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View Poll Results: Would you sue someone who shot you no matter the circumstances or explanation?
Yes, I would sue no matter the circumstances or explanation. 36 28.35%
No, I would weigh the circumstances and explanation carefully. 91 71.65%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 24, 2010, 11:41 PM   #1
usaign
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Sueing the good guy after getting shot by mistake...

I thought I might start a poll and discussion. Lets say you get shot by a good guy, accidentally, who really meant the round for a bad guy. Lets say the bad guy was doing something really bad like armed robbery and being an overall menace.

So would you sue no matter what the situation or explanation?
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Old July 25, 2010, 02:37 AM   #2
jgcoastie
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If I am alive enough to sue, then that means I'm alive enough to survive. I have excellent health care coverage. I don't need to sue someone who tried to do the right thing.

Now, if I die as a result of their poor aim?
The last thing the "good guy" will have to worry about coming from my family is a lawsuit. He'll likely expire from acute lead poisoning before anyone makes it to the courthouse...
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Old July 25, 2010, 06:00 AM   #3
Glenn Bartley
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I might or might not sue but would be fairly certain to consider it. If shot by a bad guy, I might sue no matter what though although as I just said I would also consider not doing it. The reason(s) I might sue a bad guy no matter what would be for things like justice and revenge and because I might be a tad bit upset that some dirtbag shot me. There might also be some speculation, I mean he might hit the lottery, sue the police and win a big cash amount, or get a real job someday and all that could become mine. That would be justice.

As for suing a good guy, I would consider suing. There would be a lot more to consider in this case as far as I am concerned. A lot would depend upon whether or not the shooting was justified (not shooting me but the whole action of using lethal force in the first place whether or not he was firing at me on purpose who hit me by mistake). If not justified I might be more likely to sue. I would consider it for sure, and would consider suing the individual and any organization involved such as a police department.

All the best,
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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Good question, and I'm not sure I know what I'd do. OK, he's trying to be a "good guy", but did he really need to shoot, and was it his responsibility to shoot? Also, even though he did not mean to shoot an innocent person, he is ultimately totally responsible for every round he fires. I guess if he paid all my medical bills and lost wages, etc., I wouldn't sue.
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Old July 25, 2010, 08:39 AM   #5
Tennessee Gentleman
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As Clint Smith says: "Every shot you fire downrange has a lawyer attached to it." I would sue probably no matter what. Depends on how seriously I was injured. Put me in a wheelchair and you will pay for it.
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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You are responsible for every round that exits your barrel. Yes I would sue.
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:23 AM   #7
zoomie
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Whether we would or not is largely irrelevant. Our health insurance and/or life insurance will sue to recoup their payout losses.
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:47 AM   #8
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If the shooting was ruled justified, AZ disallows civil liabilty. It would have to be a case by case basis on justification to see if negligence was responable for the third party injuries, or through no fault of the shooter. Not a lawyer, don't play one on TV, either.
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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Money... will make a blind-man see as the old saying goes... we're a litigated society, most people will never turn down the opportunity to make money deserving it or not.
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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Having never been hit by a bullet and never wanting too... I would think that there would be some pain involved. Health insurance might take care of the medical costs, but it won't take care of the time I have to spend making sure that things got paid. Remember in this scenario I did nothing wrong, simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I loose time from work why should that be my expense? I'm not looking to "get rich" just be made whole. I simply want what I expected from life before being shot.
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:33 AM   #11
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I would have to weigh the circumstances very carefully, and determine if the person was acting in a reckless and dangerous manner. I MAY sue if it was some hothead who decided to needlessly throw lead in my direction. I would NOT sue if it was a good shoot, unavoidable, and fate saw to it I caught one when a good citizen did the right thing.

One of the reasons this country's legal system, and by extension our society, is as jacked up as it is, is because of folks and their ambulance chasing lawyers lining up every time there is a chance at personal profit at the expense of somebody doing their job, OR the right thing, OR having and honest, out of their control accident. I understand the insurance companies going after each other, I am talking about individuals seeing a chance and grabbing some poor schmoe's house, car, savings, kid's college fund etc. and running for the bank like they deserved the money. Like they have a right to kick a guy and take his wallet when he did the right thing in this instance.

Being able to look myself in the mirror and be OK with what I see is something I value. Something to ponder.
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:36 AM   #12
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If I on the loosing end of a battle with the bad guy... and someone tried to help save my life by shooting, and made the mistake of hitting me instead.. NO... I wouldnt. I would be happy that I was alive at all.
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:57 AM   #13
godot
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Never turn up a chance to sue, if you have any real chance of collecting.

Having said that, maybe some kind of insurance might be a good idea. A few years ago the NRA put out a figure that the average cost for a "rightous" shooting was $50,000.

Getz (the NYC subway shooter), was sued by the scum that were trying to rob him and they were awarded $1,000,000. These were really bad guys, and they still won. So maybe insurance is worth looking into.
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:58 AM   #14
armoredman
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Bernie also violated numerous laws, and continued shooting after the threat had been nuetralized. Not really a good example of a righteous shooting.
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:08 AM   #15
usaign
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The way the poll is turning out is interesting. 1 out of 3 people would not consider the circumstances or explanation and just file a suit. Its still a small sample though. I wouldnt put any credibility in the poll unless it had at least 500 responses.

Please keep your responses civilized. I wouldnt be throwing out there that your relatives would go after the guy with poor aim. Thats not lawful or civilized.
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:09 AM   #16
jgcoastie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godot
So maybe insurance is worth looking into.
Sure, if you could find a company to insure you.

