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Firework Injuries – What are my legal rights?

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Here, at Kershaw Cook and Talley we hope you had a wonderful and safe July 4th! July 4th is known for barbeques and other outdoor activities, and the most anticipated event: the fireworks show many neighborhoods put on for other members of their communities.

Due to the excitement associated with fireworks, an easily overlooked fact is that ordinary people are handling explosives. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission updates their website periodically informing the public about any firework recalls because of the potential safety risks and dangers the explosive product poses.

Despite the obvious safety precautions one should take when lighting fireworks, firework injuries always occur. The 2016 Fireworks Annual Report estimated 7,600 fire-work related injuries between June 28, 2016 and July 18, 2016.

While firework injuries at home are most common, firework injuries also occur when people are spectators at large firework shows hosted by organizations. In this instance, the organization responsible for the fireworks display may be held liable for a person’s injuries if they do not properly supervise the activity that caused the injury or did something to increase the risk of harm. In certain cases, the city who hired the organization to put on the show may also be held responsible to an injured person.

Many firework injuries can also be caused by misuse. Examples of misuse are lighting a firework without clearing out the area from fire hazards, lighting the fireworks in one’s hand, or even lighting a firework in an improper position. Firework injuries can also be caused by a defect in the firework because it was not properly manufactured or designed. If someone is injured by a firework because of a malfunction, the injured person can potentially have a Products Liability Claim. (Blog Link: Who can be Held Liable in a Defective Products Lawsuit?)

To avoid any future injuries caused by fireworks please see the following safety tips before using fireworks:

Safety Tips to Avoid a Firework Injury:

  • Make sure all children, pets, and other bystanders are at a safe distance when lighting fireworks at home.
  • Be sure to read the packaging warning signs and follow all precautions listed.
  • Light fireworks outdoors only away from grass, leaves, or other fire hazards
  • Keep a bucket of water next to you to easily diffuse all fireworks and / or put out small fires.
  • If a firework does not initially light DO NOT relight the “dud.” It can explode unexpectedly causing serious burns. Wait around 20 minutes and place the “dud” in a bucket of water to safely diffuse it

If you or someone you know has been injured by fireworks, call our office to speak with experienced personal injury attorney about the legal options available after a firework injury. Call us at 916-779-7000 for a free case evaluation.

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