Hunting is a popular pastime for many Californians who enjoy taking advantage of the state’s breathtaking wilderness and lush, open spaces. Unfortunately, when hunting with firearms or bow and arrow, accidents can and do occur; it is almost impossible to reduce the statewide accident figure to zero. Hunting has been much safer since the institution of mandatory hunting education for seasonal participants, and the state government has become much more vigilant in granting licenses to minors and inexperienced hunters.
Types of Hunting Accidents
Most hunting accidents occur as the result of the accidental discharge or misfiring of a weapon, usually a bow and arrow, crossbow, rifle or shotgun. Occasionally these shootings occur when hunters trip and fall and accidentally fire their weapons; they also may occur when other hunters are not equipped with proper protective or reflective clothing and are accidentally fired upon. A small number of these incidents end in death, but serious injury can certainly occur in improper discharge situations.
Other potential hunting accidents include injuries from vehicular accidents incurred while hunting and self-imposed injuries from tripping, cutting or burning oneself. These maladies can be serious as well, although they rarely cause death.
Effect of Laws, Regulations and Education
Many states, including California, have legislation that seeks to avoid hunting accidents or at least decrease their severity. California imposes bag limits on its hunting population, which reduces the number of active hunters allowed in the state at once. State regulatory agencies also limit the number of licenses that they give out each year, along with making first-time hunters take detailed educational courses on gun safety and hunting technique. These courses, along with safer equipment and more government oversight, are often credited for decreasing hunting accidents and fatalities across the state.
Injuries Sustained from Hunting Accidents
Although the stories that grab local and national headlines mostly involve death or serious injury, most accidents result in relatively minor injuries. Stray bullets or arrows can cause acerations or broken limbs, and they may sever tendons or muscles throughout the body. Trips and falls may result in concussions or other head injuries, and car accidents can severely injure drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Animal attacks, though infrequent, can also occur when hunting for larger game like bears, deer or moose. Accidents that occur during hunting trips can also cause mental or emotional difficulty for the victim or the perpetrator; most hunting incidents involve one or more family members or close friends, and the emotional burden of causing serious injury or death can be quite intense.
Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Hunting Issues
Accidents are a serious and unavoidable part of hunting, but just because these accidents happen doesn’t mean you have to deal with the consequences alone. A highly trained personal injury lawyer is an excellent ally to have on your side after a damaging accident, particularly if you are facing or initiating a lawsuit. Contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer today to find out what your legal options are.