What Can I Do if I Am the Victim of a Shooting at an Apartment Building?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Unfortunately, violence is an neverending problem. Innocent victims of robberies and random shootings too often suffer life-changing injuries. Paralysis, brain injuries, and organ damage are among the most severe consequences of a shooting that the victim survives.

While some shootings can be random and unpredictable, the fact that a shooting might occur is often foreseeable. Owners of apartment complexes are often aware of the risk of violence that tenants and visitors face. A security negligence and shooting lawyer will help hold the owner accountable for failing to take appropriate security precautions.

Installing and repairing security locks on exterior doors is an obvious example for a property owner to create a safer environment. Tenants depend on locks to protect them from threatening individuals. Too many shootings occur inside apartment buildings that the uninvited shooter should never have been able to enter.

Poor lighting in common areas and parking lots also encourages violent crimes. Criminals act under the cover of darkness. Building owners who fail to install or maintain adequate lighting contribute to the risk that a shooting will occur on their property.

What Apartment Building Shooting Victims Should Do First

The first step for any shooting victim is to obtain medical care. If the wound is serious, call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Don’t worry about the cost. If you have no insurance, you might be billed later, but every emergency room is required to stabilize victims of life-threatening wounds. Even if the wound seems minor, it is important to obtain medical attention. A minor wound can still lead to a deadly infection. Prompt and professional wound treatment may save the victim’s life.

Following through on recommended medical care is essential for a few reasons. First, gunshot injuries heal more quickly when a victim follows a doctor’s treatment recommendations. Physical rehabilitation programs may be painful and time-consuming, but completing the program improves the odds of making a full recovery.

Second, insurance claims adjusters are more likely to make a fair settlement if the shooting victim follows through on recommended treatment. When victims discontinue their treatment, insurance adjusters argue that the injury must have healed. The fact that a victim didn’t want to take time away from work to keep an appointment will not persuade the adjuster that the victim was still in pain. Medical records provide essential documentation of injury claims. That’s why seeing a doctor and following the doctor’s recommendations is so important to obtaining a fair settlement.

Health insurance should cover gunshot wound treatment, but uninsured victims should make every effort to obtain the healthcare they need. Medicare, Medicaid, and VA insurance are among the sources that may help uninsured gunshot victims obtain medical care. Some doctors will also agree to provide treatment in exchange for an agreement to pay for treatment out of injury settlement proceeds.

What Apartment Building Shooting Victims Should Do Next

After obtaining emergency health care, a shooting victim should report the shooting to the police. Failing to cooperate with a police investigation might make it more difficult to make a successful legal claim against the building owner.

Prompt consultation with a crime victim lawyer is also important. Successful claims for inadequate security or unsafe premises are built on evidence. Your lawyer will want to gather that evidence quickly. Witnesses need to be interviewed before memories fade. Broken lights need to be photographed before the owner replaces them. A lawyer can also help the shooting victim deal with insurance adjusters. Saying the wrong thing to an insurance company can jeopardize a fair settlement of the insurance claim.

Finally, a lawyer can protect the victim’s rights by making sure that the limitations period does not expire. The victim will lose the right to collect compensation if a lawsuit is not filed, or the case is not settled, before the deadline imposed by a statute of limitations arrives. A security negligence lawyer can advise the shooting victim about all the steps that need to be taken to protect the victim’s right to obtain full compensation.