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While hunting in a state forest. While hunting in Manchester…

Customer Question
While hunting in a...

While hunting in a state forest

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

While hunting in Manchester state forest in S.C. on Nov.. 18th, my son was shot by another hunter. The shot was from <50 yards. The hunter was using a 30/30 with a scope. He stated he "thought he was aiming at a wild hog. The injury was life threatening. Thankfully my sons hunting buddy applied a tourniquet and was able to stop the bleeding. Helicopter transport got him to a nearby trauma center. Major damage to his left brachial artery and 2 major nerves feeding his left hand required an arterial graft and 2 nerve grafts.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

What is his best course of action for restitution?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes, my son is a welder, left hand function is questionable. Some atrophy of left arm is probable.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/28/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Dwayne B., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

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Criminal Lawyer: Dwayne B., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I read your facts. Is there a specific question with which I can assist?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I need guidance on the legalities of this man's negligence and how to it can be addressed in court to help my son obtain monetary retribution for the threat to his life, trauma sustained, loss of physical function and income potential for the future.
Criminal Lawyer: Dwayne B., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Are you wanting a general idea or are you planning to represent him yourself?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
General guidance, will obtain legal counsel.
Criminal Lawyer: Dwayne B., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Sorry for the delay in responding this morning. For some reason the question wouldn't open.

I asked about who you wanted to represent your son because many people are under the incorrect impression that they can do it since it is their child but that's incorrect. Only a lawyer can represent someone else and this case is going to be at least a little complicated due to having to "prove up" not only what the hunter did but also prove up the monetary value of the damages.

A lawsuit like this would be brought under the general theory of nuisance. While there are several legal definitions of negligence, essentially they mean 1) someone did what an ordinary and reasonably prudent person wouldn't do or 2) someone didn't do what an ordinary and reasonably prudent person would have done. Under your facts there will be examples of both used during the case (I would imagine).

The process will start by you hiring a lawyer that does Personal Injury work. You can find one in the area by going to www.lawyers.com and entering Personal Injury in the section for Area of Practice.

While you can send a letter to the hunter, it is probably a good idea not to do anything yourself and just turn it over to a lawyer so they can send the appropriate notice letters and start looking for insurance which might provide coverage as well as being sure they don't make any allegations which could waive insurance. Just as one example of this, if you were to claim it was intentional on the part of the hunter that would waive insurance coverage on any policy which he has since insurance policies don't cover criminal acts.

The insurance company is already going to try to raise "criminal negligence" as a defense, but that can be handled by the lawyer so long as no one has said anything to counter that. However, an asset check will also have to be done since if he doesn't have an insurance policy the lawyer may advise that it be pursued as a criminal negligence case. Any amount a judge awards as restitution in a criminal case can't be cleared by bankruptcy. So you can see the lawyer is going to have to walk a fine line in handling the case. The good part is it's something lawyers do every day.

Obviously, your son's livelihood is going to be affected and it is possible he will have long term effects such as PTSD, but it is too early to know that with any certainty at all.

The process of a lawsuit is essentially the same everywhere, with a few, minor procedural differences.

A lawsuit generally follows this process:

1) The Plaintiff (or in this case, your son't lawyer) files the petition in the court with jurisdiction and venue. The court with jurisdiction and venue is usually where the defendant resides or has their place of business. The plaintiff also has to look at the amount for which they intend to sue to determine which court is correct and also make a decision as to whether they want a judge to hear the case if it goes to trial or if they want it heard by a jury.

2) When they file the petition with the clerk of courts the plaintiff will pay the filing fee and also ask for citation to be issued and service to be done.

3) The sheriff will serve the defendant(s) with the lawsuit.

4) The defendant will file their individual answers.

5) You can then do some discovery if necessary but you will need to check with the clerk and ask if your court allows discovery. Some small claims courts do not.

6) After that the next step is to set the case for trial.

7) During the trial the plaintiff introduces their evidence and the defendant(s) introduce theirs.

8) The judge (or jury) renders an oral judgment/verdict and a written order is made based on that oral judgment which the judge then signs.

That is the basic process of a lawsuit.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a 5 Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions in this thread. I want to be sure all of your questions are answered.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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