoor sporting activities. Of course, hunting during either bow or gun season is a popular activity, but it does not come without some risk. People get shot accidentally all the time. In the event that you or someone you know has been injured—or even killed—it is important to understand what a judge or jury might consider in your case.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a common cause of action that holds another party liable for damages when the following four elements can be proved: Duty, Breach, Causation, Damages.
I. We all have duties imposed by law to act appropriately and reasonably toward other people—whether we acknowledge that the duty exists, or whether we accept that responsibility is irrelevant. A certain level of care is required of people who choose to take part in certain activities. Certainly, this is especially true whenever the activity engaged in involves a weapon. For example, a person who hunts should take the time to look at his target as opposed to shooting blindly in all directions.
II. When does a party breach a duty? When that party acts unreasonably. No reasonable person would go into the woods and blindly fire off round after round in all directions.
III. The third element to be considered is whether the breach of one’s duty actually caused the injury to another person. But for a hunter firing blind rounds into the woods, would my friend have been injured? Is it foreseeable that where a hunter fires off blind rounds into the woods, an innocent bystander is injured?
IV. There is no lawsuit unless there is damage or injury.
Was I Comparatively Negligent?
In Michigan, the law recognizes comparative negligence. Not only does the negligence exhibited by a defendant get analyzed, but the negligence of an injured party is taken into consideration as well. An injured party’s damages are reduced by the percentage that he/she is found to be at fault for the accident. If the injured party is found to be more than 50% at fault for what happened, he/she is precluded from recovering non-economic damages, i.e. pain and suffering.
Examples of Comparative Negligence
So, in what situations might an injured party be comparatively negligent? A party may be found to be comparatively at fault if he/she refuses to wear orange vests or hats; to make it easier for other hunters to identify a target as another person instead of an animal. Or, what if another hunter fires a round that hits close to your location? A reasonable person would yell at the top of his lungs to warn the other hunter that there are people in the area. These are just a couple of examples of when an injured party may be found to be comparatively negligent.
Get a Personal Injury Attorney
Our office has grown accustomed to handling a wide variety of personal injury cases over the years. If you or someone you know has been injured in a hunting accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer right away. Please contact our office at: 586-268-2400.