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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 26, 2010, 10:47 AM   #76
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaign
...As for my liability insurance kicking in...you can always file a claim directly with anyone's insurance company. All states have insurance regulations that state they must accept and investigate the claim....
No, that is not at all true. A liability insurer has no duty to respond to a claim directly from a stranger. The liability insurer insures you, and owes its duties to you.

Yes, insurance is highly regulated, and after over 30 years practicing law, much of which involved dealing with the regulation of insurance, I am very familiar with that fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usaign
...I could file a claim against you right now and just make something up. Your insurance company would be obligated by law to accept my claim, investigate the matter and then accept or deny it even if its an obviously bogus claim...
But you would have to make that claim to me, and I would have to refer it to my insurer. If you went directly to my insurer, they could ignore you. And BTW, how would you even know who my liability insurer is?
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:04 AM   #77
shafter
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You guys are absolutely right. If I hurt you then I am morally obligated to pay even if I was doing nothing wrong.

If nothing else this thread should emphasize the importance of putting your shots in the right place. Practice Practice Practice!
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:06 AM   #78
.22lr
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I'll ask again

In the hypothetical scenerio that the OP added on the third page of this thread, I am struck by bullets that have overpenetrated the assailiant of a 5 year old.

Then the shooter was negligent in ammunition choice, AND choice of a backstop. Every bullet that leaves your barrel is weighed down by awesome responsibility. Its your bullet, what it does, you have done.

If you strike an INNOCENT PERSON you are responsible. You have caused the innocent person's injury, you have impacted their life. You have impacted their family's life. Why the heck should you be absolved just because you decided that you were the "good guy". Why should the victim of the shooters negligence suffer? WHY should the shooter decide what impact to the innocent person's life is acceptable?

1) Did the shooter fire the gun that injured the innocent person?
2) Are you responsible for the injuries caused?
3) Are you responsible for the impacts to the innocent person's life?
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:21 AM   #79
.22lr
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a question as to how people view their responsibility when their gun is fired.

Visit:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=417665

if you are interested.

To the moderators - if this is considered a thread hijack, please delete.

thanks,

~Matt
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:56 AM   #80
usaign
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"No, that is not at all true. A liability insurer has no duty to respond to a claim directly from a stranger. The liability insurer insures you, and owes its duties to you.

Yes, insurance is highly regulated, and after over 30 years practicing law, much of which involved dealing with the regulation of insurance, I am very familiar with that fact."

I honestly dont believe you are an attorney because then you would know that every state has a fair claims settlement act on their books. Each settlement act is worded in a similar manner. Here is a good example, California:

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0100-con...ement-regs.cfm

Each settlement act prescribes exactly how an insurance company conducts themselves through the claims process and if there is any deviation then they get fined. The insurance company has a duty to respond to you if you report a claim and investigate the matter. They have a duty to accept or deny your claim.

I will bet money that I could call any claims hotline right now and report a claim even without a policy number and just vague facts. They will accept the claim and investigate it. How do I know this? I have worked at the insurance company claim departments. There was once this lady who kept calling in a bogus claim...to the tune of about 50 times where the internal investigation unit had to be called in and get the police involved because it was taxing the company's resources. Each time the lady called in a claim, it had to be assigned to an adjuster. There were numerous adjusters involved over several states.

In California, where I worked as an adjuster a while back, they would test you on this act and you had to sign a paper certifying that you read it. I can tell you there were plenty of claims that came through with very little information. Sometimes all we had was a license plate number...sometimes there was absolutely nothing at all where the guy simply jumped out and said he had the insurance, but left without giving any information. Each claim went the same way with the usual letters and investigative process. Everyone was responded to and when the claimants felt they were not getting responded to, then they filed a complaint with the DOI. You have to respond to these DOI complaints otherwise the company gets hit with a fine.

Last edited by usaign; July 26, 2010 at 12:01 PM.
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Old July 26, 2010, 12:28 PM   #81
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I do not believe I would sue unless, like people said, I was in a wheelchair because of it. Then I would be pretty upset, however I would still understand the GG trying to do the right thing. If someone accidently shot me instead of the intended criminal, I would know the person would most likely be doing what we all would do. Try to preserve the life of ourself and loved ones. I wouldn't be happy about it and be laying on the ground with a bullet in me telling the guy, "oh no problem I know you were trying to get the BG". However, I wouldn't sue unless I thought the guy really deserved it, like being totally irresponsible.
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Old July 26, 2010, 12:48 PM   #82
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I would probably sue, no matter what. I believe that I am responsible for any bullet that leaves my gun, so I believe the same for anybody else. My wife is handicapped and goes through pure hell, if I am down for just about anything. Should the offending party be there with a "pay all expenses" offering, that would negate the lawsuit, but it would have to be closely monitored for accuracy by my lawyer.
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Old July 26, 2010, 12:51 PM   #83
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaign
...I honestly dont believe you are an attorney because then you would know that every state has a fair claims settlement act on their books. Each settlement act is worded in a similar manner...
So you're calling me a liar? I will provide my State Bar number to Glenn Meyer, or any other moderator on this board (in order to preserve the confidentiality of my personal information), so that he (or she, if pax is willing) can confirm that I am a lawyer.

