Q: If I hurt someone on accident, can they make me pay their medical bills?
I accidentally shot a girl in the face with an air soft gun at a fraternity party and she was injured. There was drinking involved with all parties. They are now making me pay their medical bills. I am wondering if they can do this and if the other parties would also be liable. There were other people shooting the gun down the hallway before I arrived and the owner of the gun was in the fraternity handing it around. Would the gun owner and/or fraternity be required to pay these bills as well? Thank you.
A: I am sorry for the circumstances of the shooting. Guns and drnking are not a healthy combination and lead to a lot of accidental shootings. In short, it would be my opinon that you are liable to pay for any medical treament that is reasonable, customary, and necessary, and for any and all noneconomical losses--such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, life limitations, etc. You might be liable under an intentional tort theory of battery and/or negligence. You may not have intended to shoot her, however, your intention to shoot might not make this an "accident". None the less, I would think you'd be required to pay for the medical treatment related to your conduct. As well, others might share liability, too. It is quite possible that the gun owner and/or fraternity are liable if the knew or have reasonable to believe you should not be trusted with a soft air gun. The victim would likely want to seek compensation from any insurance carrier take responsibility.
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