The Fourth of July can be a fun summer holiday and is the perfect time for sparklers and fireworks displays. As such, July has been designated National Fireworks Safety Month.
Sparklers and fireworks, however, can be dangerous when they fall into the wrong hands. It is important to be aware of and exercise the proper care and attention when using sparklers and other similar devices – and to never use fireworks unless you have the proper pyrotechnic license, certification, training, skill level, and experience.
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries as a result of an accident involving sparklers, Roman candles, fireworks, or similar pyrotechnic devices, you may also be entitled to monetary recovery under a products liability theory of recovery.
An experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorney can review your case and may be able to help you obtain the recovery you need and deserve under the law. This article will explore some safety guidelines and statistics that you should first keep in mind this Fourth of July holiday.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2015 alone, 11 people died and about 11,500 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Moreover, these incidents usually occurred when amateurs attempted to use or set off professional-grade, homemade, or other illegal fireworks or explosives. Other injuries occurred when individuals tried to set off small firecrackers or use sparklers.
In addition to potentially causing personal injuries (and even deaths, in the most severe cases), fireworks cause thousands of fires on an annual basis. Specifically, the National Fire Protection Association reports that as recently as 2013, fireworks caused about 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 other fires.
Safety with Sparklers
Sparklers are small ‘mini fireworks’ that can be held in-hand. However, when used improperly, they can potentially cause very serious burn injuries. In fact, sparklers burn at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to causing burn injuries, sparklers have the potential to ignite clothing. Children are particularly susceptible to burn injuries, and parents should always supervise young children when they are lighting or using sparklers.
Bottle rockets are small rockets which are attached to a stick, lit by a fuse, and then fired from a bottle. When these small rockets are used improperly, they have been known to cause very serious injuries, including eye injuries and blindness.
Fireworks, Firecrackers, and Roman Candles
Setting off firecrackers and fireworks should be left to the professionals. Firecrackers are designed to explode on the ground, and they are often connected together so that they will explode in a series. Handling or setting off fireworks without the proper license, training, or experience is extremely dangerous and can result in serious burn injuries, or even blindness.
Roman candles, on the other hand, consist of a long tube that the user holds in-hand. The ‘candle’ then releases a series of exploding shells from the tube. These devices, like fireworks, are also extremely dangerous and can result in severe burn injuries and even the loss of a finger.
These types of fireworks should not be handled or set off for any reason. This classification of firework consists of M-80s, M-100s, and M-250s. They produce extremely loud explosions and have short fuses. As a result, they can potentially cause very serious injuries and damages. It should also be noted that these types of fireworks are produced each year illegally.
Most fireworks are not generally approved for use by consumers in Florida. As a general rule of thumb, if it explodes, flies, or lifts off, Florida law prohibits you from lighting it.
Fireworks and the Law of Negligence
When a person is negligent in handling or setting off fireworks and someone else is injured, there may be a cause of action in negligence. A person who is setting off fireworks is held to the standard of care of an ‘ordinary reasonable person’ acting under those same circumstances. If the person handling or setting off the fireworks do so in a careless, reckless, or negligent manner, then he or she may be liable in negligence.
Injured plaintiffs could potentially obtain monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of spousal support, and permanent damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can examine all of the facts and circumstances of your individual case and can determine whether or not you may be entitled to monetary recovery.
Fireworks and the Law of Products Liability
Fireworks, sparklers, Roman candles, and other similar devices are popular for the Fourth of July. Obviously, these products are inherently dangerous and may cause serious burns and other injuries if they are used improperly or without the proper knowledge, training, skills, and experience.
In some cases, however, under the law, a manufacturer or distributor may be deemed liable for personal injuries sustained from a defectively manufactured or designed product – or as a result of improper or inadequate warnings provided on or with the product. In order to recover monetary compensation, an injured plaintiff must also show that the defective product proximately resulted in certain injuries and damages.
Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
The Fourth of July should be a fun summer holiday for everyone involved. However, accidents and injuries that result from fireworks and sparklers do sometimes occur. Personal injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence or from a defective product can be very serious.
If you have been injured in an accident involving fireworks, Roman candles, or sparklers, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. An experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorney will have the necessary legal expertise to represent you in your case and may be able to help you obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with the Dolman Law Group, please call us today or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652