Understanding Liability in Negligent Firework Handling Cases
As each new year arrives, the number of firework-related injuries surges. These incidents can result in severe hand and leg injuries, burns, limb loss, and even death.
In 2023, the U.S. reported over 10,000 firework injuries, leading to 11 deaths, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you or a loved one has suffered a firework injury, immediate medical attention is crucial.
In this blog, we’ll explore the legal aspects of negligent firework handling, discussing who may be held liable in such accidents, how to recover damages, and the types of damages you may be eligible to claim.
4 Common Firework-Related Injuries
Fireworks, known for their dazzling displays, also pose serious risks. Understanding common firework-related injuries is crucial for safety.
Here are the most common injuries in firework cases:
Firework-related hand burns often result from mishandling or malfunctioning fireworks. The intense heat generated during the explosion can cause burns ranging from mild to severe.
First-degree burns, resembling a mild sunburn, may occur when there is close contact with the firework. More severe second and third-degree burns can happen when handling malfunctioning fireworks or being in proximity to an exploding firework.
Loss of Limb
The loss of limbs, such as fingers or toes, is a severe consequence of fireworks accidents. This typically occurs when an individual is too close to an exploding firework, leading to traumatic injuries.
Fireworks pose a significant risk of eye injuries due to their explosive nature. Sparks, debris, or even entire firework components can cause eye injuries if they make contact.
This can happen during the ignition, flight, or explosion phases of the fireworks. Individuals are at risk of eye injuries if they are not wearing protective eyewear during firework displays or if they are in close proximity to the launching area.
Firework explosions generate extremely loud sounds, reaching up to 150 decibels. Prolonged exposure to such high noise levels can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss. The loud blasts can damage delicate structures in the inner ear, leading to auditory issues.
Individuals attending firework displays without adequate hearing protection are susceptible to experiencing varying degrees of hearing impairment. Using earplugs or earmuffs can mitigate the risk of hearing loss during fireworks events.
Grounds for Suing Firework Injury Cases
Many firework-related injuries result from negligence or intentional misconduct. Accidents often occur due to improper setup of fireworks, leading to personal injuries for both those handling the fireworks and bystanders.
To pursue a negligence claim, one must demonstrate that the injury resulted from another person’s careless actions during the fireworks setup. However, if the injured party was the one lighting the fireworks, filing a negligence claim may not be feasible.
To succeed in a negligence case, the following elements must be proven:
- The defendant had a duty to act reasonably.
- There was a breach of duty.
- The plaintiff suffered an injury.
- The injury was a direct result of the breach of duty.
Product Liability Claim
Similar to other consumer products, fireworks can exhibit defects, leading to injuries. In such cases, manufacturers are held strictly liable for defective explosives, irrespective of efforts made to prevent harm.
Product defects may include unclear instructions, improper labeling, or failure to warn consumers about potential dangers.
To establish the manufacturer’s liability for the injury, one must prove any of the following:
- Unclear or inadequate instructions for setting up the fireworks.
- Improper labeling of the product.
- Failure to warn consumers about potential dangers associated with the product.
Who is Liable for Firework-related Injuries?
Given the inherent dangers of fireworks, manufacturers are required to provide clear warnings and instructions for proper use. If injuries occur, individuals may sue the retailer, wholesaler, distributor, or manufacturer under strict liability. In negligence cases, the responsible party can be sued for breaching their duty of care.
Companies selling fireworks without sufficient warnings may be held liable for injuries. Compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires manufacturers to adhere to these regulations:
- Fireworks must include warning labels detailing their function and potential dangers.
- Fireworks intended for personal use must meet specific design and performance standards.
Types of Damages You May Receive from A Firework Injury Case
The aftermath of firework injuries can bring physical and financial hardships to victims and their families. Seeking rightful compensation through a personal injury lawsuit becomes essential to address these challenges.
Here are the damages victims can pursue in a firework-related injury case:
Whether dealing with minor burns or severe injuries, medical attention is crucial. Victims facing substantial injuries, such as lost limbs or third-degree burns, may accumulate extensive medical bills. Prolonged hospital stays, costly surgeries like skin grafts, and ongoing treatments contribute to significant financial burdens.
Following surgery, victims often require rehabilitation to recover from firework injuries. This may involve prosthetics or therapy for conditions like temporary paralysis or loss of vision, adding to the overall costs of recovery.
Loss of Income or Future Earnings
Firework injuries can abruptly halt daily activities, making it challenging to return to work. Severe injuries, such as losing fingers or feet, may permanently impact one’s ability to resume their occupation. The resulting limitations can lead to a loss of income or future earnings.
Pain and Suffering
Life-altering injuries, like those caused by firework explosions, can result in non-economic damages. Victims may endure pain and suffering, affecting their overall quality of life and diminishing the enjoyment derived from daily activities.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer at Adamson Ahdoot
If you have suffered injuries due to negligently handled fireworks, pursuing a personal injury claim is crucial. Adamson Ahdoot’s personal injury attorneys have a proven record of securing rightful compensation for wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
At Adamson Ahdoot, no need to worry about out-of-pocket expenses. We offer free, no-obligation consultations for your case. We’re a full-service civil litigation firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury cases. Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation with a premier injury attorney.
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