Many New Yorkers participate in hunting as an integral part of their recreational life. Not only is it a way to get food; it is also a distinctive way to commune with nature, build relationships through ritual and commonality, and develop a respect and appreciation for wildlife. Sadly, sometimes the experience can result in tragic accidents that leave victims of accidents and their loved ones reeling. If you or a family member has suffered due to the negligence or recklessness of another hunter, seeking the assistance of a Long Island personal injury attorney may be worth your while.
While not every hunting accident is life-threatening, every single event is frightening and has the potential to leave lasting emotional damage. Just a few local incidents include:
- A hunter in Essex mistook his victim for a deer and took a shot, striking the individual in the back and one arm.
- One individual in St. Lawrence County was hit in the chest and face by errant pellets because he was located on the other side of a flock of ducks that a shooter was aiming for.
- In Orange County, a bow hunter shot his friend in the abdomen with an arrow after mistaking the friend for a deer.
- A woman was killed in Chautauqua County when a shooter struck her in the leg with a bullet from his pistol.
- When Oneida County hunter fired at a deer from his truck, he accidentally shot his friend in the ear and scalp.
- In Monroe County, a hunter shot toward perceived movement, striking a victim in the abdomen.
Failing to Adhere to Known Safety Rules
Many hunting accidents are completely preventable if only hunters would think before they act. Common sense safety guidelines that every hunter should follow include:
- Never point the barrel of a gun toward another person;
- Never storing guns while loaded;
- Treating every firearm as if it’s loaded at all times;
- Keeping your trigger finger outside of the trigger guard until the moment you’re ready to take a shot;
- Keeping firearms unloaded while in transit in a four-wheeler or other motor vehicle;
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol while handling firearms;
- Unloading weapons prior to cleaning;
- Knowing what you’re shooting at before taking the shot (never shoot toward a movement that is unidentified);
- Wearing hunter orange that is visible from all sides at all times; and
- Knowing what’s behind the target.
Hunting Accidents Have Consequences
There are many consequences that may occur as a result of a hunting accident. Victims may suffer physical, mental, and emotional trauma. Perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their intentions at the time of the incident. To discuss your situation with an experienced and dedicated Long Island Personal Injury attorney, call 844-GET-GARY and schedule a confidential consultation in our Garden City office.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.