What to do after a Fireworks Injury?

The Fourth of July celebrations are over and today is the last day of the long Fourth of July weekend for many this year. While the displays can be very beautiful and exciting to watch, the truth is fireworks are really dangerous. Not only can explosions and fire destroy property, but people can be severely injured. Aside from sparklers and other small items, fireworks are illegal for personal use in Ohio. Despite the laws, many Ohioans still decide to set off a wide assortment of illegal fireworks every year. The decision to use fireworks can result in injuries and liability against parties for operating fireworks negligently and causing injuries.

Every year, thousands of Americans are injured by fireworks. Recalls have been issued for over 700,000 fireworks and sparklers since 2015. In 2018, there were about 9,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments due to fireworks, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many of these injuries and deaths were caused by defective fireworks that exploded, flew erratically, blew up too early, hit people in the face, or started house fires with people trapped inside. Fireworks injuries are also commonly caused by misusing fireworks — including standing too close, holding fireworks in the hand, smoking cigarettes around fireworks, or modifying it to explode.

If you are injured by fireworks, there are a few options to consider relating to your legal resources:

1. Product Liability Injuries

Just like with a motor vehicle accident, you will likely not have a personal injury case if your own negligence caused your injuries. However, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller if the firework was defective. It is very difficult proving negligence in this type of claim because fireworks are inherently dangerous. You would need to prove that someone manufactured or sold fireworks that they knew were defective or were designed carelessly.

2. Innocent Bystander Injuries

You will have a stronger personal injury case if you were injured by someone else using fireworks, especially if that person was not licensed to do so. Property owners are most often held liable for fireworks injuries that occur on their property, and homeowners’ insurance may cover the damages.

3. City Sponsored Fireworks

It is more difficult to file a lawsuit if you are injured at a public fireworks show. Municipalities are protected by municipal tort immunity laws. In order for a municipality to be held liable, you would need to prove that the municipality acted recklessly in causing your injuries.

4. What to Do After an Injury

After a fireworks injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical help. Any major injuries should be seen by a medical professional. Second, collect any evidence. This includes left over scraps from the explosion, videos, and pictures. Keep any medical bills related to the injury. Third, write down everything that happened. Speak to anyone else who was there and may have seen it. Ask them to write down what happened in their own words.

After getting medical attention and medical bills, you will likely need help with getting compensated for your bills and other injuries from the fireworks. It can be awkward to file a personal injury lawsuit for a fireworks injury because the defendant is often someone you know personally. However, you may need to receive compensation if your fireworks-related injuries are severe. A Walton + Brown LLP attorney can help you establish liability and proper compensation for your fireworks injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 614-636-3476.


Disclaimer: The materials available on this page are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you still have questions about a personal injury matter, it would be best for you to contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Walton + Brown, LLP takes pride in having a successful serious personal injury and civil rights practice, unafraid to step into a courtroom and litigate cases to the fullest extent necessary. With over 450 lawsuits filed and over $18 million in settlements or verdicts won for our clients, Sean and Chanda bring a record of success. Sean and Chanda have been awarded Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40 designations as trial attorneys.


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