Florida (PRWEB) March 12, 2013
Dogs are supposed to be man's best friend, but a local dog put that friendship to the test last week when he accidentally shot his owner. The incident has come into the spotlight in the debate over gun control laws, but attorney Michael Steinger says there is another legal issue at play: liability.
The dog, who has not been named by authorities, was riding in a pickup truck with his owner, Gregory Lanier. The dog apparently kicked Lanier's .380 pistol, which was loaded and lying on the floor, and shot Lanier in the leg according to CBS News.
The injury was not serious.
“In this case, it was the gun owner himself who was hit,” said Steinger, who focuses his practice on personal injury law. “But imagine if it had hit another motorist, someone's house, or even a child. Legally the owner of the gun would be liable for that, even though he didn't intend to shoot anyone.”
Steinger says that even though the dog was involved, it doesn't change the liability involved.
“Mr. Lanier was responsible both for the gun being properly secured, and for his dog's behavior. You can't sue a dog in court... if someone was hit it's the dog owner or the gun owner who has to pay.”
Lanier said that he was not aware his gun was loaded.
“The lesson here is to protect yourself legally,” Steinger said. “Owning a gun is your right, but if it's unsafely stored and goes off, the court will hold you responsible for the results.”
About Michael Steinger:
Michael S. Steinger is a dedicated West Palm Beach injury attorney and victim advocate. Co-founder of Steinger, Iscoe and Greene, his firm maintains a strict promise only to work on behalf of victims and never big businesses. He can be contacted at:
Steinger, Iscoe and Greene
1645 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401