According to a 2016 report by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and its National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, every year 11,000 people land in the emergency room due to firework burns and injuries. An estimated 7,600 of these injuries are treated during the period between June 18, 2016 and July 18, 2016. But does that mean for you if you were burned by a firework?
With 4th of July just around the corner, you’re probably wondering if you can sue in the event you end up in the hospital because of a firework injury. The short answer is yes. The type of lawsuit depends on the way you were injured. If your injury was the result of a person or entity acting carelessly then you may have a negligence claim. If you were injured because the firework malfunctioned then you may have a product liability claim.
In most cases, public firework shows are safe and entertaining. Nevertheless, there’s always a chance of misuse. However, when individuals purchase fireworks and light them on their own, there is a much higher level of danger and chance of injury. Potential risks include misuse by the user or failure to follow safety procedures or instructions.
Most firework injuries are caused by negligence. An innocent bystander or individual watching the fireworks can easily be injured if the person lighting the fireworks is acting negligently. If negligence is the cause, the injured party does have a potential personal injury lawsuit. In order to proceed with that lawsuit, the injured party would have to prove the following:
Sometimes there is no one who has behaved carelessly at the time of the injury; instead, the firework itself turns out to be defective. In these cases, the company that manufactured the firework and/or the company that sold the firework could be held liable for the injuries caused by the dangerous product.
Because fireworks are inherently dangerous, the injured party would need to prove that the manufacturer knowingly sold a defective firework or acted carelessly when they designed their firework product. Because it is difficult to prove which point in the supply chain caused the defect, the injured party may need to file a strict liability claim, which shows that the firework was unreasonably dangerous and, therefore, caused unnecessary injuries.
In cases where defective fireworks are found to be the cause of an injury, the path to compensation may be complicated. This is especially true because most fireworks are manufactured outside the U.S. However, it is not only the manufacturer that may be liable for the injury. A product liability lawsuit may also target the local distributor, regional distributor or importer.
As you can see, firework injury lawsuits can get complicated. If you have suffered from serious burns or other injuries this holiday from fireworks – whether due to someone’s negligence or a product defect – you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Sodhi Law Group today for a free consultation regarding your injury claim. Schedule your appointment at (209) 900-8200 or ask an attorney a question online by filling out an online contact form.