Fourth of July celebrations simply wouldn’t be the same without fireworks displays — both the professional and backyard variety! But for some Americans, that love of lighting up the night sky in celebration of the nation can have some serious consequences.
Injuries due to fireworks are actually quite common. They can range from mild — with little impact on your life — to severe enough to cause death. If you or someone you love is injured by fireworks, is there a legal remedy?
Here’s what you need to know about injury suits related to fireworks and some of the most common injuries they can cause.
The Dangers of Fireworks New Yorkers Should Know About
Fireworks are so common that many people don’t understand the serious dangers they present. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, 180 people go to the emergency room every single day with injuries related to fireworks. Over half of those injuries are burns.
Burns are the most obvious injuries that can result from the use of fireworks, but there are other injuries that can occur as well. The most common firework-related injuries include:
Sparks or debris from fireworks can land in the eye, resulting in injuries to very delicate structures that can be quite painful.
Injuries to the Face
Aside from damaging the eyes or burning the face, some fireworks can exert a lot of force when they’re lit, resulting in broken bones or severe damage to the tissue of the face.
The loud boom some fireworks cause can seem thrilling, but it can also result in both temporary and permanent hearing loss. The closer you are to fireworks when they detonate, the more damage that can be done to your hearing.
Fractures and Cuts to the Hands
Burns may be the most common injury when using fireworks, but cuts and fractures to the bones in the hands can also result. Torn ligaments and tendons, broken bones, and deep cuts can all result from explosives like fireworks
Don’t delay in getting treatment for any of these injuries — even if they seem minor.
Was Negligence Involved in Your NY Injury?
Many injuries that result from the use of fireworks occur due to negligence. Someone who is simply watching the display can easily be injured if the person working with the fireworks and setting them off acts in a negligent way.
If negligence is the cause of your fireworks injury, then you may be able to receive compensation if you can prove these things:
- The person lighting and handling the fireworks had the duty to act in a responsible way, such as following the proper precautions when lighting them
- The duty to act responsibly was breached
- An injury occurred
- The breach of duty caused the injury
Important note: if you were the one lighting and handling the fireworks and were injured due to your own negligence, you cannot sue.
Product Liability for New York Firework Injuries
Sometimes you are injured by fireworks even if you take every precaution you’re supposed to. In these cases, the manufacturer may be to blame for creating a defective product. If you can prove this, those involve with the manufacture or sale of the firework could be held liable for your injuries.
The dangerous nature of fireworks means that the injured party would need to prove that the manufacturer knowingly sold a product that was defective or designed the firework carelessly. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to prove since fireworks pass through so many hands in the supply chain. That’s why you may want to report a strict liability claim that demonstrates that the firework that injured you was unduly hazardous and caused unnecessary injuries as a result.
What Kind of Evidence Do New Yorkers Injured By Fireworks Need?
If you’re trying to prove that another party was negligent, then you need evidence for your case. That’s why, if you sustain an injury as the result of fireworks, you should:
- Get an incident report if the injury occurred at a business of some kind
- Get eyewitness statements and contact information
- Take pictures of the scene and document any other evidence that details how, when, and where the injury occurred
- Get medical treatment and make sure to have a copy of any medical records related to that treatment
- Document any time that was missed at work due to the injury or any loss of income
Fireworks injuries can be quite severe — even debilitating. If you believe that another’s negligence caused your injury, you owe it to yourself and your loved one to fight back. Do not pay for someone else’s mistake.