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Fireworks and Personal Injury

The 4th of July has just taken place and fireworks displays were everywhere.  The 4th of July is not the only time fireworks are used for celebrating.  It seems all summer long picnics and family gatherings end with fireworks.  And let’s not forget New Year’s Eve.  Fireworks are set off at midnight all around the U.S.A.  One thing that all these occasions where fireworks are used have in common, someone has the possibility to get hurt. The injuries run the gamut to minor burns to serious traumatic injuries.   As a matter of fact, this year there was a young man killed when he lit a firework display from the top of his head.  Setting a firework display off from the top of your head may seem irresponsible, but there is always someone who is going to try and put blame on someone.  In this case, it may be the person who supplied the liquor for the party the young man was attending; he was intoxicated after all. 

Every year it is estimated that 1,000 people seek treatment for fireworks related injuries.  Many times the people injured or hurt due to not using caution when using fireworks.  Sometimes, however, people can be injured while they are just spectators at these celebrations.  When this happens, who is responsible?

If an amateur fireworks show is put on by a friend at a party or get together and an injury occurs, the two obvious parties being sued are the person who is setting off the fireworks and possibly the manufacturer if there was a faulty firework.  Another possible defendant in a personal injury lawsuit may be the vendor who sold the firework.

If someone is injured at a large display being put on at a venue or public celebration, many things need to be determined.  Was the injury the result of a faulty firework?  Was the firework load incorrectly?  Was the venue set up too close to the area where the fireworks were being launched from?  Was weather a factor?  There have been instances where sparks and ashes from the fireworks blew back into the crowds causing burns and eye injuries.  Whoever put the event on would be included in the lawsuit along with the manufacturer, company setting the display up and the vendor who sold them.  The weather is one thing you can’t take to court.

A word of caution to those who attend an event where fireworks are included, stay a safe distance from the launch site and sit back to enjoy the show without fear of injury.