Were You or a Love One Injured by Defective Fireworks or Negligent Fireworks Shooters in Oklahoma?
Many would be surprised at how common firework injury accidents are, particularly close to home. Let’s look into the statistics and how to get help.
Each July 4th, thousands of people—most of them children—are injured while using consumer fireworks. In 2011 alone, fireworks caused approximately 18,000 reported fires, and in 2013, an estimated 11,000 emergency room visits, many related to head injuries.
Firework injury rates are most common for children up to four years of age, and include severe burns and, sometimes, even death – injuries ranged from first- to third-degree burns.
Arguably, these products should only be handled by trained professionals, and by encouraging the regular public, companies that manufacture fireworks for home use are, arguably, negligent.
This is particularly the case if the fireworks sold are defective and hurt someone, or do not contain adequate warnings to protect the public while engaging in their intended use.
What Are the Statistics on Firework Injury?
According to a 2018 report by the National Firework Protection Association, about 19,500 fires were started by fireworks causing five deaths, 46 injuries such as burns, and 105 million dollars in property damages. 28 percent of these fires caused by fireworks were on the 4th of July.
The same year, hospital emergency rooms treated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries, most of which were to the extremities. 34% were to the victim’s head or eyes, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
As the pandemic caused almost all public firework displays to be canceled on the 4th of July 2020, consumer firework injuries rose by 56% in that year, making it the most dangerous in more than 15 years. Unfortunately, consumer sparklers in the hands of children are the source of most of these injuries. Firework injury can cause more than just burns. Scars, disfigurement, loss of limbs, or even death are all possible when fireworks are used negligently.
Fireworks Injury: Design & Warning Defects
Firework injury can come about from improperly using the products, or through design defects and improper warnings, which lead to injuries. Historically, some of these have included:
- Fireworks that fail to light and, upon relighting, explode;
- Fireworks that do not include instructions on how to properly use them;
- Individuals who take existing fireworks and combine them into a homemade product which then explodes improperly; and
- Abandoned fireworks and/or associated parts and products that are later found by children and cause harm.
Firework Injury: Liability
Many have been injured as the result of misuse and defective design of fireworks. This poses significant dangers to members of the public, many of them too young to understand the potential dangers posed.
If you have been injured by a defective firework, you may be able to hold the manufacturer accountable for your injuries in a product liability lawsuit. If you have been injured at a fireworks show, those responsible for the show can be held liable for failing to properly oversee their discharge and protect attendees—in other words, failing to demonstrate the use of reasonable care.
How Can I Avoid Firework Injuries at Home?
- Make sure the fireworks used are legal.
- Don’t let children use fireworks.
- Always have adults oversee firework usage.
- Never use fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; these are used by professionals and are not safe for consumer use.
- Keep sparklers out of the hands of children.
- Never lean directly over any fireworks while lighting the fuse.
- Move quickly and far away after igniting fireworks.
- Never attempt to relight a firework that malfunctioned.
- Avoid pointing or throwing fireworks at people or objects.
- Have a water source handy to extinguish a fire.
What Should I Do if I Get an Injury From Fireworks?
If you have been injured in a fireworks accident, you may be able to make a claim against the person or entities responsible. Suppose the wrongdoer was negligent or reckless in their actions and caused your injuries. In that case, you could obtain compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. This is possible because of legal theories based on negligence.
Firework injury lawyers can assess if the person or entities that caused your firework injuries behaved in a manner that constitutes negligence. Since using fireworks is established as dangerous, anyone using them has an obligation to be careful. Just like when someone gets in a car and drives or operates heavy machinery, the operator is bound to take reasonable precautions not to cause injuries to people or property.
What Is Negligence in the Law?
Negligence is the basis of many common types of personal injury lawsuits in the U.S. Firework injury attorneys can use the law of negligence to build a case against the person who injured you. Still, they have to establish five elements under the theory of the law.
- The first is an existence of a legal duty that the wrongdoer owed to you. That legal duty is to act in a manner that doesn’t cause harm to others.
- The second requires proving they breached that duty. For example, when someone drives a car and they don’t stop for a stop sign, and the result is they hit you, that is a breach of duty.
- The third is causation. A straightforward example is a bus driver hitting a cyclist and injuring that person. The bus driver caused that accident. The cyclist was injured and would not have been otherwise.
- The fourth is the proximate cause which means the bus driver knew if they hit someone, injuries would be likely.
- The last is damages. It’s literally adding a price tag to everything you have suffered or lost due to someone else’s negligence.
In the instance of firework injury, the person who chose to handle the fireworks had to be aware that using fireworks could lead to an injury, whether intentional or not. In a nutshell, people who choose to use fireworks have a high “duty of care” to others.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Fireworks Injury?
Say you were attending a professional fireworks display. The promoter of the event has a duty to protect you and other attendees from getting injured from fireworks and the falling debris from the blasts. Perhaps they didn’t take precautions to ensure no one in the crowd got too close to the blast zone. Or maybe they didn’t have the right kind or enough personnel to step in and handle an emergency. In that case, you could sue the promoter, and in some instances, the town, city, or county could be held liable, although some state laws limit a municipality’s liability.
Setting up a professional fireworks display requires a lot of care. Fireworks must be appropriately secured so the fireworks can’t tip over and shoot at spectators. Even small fireworks have to be secured in a manner that won’t lead to injuries. If shots go off at the ground level, that means there was a fault with the firework or a lack of lifting charge, and someone should be held liable.