Know of any companies out there willing to insure you against a lawsuit resulting from your use of a firearm???
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Thats not lawful or civilized.
Neither is suing, no matter the circumstances.
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:15 AM   #18
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
The way the poll is turning out is interesting. 1 out of 3 people would not consider the circumstances or explanation and just file a suit.
I think part of the problem is that your use of the word "sue" is a little vague. Are you talking about a multi-million dollar civil suit, intended to extract every penny you can from the shooter? Or would simply trying to recover medical expenses, lost wages, etcetera also count as "suing" in your book?

I had a motorcycle accident a few years back that only resulted in a two-week hospital stay and one (admittedly complex) surgery. The total bill was still over $140,000. If you think I (or my insurance company) will happily eat a large monetary loss just because the shooter's heart was in the right place, you're woefully deluded.

Quote:
Know of any companies out there willing to insure you against a lawsuit resulting from your use of a firearm???
I think one of the companies that advertises in the NRA magazines offers insurance against lawsuits resulting from the lawful use of a firearm. Can't remember the name, though.
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:37 AM   #19
troy_mclure
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Quote:
Quote:
Thats not lawful or civilized.

Neither is suing, no matter the circumstances.
so you are saying that if some moron pops off all 19rds towards a guy with a knife, and hits you in the spine, thats cool? no worries?
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:48 AM   #20
shafter
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This is a really good question. First let me say that I am really against suing people. I've been in circumstances where I could have sued and didn't. I've also been on the receiving end of an unjust lawsuit which I fortunately won.

Would I sue if a good guy hit me by mistake? I don't know for sure. I would like to know his background. Did he take a firearms class, does he put time an effort into learning how to properly use his weapon or did he just go to the gunshop, buy a gun and stick it in his pocket and forget about training? I might consider it under these circumstances.

If I have to say yes or know I would have to say probably not. You can't blame a guy for trying to save his own life. If I was seriously injured I might want medical expences provided for and nothing more. If I died I would NOT want my family to sue. Prosecute yes, but not sue.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:06 PM   #21
Bartholomew Roberts
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Well, one thing to consider is your medical expenses - because if you get shot, you are going to have some.

1. Should you bear the cost of all those medical expenses yourself? After all, it is unlikely that the bad guy is going to be able to pay them.

2. If you answered "But that is why I have health insurance", then understand that your insurance company is DEFINITELY going to sue the guy if they can and they'll expect you to cooperate with them. Not cooperating with them can result in you paying those costs yourself.

Quote:
As Clint Smith says: "Every shot you fire downrange has a lawyer attached to it."
And that pretty much sums it up...
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
..I think part of the problem is that your use of the word "sue" is a little vague. Are you talking about a multi-million dollar civil suit, intended to extract every penny you can from the shooter? Or would simply trying to recover medical expenses, lost wages, etcetera also count as "suing" in your book?...
"Suing" is "suing." For any sort of injury and any particular theory of liability, there are rules that describe the kind of damages recoverable.

One could ask for millions, but unless he can show legally recognized damages totaling millions he won't get them.

If you claim, and you can show, that you were injured through the negligence of another, you would be entitled only to the recognized damages you will be able to prove. The recognized damages are first your economic damages: past and estimated future medical expenses for care necessary to treat the injury; past lost wages (from being off work because of the injury); estimated future lost wages (if your injury leaves you with a reduced future earning capacity); costs associated with retraining you for a different type of work, if your injury leaves you unable to continue to pursue your past trade or profession; and costs you will incur to help overcome the effects of any lingering disability (e. g., making your home or car "handicapped accessible"),

In addition, on a negligence claim, you can recover what are called "general damages." These are damages to compensate for non-economic loss necessarily resulting from the injury. They are basically to compensate you for your pain and suffering, and the amount will be whatever the jury thinks your pain and suffering was worth. Juries can be fairly hard nosed about general damages. It used to be a rule of thumb that general damages would be around three times the "medical specials", i. e., the proven medical expenses.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:13 PM   #23
ScottRiqui
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Well then, if attempting to recover legitimate medical and rehabilitation expenses counts as "suing" for the purposes of this thread, then the poll should be at 100% in favor of suing, unless the shooter and/or his insurance company offer to pay those expenses right off the bat without any pressure.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
Well then, if attempting to recover legitimate medical and rehabilitation expenses counts as "suing" for the purposes of this thread, then the poll should be at 100% in favor of suing, unless the shooter and/or his insurance company offer to pay those expenses right off the bat without any pressure.
Yes, for the most part suing is about trying to recover claimed legitimate losses. And if a monetary settlement is offered promptly, and if it's reasonable compensation, the settlement gets accepted; and it all ends there. Asking for compensation is always the first step. It winds up in court only when there's a dispute about liability and/or the amount of damages.

Now consider this. The innocent person you hit with your bullet is a young professional just starting his career and with a young wife and two small kids. Your bullet makes him a paraplegic. Total economic damages, including past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses and lost income could easily, legitimately run $5 Million, or a whole lot more.

Your homeowners' insurance will cover you for liability up to $1 Million. So your insurance company is prepared to pay its $1 Million policy limits. The only problem for you is, however, that will leave you personally responsible for at least another $4 Million.

I just throw that out there to point out that there are numerous, potential complications.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:47 PM   #25
usaign
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"so you are saying that if some moron pops off all 19rds towards a guy with a knife, and hits you in the spine, thats cool? no worries?"

Honestly, I would be angry...my family and friends would be angry. The right thing to do is not being a vigilante and going after the guy who did it though. We are a society with laws and processes. They are in place to keep the peace. Lynch mob justice is not real justice and only encourages violence. Thats just my opinion.

Im certain the prosecutor would find a way to deal with the guy who pops off 19 rounds and certainly there would be litigation against him. Thats the acceptable way to deal with the matter.
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