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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Can Mardi Gras shooting victims sue?

On the last Saturday before Mardi Gras, shots were fired outside a Bourbon Street nightclub and four people were shot. All of them survived and were taken to the hospital but they sustained injuries and may have hefty medical bills to pay. In such a situation, can a victim of violence seek any financial relief in a personal injury claim?

Criminal charges are meant to hold accountable and punish those who violate the law. While they may take into account whether anyone was hurt as a result of the illegal act, criminal courts are not necessarily responsible for "making the victims whole" or ensuring that they are taken care of in the wake of the act.

That's where civil claims come in. The victim of violence (or, in the case of death, his or her relatives) may be able to bring a lawsuit against the person who committed the violent act or any third party that may have been involved. For example, a parking garage may be sued if it fails to provide adequate security that could prevent a mugging or rape.

In this case, the victims of the shooting could potentially bring a claim against the person who caused the harm. The shooter(s) could be sued for battery or property damage, in addition to facing criminal charges.

Or the victims could bring a claim against the "proximate cause" of the harm. For example, the nightclub could be considered a proximate cause if it failed to provide security, or knew about and failed to minimize any risk to revelers.

If you or someone you love have been injured in a similar incident, you may have difficulty paying your medical bills or other expenses - especially if the injury leaves you temporarily or permanently unable to work. Consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your case, advise you of any potential claims and help you fight for your interests.

Source: Injured, "4 Injured in Mardi Gras Shooting: Can They Sue?" Deanne Katz, Feb. 11, 2012

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