Another entity that could be held liable is the fireworks manufacturer or the retailer. If there was a malfunction due to negligence in production, it’s possible to make a claim against them. This is called product liability. However, the vast majority of fireworks are made overseas, so this could be challenging to get compensation. In some cases, it may be possible to sue the importer instead of an offshore manufacturer.
If you were injured in a backyard fireworks display, you could sue the homeowner in what is known as a premises liability lawsuit. It all depends on many factors. Here are some other things to take into consideration. Were the fireworks legal? Were the warning labels sufficient? Firework injury attorneys are your best resource to determine who can be held liable for your firework injuries.
Even if you weren’t injured from fireworks, but you came to harm while attending a public fireworks display because of negligence, you may have a case. For instance, the promoter didn’t contain the number of people at the venue, and because of overcrowding, you get trampled. Or the stands weren’t correctly set up, and you get hurt when it collapses. Another example could be that too many people were pushing against a guardrail and caused it to topple, and you fell as a result.
Injured by Fireworks? Contact an Oklahoma Personal Lawyer.
In general, if a person is injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, they may have grounds for a personal injury claim. For example, if someone was injured by fireworks due to a defective product, improper handling, or lack of proper safety precautions, they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries and related damages.
To determine the viability of a personal injury claim in the case of firework injury, several factors would need to be considered, such as the extent of the injuries, the cause of the incident, any available evidence, and the applicable laws. It’s important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who can evaluate the specific details of the case and provide advice based on the relevant laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
Remember that laws can vary between different countries, states, and even local jurisdictions, so it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a professional who is familiar with the laws in your specific area.
Around the 4th of July each year, in Oklahoma, we hear reports of people getting hurt by fireworks. Some injuries are the result of stupid antics, while others are the result of poor decisions made while intoxicated. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report, roughly a third of emergency department visits connected to fireworks injuries in 2016 involved children under the age of 15. The group most at risk for injury seems to be young people in general (those 24 or younger).
The range of potential harm from fireworks includes minor burns, finger amputation, eye and ear damage, and in rare instances, death. A personal injury lawsuit may be brought about by severe injuries that result in high medical expenses and other negative effects, such as reductions in a person’s capacity to work. There are a number of factors that could apply to an injury caused by fireworks:
- The harmed person’s carelessness. In any lawsuit involving fireworks, the degree to which the injured party contributed to the accident will be an important consideration. Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that a defendant’s culpability may be diminished by the amount of responsibility that the judge or jury finds to be given to the plaintiff. For instance, if the plaintiff in a lawsuit against a store that sold faulty pyrotechnics was aware of the flaw, acknowledged its risks, and nonetheless used the explosives, that may lessen the defendant’s liability.
- The injury’s origin. Injury from fireworks can happen in a variety of ways. The first example that comes to mind for many is when someone holds an explosive firecracker in their palm despite the fact that doing so is extremely dangerous. Other sorts of harm, however, may result from manufacturing flaws, such as a fuse that burns too quickly or is too short, or the inclusion of components that ignite at a dangerously high temperature.
- Did the accused accept responsibility? When a child gets hurt by a fireworks, an adult may have taken on the duty of protecting the youngster. Negligent supervision by an adult could involve doing things like offering a young child a harmful product or modeling unsafe conduct.
- The chain of a faulty product’s production and distribution. A products liability claim may be appropriate when a person is hurt by a product that may have been inherently dangerous. Anyone engaged in the production or sale of the goods may be liable in a products liability litigation on behalf of the plaintiff. Since many pyrotechnics are imported from outside, it might be challenging to locate the original producer in legal proceedings. However, the retailer who supplied the faulty item may also be held accountable.
A personal injury lawyer should look at the particular facts and circumstances surrounding each fireworks-related injury. For more than 10 years, the lawyers at Dakota Low have handled personal injury lawsuits for residents of Oklahoma. Call 405.601.8899 today or use our contact form for a free legal consultation regarding your situation.
How To Locate the Best Fireworks Injury Lawyer in Oklahoma?
Just about anyone enjoys a good fireworks display, whether it be on the 4th of July, at a concert, or during an inaugural ceremony. Fireworks are not an original American concept, however. For centuries, fireworks have been used to elevate the pomp and pageantry of royalty and to celebrate military victories.
We are all fond of fireworks, but these explosives are inherently dangerous. Every year fireworks are the source of thousands of injuries and the cause of thousands of fires.
If you or someone you love has been injured by fireworks, please read on for tips on how to proceed, or fill out a contact form online to learn about your options. You might be entitled to compensation if your injury is due to someone else’s negligence.
Why Should I Hire Dakota Low for My Firework Injury Claim?
The law is highly complex. Hiring Dakota Low means you have a trusted legal advocate at your back with capable attorneys that have substantial resources at their fingertips. Not to mention the passion our lawyers have for fighting for the little person. We have resolved thousands of successful cases in our years of practicing law.
Many of our verdicts have been 20 times greater than what was offered at pre-trial. We believe this speaks to our dedication to taking cases to trial if need be. Many personal injury lawyers will shy away from the courtroom, which can impact your level of compensation. You want an attorney that is battle-ready.
Our consultations are free, and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. You have a right to seek compensation for your fireworks injury if someone else’s negligence caused it. We can get the money you need to pay your medical bills and get compensation for lost work, pain and suffering, and more. Call 405.601.8899 today or use our contact form.