A man who was visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was hurt by celebratory gunfire during the Fourth of July, according to a Fox 13 news report. Tampa police reported that the Florida resident was walking inside the Busch Gardens theme park with his wife around 10pm. He suddenly felt pain in his shoulder and his wife noticed he was bleeding. After the parks’ security initially responded and gave the man first aid, Tampa firefighters transported the 36-year-old victim to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
How Common are Gunfire Accidents?
Law enforcement investigators concluded that the source of the pain and blood was a bullet, which was most likely the result of celebratory gunfire. The location from where the gunfire came remains unknown. The accident occurred around the same time a fireworks display show began at the Busch Gardens Park.
According to Tampa police, two other celebratory gunfire accidents happened in Tampa on the Fourth of July. One woman reported a hole in her apartment ceiling and projectile on her bedroom floor. She was not home at the time of the incident. Another woman noticed a bullet hole in the windshield of her parked car; the bullet was found on the driver’s-side floorboard. No one was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
According to ballistic experts, a bullet is able to travel between two to five miles after it has been shot into the sky. In 2015, a woman visiting Busch Gardens on New Year’s Eve was struck in the leg by a bullet, which law enforcement at the time suspected originated from celebratory gunfire. Bullets that go up into the air must come down, so it is no surprise that an injury resulting from celebratory gunfire is possible, and more likely, during national holidays.
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What Charges can be Brought by a Victim of Gunfire?
Celebratory gunfire is a crime in some states, and Florida is one of them. Someone who is caught can face charges of careless discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment. In Central Florida, penalties for discharging a firearm in public or on a residential property can range from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a victim may file a lawsuit in court seeking monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, physical rehabilitation, as well as pain and suffering.
According to ballistic experts, a bullet is able to travel between two to five miles after it has been shot into the sky.
Statute of Limitations in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Like all states across the nation, Florida has a statute of limitations that explains how long a victim has to file a lawsuit in civil court against an at-fault party for injuries suffered. Under Florida’s statute of limitations, a personal injury victim has four years from the date of the accident that caused the injury to file a lawsuit in court for monetary compensation.
Victims who do not file their lawsuit within this period of time can lose the right to compensation. This two-year window also applies to suits for wrongful death cases. Injuries resulting from celebratory gunfire are no exception to Florida’s statute of limitations. In some rare instances, the case may qualify for extensions because the victim did not actually discover the injury or harm until well after the accident.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a Florida gunfire accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. With more than 35 years of advocating for the injured across the state of Florida, our skilled attorneys can guide you every step of the way. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns today for your free personal injury consultation.
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