And I am indeed familiar with the California Unfair Claim Settlement Practice Regulations. Note that under the regulations, an insurer must respond to a "notice of claim" (10 CCR 2695.5(e)). A "notice of claim" is, "...any written or oral notification to an insurer or its agent that reasonably apprises the insurer that the claimant wishes to make a claim against a policy..." (10 CCR 2695.2(n)). But with respect to liability (third party insurance), a third party has no claim against the policy. The insurer has assumed no insurance obligation to that third party. The insurer's insurance obligation runs to its policyholder, the insured; and it's the insured who has standing to make a claim against the policy -- for the defense and indemnity promised to him under the policy.

Note also, that you have no idea whether I have insurance or who my insurance is with, in the case of liability insurance, other than my automobile insurance. In the case of my automobile insurance, in California, at least, the DMV has that information. With regard to other forms of liability insurance, there is no public accessible record with that information.
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Old July 26, 2010, 01:18 PM   #84
Glenn E. Meyer
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If we start calling names because we don't like the answers, then this is closed.

The problem with threads is that sometimes OPs "know" the correct answer to their query or evaluation of an action. If the conversation flow doesn't validate their view, the OP can get annoyed. As do other posters.

I suggest we don't have to go down that path and we moderators certainly aren't checking credentials because someone doesn't like the answer they got.
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Old July 26, 2010, 01:47 PM   #85
Nnobby45
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Quote:
So would you? You are responsibile for your rounds. I understand laws that remove liabilty from you for shooting the BG but aren't laws that remove liability from you from shooting a GG, fundamentally selfish and immoral?
Rather simplistic way of looking at it. A man fighting for his life and the lives of other people -lets say while preventing mass murder--shouldn't be sued because a bullet hit an innocent. Especially since many more innocent lives were saved.

Of course, suing the bad guy, whose actions were responsible for the incident, wouldn't produce much in the way of monetary gain--so sue the good guy.

I'm not so sure that the "fundamentally selfish and immoral" part applies to you or me in the act of defending our lives or those of others. Since laws themselves can't be immoral, I assume you're referring to the individuals who benefit from the law and didn't even write it.

Just my thoughts on the matter.







Last edited by Nnobby45; July 26, 2010 at 01:57 PM.
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Old July 26, 2010, 01:51 PM   #86
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I voted "No," but there's caveats.

I wouldnt sue somebody just to make a buck. Not the way to do things, IMO. If somebody trying to do the right thing shoots me in the arm or somewhere not permanently disabling and my insurance covers my care, I probably wouldn't sue. OTOH, if I'm made an invalid because of it, then I think it's fair for somebody else to cover my care and provide compensation for my loss.

Tough call, but suing for suing's sake just to make a quick fortune? Nope.
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Old July 26, 2010, 01:53 PM   #87
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Quote:
Rather simplistic way of looking at it. A man fighting for his life and the lives of other people -lets say while preventing mass murder--shouldn't be sued because a bullet hit an innocent while many more innocents lives were saved.
Let's say YOU are the innocent who gets shot. You think your widow will give the shooter a pass because he is a "good guy"?
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:01 PM   #88
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The OP question can be taken one step further. If the issue is the bad guy is shooting at you and you have no other choice but to shoot back or get shot, would it matter if innocent bystanders were in the area?

$$$$ one way or another from a lawsuit doesn't mean squat if you are not alive.

You sometimes don't even have the choice to live or die... but most individuals will do whatever it takes to stay alive.

What if it was your 5 year old child that was saved by the bullet that overpenetrated and hit a bystander, or you?

This is all a matter of perspective...
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:02 PM   #89
Nnobby45
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Quote:
Let's say YOU are the innocent who gets shot. You think your widow will give the shooter a pass because he is a "good guy"?
Yes. I wouldn't marry someone who'd sue a decent person for defending the lives of others when it was the criminal who was responsible for the incident.

That wouldn't apply to obvious reckless behavior. Only to someone fighting for his/her life in an incident not of their choosing.

Interesting that everyone on the board knows that the criminal is responsible for his own violent behavior and the death or injury of innocent people, but some still follow the decent person and the money--in some cases before they even know whose bullet struck who.

Last edited by Nnobby45; July 26, 2010 at 02:09 PM.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:08 PM   #90
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BTW, research on morality indicates that taking the life of an innocent, even to save other lives isn't valued highly.

