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Can a hunting guide be sued if a client is injured?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | Personal Injury

Working as a hunting guide means taking on some inherent risks. You’re going to be in the backcountry of Alaska, it’s not always the safest place to be. You may also be working with all sorts of different weapons, such as firearms, crossbows, traditional bows and hunting knives. There’s just clearly a risk of injury here, even when you’re guiding experienced clients.

If a client does get injured, can they sue for the cost of those injuries? This could be quite extensive. Remember, an injury that happens in a remote area may require a helicopter evacuation to the hospital. All of this is complicated and expensive in Alaska, so the costs are significant. It would make sense that the client would want to sue, but do they have any grounds?

They would have to show negligence

As with other hunting accidents that happen when one hunter injures another, they would have to show that the guide was negligent in some manner and contributed to the accident.

For instance, maybe the guide handed them a firearm and told them that it was unloaded, and then they were injured when the firearm was discharged. They could say that it was negligent that the guide didn’t know that the weapon was loaded.

But, if the hunter made a mistake on their own and injured themselves, then they cannot simply sue on the grounds that they were with the guide at the time. There’s no way for a guide to closely monitor their actions to that degree, and mistakes happen. If the guide did not do anything wrong, they’re not liable for those injuries just because they happened on the trip.

All this can become very complex and very expensive, so hunting guides need to make sure that they know about all of their legal options if they are facing a lawsuit.