There were more than fireworks falling from the sky in one South Los Angeles neighborhood on New Year’s Eve. ABC 7 News reported that amid the celebrations that night, a gunman fired a shot into the air, and the falling bullet struck nine-year-old Christopher Montoya. While Montoya is expected to make a full recovery, the individual who shot the gun is liable for causing his injuries, even if that person was not aiming at Montoya, or never even intended to hit him, or anyone else. Although this may seem like a “freak accident,” the individual shooter can still be liable for the injuries and damages he caused under the legal doctrine of negligence. Montoya can file a personal injury suit against the shooter, based on the shooter’s negligence.
Simply put, the doctrine of negligence means that we as humans, have a duty not to take actions that could hurt other humans. If we do take actions that cause harm, we are liable for that harm we caused, even if it was unintentional.