It might depend on the magnitude of the event. If you take action against a Mumbai rampage killer with 50 bodies on his hands, take him down but also hit an innocent - you might be seen as excusable.

If you are in the bank and there is no massacre, just a robbery and you decide to save Chase and Bernie Madoff's money to be a hero and you plug Grandma - you aren't going to be viewed well.

Esp. as our esteemed contributor Fiddletown pointed out, you haven't trained and can't make the case that you acted responsbily, instead of as a Ramboid.

So here's another question - I switch to philosopher's counterfactual mode, you are the teller - the BG has his gun on you and might be quirky. However, you see that Rambo is lining up to take a shot - but you see Rambo doesn't see Granny in the line of fire. Do you try to stop the shot - scream for instance, or knowning that Rambo has insurance, let him shoot to save you and also likely plug Granny?

What's moral? Maybe you just sold Rambo his umbrella policy.

BTW, in FOF, I've been shot twice as being an innocent when Rambo opened up. One round in my thigh, really hurt! The other hit a vest.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:16 PM   #91
Nnobby45
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Quote:
So here's another question - I switch to philosopher's counterfactual mode, you are the teller - the BG has his guh on you and might be quirky. However, you see that Rambo is lining up to take a shot - but you see Rambo doesn't see Granny in the line of fire. Do you try to stop the shot - scream for instance, or knowning that Rambo has insurance, let him shoot to save you and also likely plug Granny?
LOL, well, if I'm in the bank during a hold up, I'm not sure I'd have the luxury of calmly standing there, taking it all in, while making tactical and/or moral judgements-- as though I wasn't fully involved in the whole mess to the extent I'd have the luxury to decide whether to to save granny. And don't forget, there is the possiblity that the hero might actually hit Bubba, the intended target.

On a more serious note: An acquaintance was in a bank in California years ago when a robber murdered the teller, a young lady, before his eyes.

He promptly shot and killed the robber (who fled and dropped in the parking lot). I didn't discuss the incident at length with him, but I wonder if he wished he'd acted a little sooner. Wonder if he'd have been sued if his bullet had hit a customer.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:31 PM   #92
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Quote:
Interesting that everyone on the board knows that the criminal is responsible for his own violent behavior and the death or injury of innocent people, but some still follow the decent person and the money--in some cases before they even know whose bullet struck who.
In the scenario given by the OP, it's clearly stated that the "good guy" is the one that shot the innocent bystander, so the last part is irrelevant.

Also, I'm still of the belief that the shooter is responsible for every round that exits his gun. The bad guy's responsibility for the injured innocent in the OP's example is much less clear and direct than the responsibility of the guy that actually pulled the trigger.

Remember the story here a few weeks ago where the criminal tried to rob a drug store with an unloaded shotgun and was killed by a customer? It worked out well in that case, but what if the customer had injured or killed an innocent?

Think about it - in that case, the "good guy" was the only one in the store with a loaded weapon, so it's almost a certainty that *no one* would have been shot that day if it weren't for the armed customer (although I guess someone could have been clubbed with the empty shotgun.) It would be pretty hard to argue that an injured innocent in that case is better off because of the actions of the "good guy".

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Old July 26, 2010, 02:36 PM   #93
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Not all gun shot wounds are significant. If the wound was not significant I would not sue.
I have a good friend who was shot in the calf at an indoor gun range by a woman who had a ND. Very minor wound, Doctor took bullet out no issues. I waited with him at the emergency room to see the doctor. He did not sue. No real point to it. He was fine. Ins. handled the medical. He did not miss work. Yes it hurt but I never saw him shed a tear.
The woman who did acted like a schmuck but hey, life is too short to spend two years battling over trivia like this and he did not want to sue the range as he likes going there.
It all just depends on the circumstances.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:40 PM   #94
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If Im an innocent bystander and get shot, then the "good guy" isnt a good guy.

WildandthereforemustpayAlaska ™
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:42 PM   #95
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The basic flaw in this whole argument is that, contrary to popular opinion, "Good Guys" and "Bad Guys" aren't separate classes of people, easy to tell apart. There are only good and bad actions... and negligent actions are not good.

As various other posters have pointed out, notably .22lr and Dr. Meyer, someone who shoots an innocent person pretty much loses his "Good Guy" status. At best, he becomes a "Negligent Guy," and it's entirely appropriate to sue him if you're the victim of his negligence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usaign
Now lets say a man is about to shoot a 5 year old girl. I then double-tap some rounds into the man. Some of the bullets go through the man, go through the wall and hit John Smith in his foot. John now has a permanent injury to his leg where he limps and has pain.
Your general argument is that the circumstances ought to make a difference to whether or not the shooter should be sued. In this case, I think that you're saying that John should be willing to let the shooter off the hook because what he did was worthwhile: that John's foot injury was outweighed by saving the life of a little girl.

