For many people, especially those unaccustomed to outdoor sports and hunting culture, the term “hunting accident” automatically conjures up thoughts of shooting injuries, gunshot wounds, or accidental deaths. While these certainly are possible and can be some of the most severe and gruesome types of injuries, many different hunting accident injuries don’t involve guns. The Illinois hunting accident lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. want to help injured hunters take legal action against the responsible party and recover compensation.
With over 15 million hunting licenses purchased in the United States in 2019, hunting is an extremely popular activity in all corners of the country, including Illinois. The majority of hunters across Central Illinois pride themselves on following safety regulations and rules, and for passing on this respect for safety to younger generations. Unfortunately, even the most prepared and careful hunter can suffer a serious injury when another hunter, property owner, or weapon manufacturer chooses to act negligently.
In the most serious circumstances, hunting accidents can end in death. For survivors, injuries can range in severity from lacerations and contusions to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. You need a skilled and experienced attorney by your side to help you through this trying time. The Illinois hunting accident attorneys are here to help injured hunters take legal action against the responsible party and recover financial compensation to help pay for medical bills and other damages. To learn more about your legal options and rights, call Spiros Law, P.C. today at (815) 929-9292 and schedule a free consultation.
Why Do You Need an Attorney?
Hunting is an inherently dangerous activity, so proving negligence in a hunting accident case without an attorney can be tricky. These types of cases generally fall under the legal theory of negligence. Therefore, victims need to prove a definite breach of duty directly caused their injury or loss of a loved one. Without the knowledge and experience of a personal injury lawyer, your case may never get off the ground.
You need an attorney who understands hunting laws and regulations, and more importantly, who specializes in these types of cases. An attorney can effectively establish liability against the negligent hunter or property owner before gathering evidence and building the strongest case possible to ensure you recover the full amount of compensation you need.
Why Choose Us?
At Spiros Law, P.C., we pride ourselves on being one of the premier personal injury firms in the state. Since opening our doors in 2005, our team of lawyers has dedicated themselves to helping the Central Illinois community in their time of need through hard work and aggressive litigation. We view the lawyer-client relationship as a partnership and believe that having a successful outcome depends on trust and open communication every step of the way. From the initial consultation to the final handshake after winning, we foster these personal relationships with our clients through regular face-to-face meetings and routine updates on how the case is going and what the next step will be.
One of our core beliefs at Spiros Law, P.C. is that a successful outcome requires a team approach. With a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience inside our doors, we take advantage of it by making sure every case is managed by partners, associates, paralegals, private investigators, and legal secretaries. By encouraging collaboration, we can build a stronger case and give you and your family the best chance at recovering the financial compensation you desperately need.
Types of Hunting Accidents
Although the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that unintentional fatalities by firearms have declined 50.5 percent over the past 20 years, hunters are still at risk of a serious injury or even death when another hunter or someone else acts recklessly.
From an accidental gun discharge to unattended bow hunting bolts or arrows, many hunting accident injuries are the result of a careless individual mishandling equipment. But there are some instances where a hunter breaks the rules or regulations and can be held liable. For example, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol before handling a firearm could potentially result in a serious accident, and that person can be held responsible.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources classifies hunting accidents into three categories:
- Category 1 – a hunting-related incident that causes injury or death due to the discharge of a firearm or bow during hunting activities
- Category 2 – a hunting-related incident that causes injury or death but doesn’t involve the discharge of a firearm or bow
- Category 3 – medical issues or injuries suffered in the field, not caused by the act of a hunting-related activity
At Spiros Law, P.C., our Illinois hunting accident attorneys have experience handling a number of different hunting accident cases, including the following:
- Accidental Shooting
- Accidental Gun Discharge
- Deer Stand Failure or Collapse
- Tree Stand Collapse
- Hunter Outfitter Mistake
- Hunting Guide Mistake
- Shrapnel Injury
- Gun or Bow Manufacturing Defect
- ATV Accident or Rollover
In 2018, there were four accidents involving a discharged firearm in the state of Illinois that resulted in one major injury and zero deaths. Additionally, nine people were injured falling from a tree stand, six people suffered injury installing a tree stand, and one person died from a heart attack standing in the field.
With an arsenal of weapons, hunters dressed in camouflage, and hunters positioned in tree stands well above 10 feet, it’s amazing how rare hunting accidents are. No matter the cause or whether you believe you were partially to blame, you may still be able to take legal action against the shooter, weapon manufacturers, or property owner.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover?
Whether you were accidentally shot, fell from a tree stand, or suffered another type of accident while hunting, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party and seek compensation to recover damages and losses. In the state of Illinois, victims of hunting accidents don’t have an infinite amount of time to file a lawsuit. Victims have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the tragic event that a hunting accident ends in death, surviving family members have one year to take legal action and file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Illinois personal injury lawyers will do everything possible to build your case and ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation to cover the following damages:
- Medical bills and hospitalization
- Future medical bills for any additional operations or care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Cost of prescription drugs
- The cost of any medical equipment needed to aid in recovery
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Loss of employment
- Counseling or therapy costs, if necessary
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma such as anxiety and depression
If you or someone you know has been injured in a hunting accident, report the incident to law enforcement, especially if the incident involves an accidental shooting with gunshot wounds or bow and arrow wounds. Authorities will usually investigate these types of incidents, but reporting the incident and obtaining copies of the reports and other documents can significantly strengthen your case and ensure full compensation.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. While some hunting accident injuries are so severe you need emergency medical care, other injuries may not surface for days or even weeks following your accident. A medical professional can determine the extent of your injuries and also provide paperwork outlining your injuries and any medical care you received as a result.
Tips for Staying Safe While Hunting
While most hunters are well-versed in safety procedures, first-timers or young hunters may not be as well informed. Before hunting, make sure you review the Illinois hunting laws and obtain a hunting license.
Hunters should also do the following to reduce the risk of an accident:
- Take the time to fully understand how all hunting equipment works, including weapons, deer stands, harnesses, and anything else.
- Wear vests or other articles of clothing in hunter orange to increase visibility and reduce the chance that another hunter will mistake you for a deer or other animal.
- Be aware of the location of other hunters in your group at all times.
- If you are using a deer or tree stand, use a harness.
Contact Spiros Law, P.C. Today
If you have been seriously injured while hunting due to an accidental shooting or falling from a tree stand, or you lost a loved one, it’s crucial that you consult with a qualified legal representative as soon as possible. Injured victims and surviving family members have the right to hold the negligent person responsible by pursuing financial compensation. The Illinois hunting accident attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have decades of combined experience protecting the rights of accident victims and helping them get adequate compensation for their losses.
You shouldn’t have to suffer financially due to the reckless actions of others. Our attorneys will do everything possible to get to the bottom of who was responsible for your injuries. Hunting accidents are unique and require a specialized skill set and knowledge of the law. To take the first step in getting the compensation you need to move on with your life, contact Spiros Law, P.C. today by calling (815) 929-9292 or fill out an online form.