Shooting victims may have been targeted by the shooter or they may be innocent bystanders. Either way, victims who survive a shooting may suffer serious residual injuries, including wound infections, muscle or bone damage, and injury to vital organs.
Shooting victims can bring legal action against the shooter, but individuals who commit crimes with firearms rarely have the means to pay a judgment. They typically go to prison and no insurance company will pay for injuries caused by attempted murder.
When a shooting occurs in a restaurant, however, a security negligence lawyer may determine that the business should have taken steps to protect its patrons. Security guards or managers should typically escort angry customers from the premises before a dispute escalates to the point of violence. The need for security is particularly apparent when the police have been called to the restaurant in the past in response to threats or acts of violence.
Restaurants that negligently fail to protect customers can be held accountable for injuries caused by shootings. Contacting a lawyer will help shooting victims protect their right to receive compensation from negligent businesses.
Contact the Police After a Shooting at a Restaurant
Proving that a restaurant is liable for a shooting begins with proof that the shooting occurred. It is essential to contact the police immediately and to cooperate with police investigations.
When crime victims flee from the scene and fail to report a shooting, juries suspect that the victim was shot because of involvement in criminal activity. Juries are more sympathetic to victims who are willing to help the police.
Get Medical Treatment After a Shooting at a Restaurant
Serious injuries need immediate treatment. Even if the victim has no health insurance, an emergency room is required to treat injuries that are life-threatening or that might cause serious impairment to any of the body’s systems or functions. Treatment must continue until the injury stabilizes.
Even if an injury does not seem serious, it might have lasting consequences. Any wound that pierces the skin can become infected. Infections can lead to a deadly condition known as sepsis. Immediate treatment of wound injuries is an essential step toward preventing infections that might otherwise spiral out of control.
Follow Through on Medical Treatment After a Shooting at a Restaurant
Going to an emergency room or receiving initial treatment for a wound is important, but so is follow-up care. In many cases, physicians will want a patient to undergo tests and to return for a consultation after the results are available. Too many shooting victims decide they fell fine and never return to learn the test results.
The initial treatment of an injury does not guarantee that the injury will heal. In some cases, internal damage will require surgical repair. Torn muscles may require rehabilitative therapy. A shooting victim may be able to get by without the additional care, but nagging injuries can become disabling injuries if a doctor’s orders are not followed.
Failing to follow through on recommended treatment also harms the settlement value of the victim’s negligence claim. Insurance adjusters base settlement offers on medical records. When a patient stops treating, the adjuster assumes that the patient has been cured. If the patient resumes treatment months later, the adjuster assumes that the treatment is for a new injury that is unrelated to the shooting.
Keep in mind that an insurance adjuster’s goal is to save money for the insurance company, not to help the shooting victim. Victims take money out of their pockets when they make it easy for an insurance adjuster to dispute a claim. Following through on recommended treatment and keeping every doctor’s appointment forces insurance adjusters to acknowledge the severity of an injury and to pay appropriate compensation.
If you have questions about a wrongful death case, please contact a wrongful death attorney.
*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
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