According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 8,700 people received US hospital emergency care last year because they were injured in fireworks accidents. Over 5,000 of these incidents occurred between 6/22 and 7/22, during 30 days around the 4th of July. Over 50% of these injury accidents involve hand burns, head burns, and facial burns. Bottle rockets, sparklers, and fireworks considered safe for kids to use were factors in 1,000 of the reported incidents.
The most common causes of these firework injuries were fireworks that did not work properly or were not correctly used, resulting in hazardous debris and perilous flight paths. Some fireworks were lit while held in one’s hand or lit too close to people. Some fireworks already had been used or lit and were reused. Serious fireworks injuries have included limb loss, eye injuries, and even death.
Recently, a 10-year-old child lost a hand in a St. Louis, MO fireworks accident, where fireworks are illegal. In 2011 in California, a 12-year old girl became permanently blind in one eye after a firework struck her in the face on July 4.
At The Gilbert Law Group®, our fireworks injury lawyers represent clients who have sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one because of fireworks accidents caused by product defects, including defective fireworks, malfunctioning fireworks, and fireworks that failed to come with the proper instructions and warnings. You may have grounds for a products liability lawsuit or a wrongful death case against a negligent manufacturer, distributor, seller, or another liable party. Unfortunately, there are distributors who do sell illegal or dangerous fireworks.
Steps consumers can take to prevent fireworks accidents:
• Buy legal fireworks
• Don’t let children light or play with fireworks (Even a sparkler’s temperature can reach 2,000 degrees when burning and cause injuries)
• Adequately supervise any fireworks activities
• Light fireworks away from people
• Don’t buy fireworks made for professional use if you are an amateur
• Make sure you have water nearby in case of an accident
• Don’t handle or reignite a defective or malfunctioning firework
• Don’t throw or point a firework at anyone
• Douse fireworks in water immediately after use
Fireworks accidents can happen at private soirees or public events. Either way, it is the responsibility of those in charge to create a safe environment for everyone there. Failure to do so can be grounds for a personal injury or a premises liability case. Adults in the 25-44 age group and kids in the 5 to 19 age demographic are most at risk of being involved in a fireworks accident.
Also, defective or malfunctioning fireworks can cause other serious damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011 fireworks were the cause of about 17,800 fires. Property damage alone was at around $32 million.
Our burn injury lawyers represent clients injured in fires, personal injury accidents, and incidents caused by defective or faulty products and devices. Contact us today to request your free, no-obligation case evaluation.