Syracuse Hunting Accident Lawyer Urges Hunters to Make Safety a Priority

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Following reports of several hunting injuries already this hunting season, Syracuse personal injury attorney Scott Gottlieb underscores the New York State Police and Department of Environmental Conservation’s focus on firearm safety.

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Syracuse hunting accident lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb

Because insurance is often available, people who get hurt in a hunting accident should not be reluctant to seek compensation for their injuries even if the person who caused the accident is a friend or relative.

In the wake of recent hunting accidents in New York, Syracuse personal injury lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb today stressed to all hunters the need to exercise safe and smart hunting practices while enjoying their sport.

“Hunting is an important source of food, a beloved hobby for many and a strong cultural tradition in New York State,” Gottlieb said. “Unfortunately, several hunting accidents in Upstate New York this year have brought increased attention to the fact that hunting can also be very dangerous.”

The Watertown Daily Times reported that a man suffered gunshot wounds earlier this month while hunting in a wooded area near Woodpecker Lane in Jefferson County. On Nov. 13, a hunting accident in Chautauqua County killed a 68-year-old man who fell approximately 20 feet when a tree stand collapsed, according to the Erie Times-News.

Gottlieb commended hunter safety efforts by the New York State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Law enforcement and the DEC have launched a campaign urging the media to help raise awareness about hunting safety.

“The important thing is that every individual hunter must realize that they have to make safety priority one when they go out into the field,” State Police Capt. Christopher Cummings, Commander of Troop A, Batavia, said in a recent article in The Batavian. “Every individual hunter is responsible for the integrity and reputation of hunting. They need to take the responsibility on themselves that they do carry that weight when they enter the woods with a firearm.”

Cummings said that every hunting accident is potentially preventable if hunters focus on safety. In fact, the number of hunting-related accidents has decreased steadily and significantly since the 1960s as safety has become more of a priority, he said.

Gottlieb, who practices with Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, a Syracuse-based personal injury firm that represents hunting accident victims, echoed the message from the State Police.

“There’s always a potential danger whenever you’re using firearms and whenever you are out in the woods. While the danger can’t be eliminated completely, exercising best practices and keeping hunting safety principles in mind can significantly decrease the risk of injuries,” Gottlieb said.

He emphasized some of the safety tips recommended by the DEC, including:

  • Always assume a firearm is loaded.
  • Make sure the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction.
  • Keep the safety on and your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire.
  • Wear hunter orange.

Gottlieb said he knows from representing injured clients that the hunter is not the only one who can be injured as a result of a careless mistake. He cautioned hunters to remember that they risk not only their own lives but the lives of others if they fail to follow proper safety practices.

If an injury does result from a stray bullet or from any other type of hunting accident, the injured victim may be able to recover compensation from a negligent hunter’s homeowner’s insurance, Gottlieb said. Some hunters also carry insurance policies that specifically cover hunting accidents.

“Because insurance is often available, people who get hurt in a hunting accident should not be reluctant to seek compensation for their injuries even if the person who caused the accident is a friend or relative,” Gottlieb said.

He encouraged victims of hunting accidents to seek legal advice from an experienced New York hunting accident lawyer like those at Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP.

About Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP

Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, handle all types of Syracuse personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. The firm also represents clients in actions for wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. In 2008, the firm reached the $100 million mark in combined lifetime verdicts and settlements. Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, features a nearby office in Syracuse at One Lincoln Center, Syracuse, NY 13202 (local phone number (315) 314-5390) and serves clients in Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Elmira, Watertown and surrounding areas. For more information, call the firm toll free at (800) TALK-LAW or use its online contact form.

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