By this argument, it matters whether or not the shooter's intervention is effective.

What if the "Good Guy" shoots a bad guy who has a gun to the child's head and he pulls the trigger reflexively, killing the child?

What if the bad guy is is just nicked, and shoots the child because now he's really mad?

In each of these cases, the "Good Guy's" intervention has made things worse, even though his intentions were good.

So how much do the shooter's intentions matter?

Should John still choose not to sue him, just because his intentions were good? Even though John's foot injury is now just one among several bad outcomes of the shooter's intervention? (If the bad guy is killed or injured, that's still a bad outcome. The only entirely good outcome in this situation is that no one gets hurt.)

I think one can argue that a bad outcome actually compounds the shooter's negligence, and that his intentions are irrelevant.

What if it turns out that the putative "Bad Guy" was a plainclothes policeman who was trying to protect the little girl: his gun was drawn, and he was holding her, but he was trying to remove her from some other situation? Now "Good Guy" has shot a cop and injured John-behind-the-wall... and he is probably going to go to jail, never mind being sued for negligence. I doubt that the cops will be sympathetic when "Good Guy" says "But I was only trying to help!"

If good intentions were enough, there would be no such thing as liability for negligence.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:45 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
...A man fighting for his life and the lives of other people...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
...if I'm in the bank during a hold up...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
...It might depend on the magnitude of the event. If you take action against a Mumbai rampage killer with 50 bodies on his hands, take him down but also hit an innocent ...

If you are in the bank and there is no massacre, just a robbery and you decide to save Chase and Bernie Madoff's money...
Remember that the shooter must be negligent to be held liable. And negligence is "failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances." So in determining whether or not the shooter was negligent (and therefore liable for injury to an innocent), circumstances must, of necessity, be taken into account.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:52 PM   #97
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Also, people need to remember that in our society, it's pretty well established that immunity from liability just because "you're trying to do the right thing" only goes so far.

If you pull up at the scene of a traffic accident and render basic first aid to a victim, most states protect you from liability if you inadvertently make things worse (cracking the sternum while administering CPR, for example.) But if the victim is choking and you decide to try a "Bic pen tracheotomy" like you saw Father Mulcahy do in an old episode of M*A*S*H, and you end up cutting the victim's jugular vein in the attempt, your protection from liability just flew out the window.

Likewise in a bank robbery, if you enrage the robber by saying "take my money but don't hurt me" and he starts killing customers, you're not going to be found liable for their deaths. But pulling out a pistol and acidentally shooting an innocent is a completely different level of voluntary involvement. At that point, you're responsible for whomever you injure/kill.
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Old July 26, 2010, 02:52 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown
Remember that the shooter must be negligent to be held liable. And negligence is "failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances." So in determining whether or not the shooter was negligent (and therefore liable for injury to an innocent), circumstances must, of necessity, be taken into account.
Yes, but that determination is the job of the court. The OP's question was whether, as the shootee, one would try to recover damages from the shooter, not whether one would succeed.
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Old July 26, 2010, 03:03 PM   #99
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There's a subtext in the original question and some follow up discussion- IMHO. MHO is worth what paid for it.

In theories of altruism and pro-social behavior, one factor is the public reception of your actions. Some consider acting as to garner fame as a hero. We certainly see some folk after an heroic action trying to milk their fames and others just modestly going around their life.

So, one commits to being a gun guy and maybe buys into the pseudo-lawman view of yourself. Those of us who have trained, are usually told that you don't intervene unless you think there will be grievous bodily harm and you are willing to take the consequences of such. A property crime isn't such unless it goes bad. You could make it bad by your actions. It's a crap shoot, isn't it?

So I get a sense that those with a hero orientation feel insult that their noble action isn't seen as worthy and in fact punishable by a law suit. Is that part of this discussion. How dare you insult the hero - suck it up for the hero?

BTW, in the bank robbery - don't forget the hidden backup guy. You open fire and then surprise somebody from the other part of the bank floor shoots you and a bystander.

The key is evaluating the risks and miniminzing grievous bodily harm as compared the bank's property. They have insurance by the way.

As pointed out, sometimes they do kill people but mostly they don't.

Given the risks are in favor of no harm and YOU caused harm , might you be seen as more liable? I'm sure expert criminologists could be found to testify that you were reckless.
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Old July 26, 2010, 03:14 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
Yes, but that determination is the job of the court. The OP's question was whether, as the shootee, one would try to recover damages from the shooter,...
[1] Yes, deciding negligence is the province of the court. So no one is going to know whether the shooter was negligent or prudent unless I do sue, and things get sorted out in the process.

[2] But I will need to make some evaluation myself, together with my lawyer, when deciding, based on consideration of the factors I outlined in post 37, whether to sue.
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