Who's at fault if I was hurt while shooting fireworks?

CALL (800) 863-5312 to talk to a firework injury Lawyer

Fireworks can be magical for children, nostalgic for adults, and terror-inducing for dogs. They are simultaneously universal and patriotic, and they make every celebration brighter. Fireworks also caused $105 million in property damage in 2018.

The dark reality of celebrations involving fireworks is that injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, and even worse—some kinds of fireworks like sparklers are commonly used by children who can easily burn themselves. This article will disclose common injuries from fireworks and how those injuries can determine who is at fault. A firework injury attorney can work with you to help you recover if your firework injury was not your fault.

If you were injured while setting off or watching fireworks, call the Zinda Law Group injury lawyers at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Kinds of Firework injuries

Around three-fourths of all firework-related injuries occur around the 4th of July, and an estimated 8,500 people in the U.S. go to the emergency departments of local hospitals each year for injuries from fireworks. 

The upper body is most affected by fireworks-related injury: 34% of fireworks injuries occur in the hands, 12% harm the face, and 17% damage the eyes. These injuries take place either when the fireworks detonate in a way contrary to how they are designed or packaged or when the fireworks are handled improperly by the people shooting them.

Since fireworks are explosives, the majority of injuries are burns, loss of a limb, loss of sight or hearing, or death. How you sustained your injury will determine the kind of legal claim you should pursue to recover. If you are unsure about how to characterize your incident, a firework injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you start your suit.

Risks to children

Children under 14 account for around 40% of those injured from fireworks, and those between the ages of 5 and 9 are injured by fireworks more than twice as often as those in other age groups. Sparklers are the biggest culprit for injuries to children under the age of 5. They burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

If you choose to let your older children use sparklers, supervise them at all times. Be sure they hold the sparklers at an arm’s length away, and do not allow them to run with the sparklers.

What if someone was negligently handling the fireworks?

Someone who negligently handled fireworks could be at fault for your injuries. The person will likely have used the fireworks in a way that the manufacturer did not intend, such as pointing the firework at you. Not all cases are such straightforward examples of negligence.

Both amateurs who shoot fireworks at home and those who shoot professional fireworks displays can be held liable for their negligence. For example, a pyrotechnician who puts on a professional fireworks display might fail to follow certain industry guidelines, such as maintaining the proper distance between spectators and the site at which technicians detonate fireworks. This is what happened in Evarts v. Pyro Engineering, and the injured spectator was successfully compensated.

Negligence in Firework Cases

A professional fireworks display and an amateur fireworks technician each owe spectators a duty of care; they must protect spectators against foreseeable harms. If they fail to protect spectators from foreseeable harm, then they may have breached their duty of care. The person who breaches the standard of care and causes your injury because of that breach is negligent and therefore liable to you for your injuries.

Injury attorneys handle negligence cases all the time. An experienced firework injury attorney can help you weigh whether you can prove all elements of your case before you even file your claim.

What if the fireworks were defective?

The manufacturer, designer, or distributor of the injury-inducing firework can be at fault for your injury. The firework might have been defective in that it had issues relating to the timing of its explosion. It might have exploded while the technician was still holding it or before it could shoot high enough above the ground to safely expand.

Since products liability cases go to the nature of the product itself when the item is otherwise properly handled, the manufacturer may be held liable regardless of whether the technician was an amateur or a professional.

Products Liability in Firework Cases

In order to prove that the manufacturer, designer, or distributor is liable for your injuries, you must prove the following things:

1. The company sold you the firework that you used.
2. The company sells that firework commercially.
3. You suffered an injury from the firework.
4. The firework was already defective when the company sold it to you.
5. The firework’s defect caused your injury.

Types of Product Defects

There are three types of product defects that the injury-inducing firework might display. The first of these is a design defect, which means that the flaw is inherent in the firework’s design. In order to be successful in showing a design defect, you must offer an alternative design that is safer, economically feasible, practical, and serving the intended purpose of the original design. 

The next defect is a manufacturing defect, which means that the firework was not functioning as the manufacturer intended, and the defect was unintentional and more dangerous than the consumer anticipated. This could relate to the timing of the firework’s explosion. Fireworks that explode before the technician had time to walk away were not likely designed to be so dangerous.

Finally, a marketing defect occurs when the company fails to include the correct instructions or warnings on the packaging. Again, this can be the case in an injury relating to the timing of the firework’s detonation. If the firework’s packaging indicates that the technician has ten seconds to walk away but the firework exploded after three seconds, then there is a marketing defect.

Can an injury lawyer help?

You might benefit from the help of a firework injury attorney in pursuing damages for your claim. Not only do injury attorneys know how to characterize your case, but they also can help you with the tedious, procedural parts of the claim filing system.

Filing Your Initial Claim

All legal cases start with a claim. An injury lawyer can help you determine against whom you should file the complaint. There are other requirements that you must meet in your complaint, such as the statute of limitations for the type of claim, the format you must use to file, and the venue you must use to file.

Negotiating with the Adverse Party

The next step in the legal process is for you to receive the adverse party’s answer to your complaint; then the negotiating will begin. Your firework injury attorney can talk to the other party’s insurance companies with you so that you do not have to risk hurting the strength of your case by saying something that can be used against you. While most cases will end in compensation at this step, it is possible that you will need to go to trial.

Getting You Compensated

Finally, a firework injury lawyer near you can help you by knowing the compensation type and amount that you could receive. The lawyer will have seen comparable cases to yours and recall whether you could receive a large or small settlement with economic, noneconomic, or punitive damages. In this way, an attorney offers you the chance to pursue as much compensation as possible.

Fireworks safety tips

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has proposed some safety tips to follow to reduce your chances of injury or death. These can serve as a helpful reference for those partaking in firework spectating and displaying.

  • Do not set off fireworks indoors or near any buildings outdoors.
  • Do not set off homemade fireworks.
  • Obey local, state, and national fireworks laws.
  • Read the firework instructions and warnings on the packaging before igniting.
  • If a firework does not go off when you ignite it, do not try to ignite it again. Instead, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Do not let children handle fireworks.
  • Do not drink alcohol while setting off fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Wear safety glasses to set off fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a charged hose, and a metal trash can to dispose of spent fireworks.

Talk about your options with the Zinda Law Group Injury attorneys

Rather than lament about your injury without taking any steps to resolve the matter financially, you can fight for the compensation you deserve. A firework injury lawyer can help you through that process of legal recovery. Consult the Zinda Law Group injury lawyers at (800) 863-5312 and we will schedule your free consultation. 

If your 4th of July celebration did not go as planned, you can enlist the assistance of an injury attorney. Whether you are now missing a finger or suffering severe burns, you can recover for the financial and emotional burden that this incident has had on your life. We are serious in our mission to get you compensated for your injury: Our No Win, No Fee Guarantee ensures that you do not pay us unless we win your case for you.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.