Contrary to popular belief, guns are not always accidentally discharged due to user error. There are documented cases that have proven that dropping a loaded weapon might cause it to go off. Furthermore, if the weapon is not mechanically sound or has been manufactured from defective or substandard parts, it can become a volatile weapon in the hands of even the most experienced and safe user.
A Tennessee gun owner and his son recently died after a fire started in their house and possibly ignited stores of ammunition. Family members reported that the father was showing friends his AR-15 assault-style rifle when it accidentally discharged and likely caused the fire. Authorities are examining the details that lead up to the incident, and have yet to release specific information regarding the case, but neighbors claim that they heard explosions. Family members say that the son rushed into the room to help put the fire out, and even though they were only a few feet away from the exit they were not able to escape the rapidly escalating fire.
The surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturers of the AR-15 if they can prove that the deaths of the father and son were the result of a defective product, and that the gun discharged due to no fault of whomever was handling it at the time. If the life of a loved one is cut short due to a dangerous product, contacting a products liability attorney is a good way to better understand your rights and work toward possible restitution.
Source: The Raw Story, "Tennessee father and son dead after AR-15 goes off and ammunition-filled room explodes," David Edwards, August 20, 2013