Fourth of July celebrations rarely occur without fireworks. However, the majority of those lighting fireworks for part of the celebration do not use basic safety precautions while doing so, which can lead to serious injury. According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people every summer – typically children and teens – are injured while using fireworks. That is because most individuals do not understand the risks inherent to the celebratory mini-bombs, including devastating burns, household fires, and even death.
The NFPA reports that, in 2013, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treated 11,400 people for firework-related injuries. It was estimated that 55 percent of those injuries were to the extremities (arms, hands, and legs), while 38 percent were to the head. On the 4th of July, two out of five fires that are started are due to fireworks – more than any other single cause of fire in the country.
These numbers alone prove the severe risks of using fireworks. When firework use is paired with irresponsibility or even the influence of alcohol, serious injuries can easily occur.
Negligence and the Use of Fireworks
Most firework injuries are caused by negligence. An innocent bystander or individual watching the fireworks can easily be injured if the person lighting the fireworks is acting negligently. If negligence is the cause, the injured party does have a potential personal injury lawsuit. In order to proceed with that lawsuit, the injured party would have to prove the following:
- The individual lighting the fireworks had a duty to act responsibly – such as following safety procedures while handling fireworks.
- The individual breached that duty.
- Someone was injured.
- The injured party was injured due to negligence.
Firework Injuries May be Product Liability Claims
Sometimes there is no one acting irresponsibly at the time of the injury; instead, the firework product itself was defective. In these cases, the company that manufactured the firework and/or the company that sold the firework could be held liable for any injuries caused by the unsafe products.
Because fireworks are inherently dangerous, the injured party would need to prove that the manufacturer knowingly sold a defective firework or acted carelessly when they designed their firework product. Because it is difficult to prove which point in the supply chain caused the defect, the injured party may need to file a strict liability claim, which shows that the firework was unreasonably dangerous and, therefore, caused unnecessary injuries.
Contact an Attorney Regarding Your Firework Injury
If you have suffered from serious burns or other injuries this holiday from fireworks – whether due to a product defect or someone’s negligence – you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Malman Law today for a free consultation regarding your injury claim. Schedule your appointment at 888-625-6265 or ask an attorney a question online by filling out an online contact form.