Seasoned Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers Fight for Justice for Hunting Accident Victims
Fighting for your rights after an injury caused by a hunting accident
Each year, thousands of individuals venture into the woods for hunting adventures. Unfortunately, some of these hunters return home with life-changing injuries, while others fall victim to fatal accidents that permanently take them from their families. The lawyers of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. help injured hunters and the families of deceased hunters obtain compensation from responsible parties. Many of the attorneys of Merkel & Cocke are avid hunters themselves. With extensive resources and a team approach to representation, our skilled lawyers provide hunting clients with quality legal services they can depend on.
Comprehensive representation for hunting accidents
The most common cause of hunting-related injuries comes from falling out of tree stands. Next to that, firearm incidents are the most common cause of injuries in a hunting environment. Most of these accidents result from someone’s negligence and often leave victims with serious injuries. Some of the reasons for firearm accidents include:
- Inadequately trained shooters
- Hunters mistaken for wild animals
- Failure to engage a weapon’s safety feature
- Accidental discharge while the hunter is climbing or moving through the area
- Defective firing pins
Malfunctioning weapons of any kind, including crossbows and compound bows, can lead to serious, even life-threatening injuries.
With decades of personal injury experience, the seasoned attorneys of Merkel & Cocke have the knowledge and skill to successfully advocate for hunting accident victims. When these incidents prove fatal, we guide families through the complexities of a wrongful death claim.
Falls from tree stands are a real threat to deer hunters
While weapons-related injuries are often severe, deer hunters are more likely to be hurt because of defective equipment. Unfortunately, over the last decade there has been a major shift in where and how hunting equipment is manufactured. In an effort to keep prices competitive, manufactures now have their products built almost exclusively overseas in countries like China, where quality control is minimal. This is frightening when you think about what these products should be designed to do —that is, to allow hunters to SAFELY hunt from an elevated position. A faulty tree stand or a defective safety harness can cause a hunter to fall from elevations two to three stories high. Aside from the risks of broken bones, falling out of a stand from that height can cause paralysis, head trauma, or permanent brain damage – if it does not kill the hunter outright. Many victims end up living with chronic pain, necessitating multiple surgeries and a life-time of medication.
As avid hunters ourselves, we understand what the consequences of a fall from a tree stand can be. In fact, one of our partners suffered severe injuries from a fall from a defective tree stand. We put our experiences with the industry to work for you, the injured hunter. We investigate the area where you fell, review the warning labels on your equipment, inspect the materials used, and look for design flaws and manufacturing defects, and examine any previous history the manufacturer may have with recalls for safety issues. We have the resources to handle claims involving popular products and companies such as:
- Summit Viper SD Climbing treestands
- Millennium Hang-On treestands, fixed ladder stands and climbing sticks
- Guide Gear ladders and stands
- Ameristep ladder stands
- X-stand shooting benches and stands
- Lonewolf climbers and stands
- Ol’ Man tree stands and climbers
- Sniper Deluxe treestands
- Big Dog treestands and climbing sticks
- Rivers Edge ladder stands, hang-ons and climbing aids
Who can be liable in a hunting accident case?
Hunting accidents can result in numerous types of serious injuries, including brain injuries, gunshot wounds, spinal cord injuries and broken bones. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, numerous individuals or businesses may be at fault. Hunting clubs often carry liability insurance to provide coverage for accidents occurring on the premises. Our experienced lawyers help individuals seek compensation against various parties, including:
- Tree stand designers, manufacturers, and outsourcers. If a hang-on stand collapses, if a ladder stand breaks or if a safety harness fails, it is often because of a defective design, or because low-quality materials were used during the manufacturing process. American companies in the hunting industry are often swayed by “outsourcing companies,” who promise to provide turn-key manufacturing overseas. Unfortunately, the result is often poor quality. At Merkel & Cocke, we pride ourselves on getting to the root of the problem, and holding responsible those companies whose defective products cause injuries.
- Other hunters. Hunters are at common risk of injury due to the negligent actions of other hunters in the area. These individuals usually take weapons when they go hunting, including rifles, shotguns and even arrows. A hunter may accidentally discharge one of these weapons or mistake a human for an animal and intentionally shoot.
- Landowners. When landowners open their properties to hunters, they have a duty to maintain the area in a reasonably safe manner. A deep hole covered by leaves or sharp cliffs with no visible warnings create dangerous situations that may result in severe injuries. Under these circumstances, the landowner may be held liable for related damages.
- Weapon manufacturers. If a gun or other weapon is proven defective, the manufacturer or weapon designer may be at fault for placing a defective product on the market. Under these circumstances, a firearm may discharge by itself, causing severe injury.
Contact our Jackson or Clarksdale office for a free consultation after a hunting accident
At Merkel & Cocke, we take a team approach to the practice of law. When you secure our legal services, you get the benefit of seven experienced lawyers, all strategizing to reach the best possible outcome for your case. We handle injury cases for hunters throughout Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Call us today at 662-799-1633 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.