Jan. 13, 2023
The rolling hills of southern Iowa and northern Missouri afford some of the best hunting opportunities in the United States. No matter if you are working a spring morning gobbler or patiently awaiting that 180-inch buck to walk in front of your treestand on a crisp fall morning, hunting always includes the duty to act with reasonable care as an ordinarily prudent person would. Hunters do not voluntarily assume the risks of hunting just because they enter the woods. Every time a person goes hunting, they owe a duty to bystanders and other hunters to follow the rules of hunter safety and to act as a prudent hunter.
As a hunter, you should avoid alcohol and drugs while hunting. You should always know what your target is and what is beyond your target before shooting. Never shoot at sound or movement without knowing what your target is with certainty. You should also stay aware of other hunters in the woods (known and unknown); this includes wearing hunter's orange when required by law. Knowing the effective range of your weapon is also an important part of acting like a reasonable, prudent hunter.
Violating any of these basic hunter safety rules or violating any other hunting laws or rules of safety subjects a hunter to potential negligence liability. If a hunter or outfitter acts unreasonably and you are injured due their actions, you are likely entitled to compensation through a negligence action. A legal concept called "negligence per se" may also help your case. Negligence per se essentially means that if a person violates a statute or ordinance, then they are presumed to have owed a duty to you and breached that duty. This means that your case automatically satisfies two of the four elements required for negligence. The other two elements are causation and damages. Causation typically means that the negligent person's conduct caused your injury and that it was reasonably foreseeable to cause your injury. If you have been physically injured or if your property has been destroyed, you have suffered damages.
Hunting accidents can range from being shot by another hunter to falling out of a treestand that an outfitter failed to properly secure. Several hunting accidents occur in both Iowa and Missouri every year. If you have suffered an injury due to a hunter, give us a call today or fill out our contact form below, as you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
What to Do If You Have Been In A Hunting Accident:
Seek medical attention
Report the accident to law enforcement
Record as many details about the accident as you can
Note where you were located when the accident occurred
Note what you were doing when the accident occurred
Note the name and details of any potential eyewitnesses
Seek a competent attorney who handles hunting accident cases