Do I Have A Lawsuit If I Was Hurt In A Fireworks Accident?
Like most Americans, many of us will likely spend the 4th of July with friends and family joined together in Ol’ Glory, hotdogs, and of course, fireworks. In fact, this long-lasting tradition of celebrating Independence Day with a fireworks display dates back all the way to July 4, 1777, just one year after our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.
However, as fun and as beautiful as it may be to watch a clear night summer sky illuminated in red, white, and blue, it’s important to remember that fireworks, if mishandled, could cause serious injuries.
According to a report by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2018, fireworks accounted for 9,100 injuries for the year, 5,600 of which had occurred between June 22, 2018, and July 22, 2018.
Here are a few more surprising statistics from the commission’s report:
- There were five (5) reported, non-occupational fireworks-related fatalities in 2018.
- Children between 10 to 14 years old had the highest rate of ER treated fireworks injuries with 5.2 injuries per 100,000 patients.
- Firecrackers accounted for 1000 fireworks-related injuries; Sparklers accounted for 500 and 200 were attributed to bottle rockets.
- 28% of all injuries were sustained on the patient’s hands and fingers, 24% were sustained on the legs, 19% in the eyes, 15% on the head-face-ears, and 4% on the arms.
As we have discussed previously, being treated at the emergency room can prove to be extremely expensive, especially for those who do not have health insurance, and if your injuries are fairly severe, you could end up needing physical therapy or time off from work to recuperate.
Let’s say your fireworks accident wasn’t your fault but was caused by someone else; would they have to pay for your injuries or would you be stuck footing the bill all by yourself? So the question remains:
Can I Sue If I Got Hurt In A Fireworks Accident?
In order to better understand Texas personal injury claims, here are a few scenarios that may help you if you’re ever injured in a fireworks accident:
Scenario 1: You were invited to a BBQ and to pop some fireworks at your friend’s house when their child lights up a roman candle and points it directly at you, causing you to suffer from burn injuries.
Yes, your friend’s homeowners insurance would likely cover this claim. As the owner of the premises, your friend has an obligation to provide what is called “ordinary care” to ensure the safety of their guests. Injuries sustained from the actions of unsupervised children may be claimed. In Texas, how much you may be compensated will be based on the age of the child; if they are under the age of 18, the damages are capped at $5,000, however, if the child is 18 years old, the child is considered an adult in the home and you may be compensated up to the limits of the policy.
Scenario 2: You’re driving down a neighborhood street when a bottle rocket launched from a front yard suddenly lands in front of your car causing you to crash and suffer from injuries.
Just as in scenario 1, if you were involved and injured in a car accident, you would have a claim against the property owner’s insurance for your car accident injury claim.
Scenario 3: Your city throws a 4th of July parade and has a fireworks display, during which a rocket accidentally fires into the crowd, causing severe burns to you and your child.
In this scenario, you may run into what is called “sovereign immunity” which means that it would be nearly impossible to file a lawsuit against the city due to gross negligence for your injuries.
Scenario 4: You buy fireworks from a local fireworks stand. Later that evening, you ignite one of the rockets you purchased when suddenly, instead of flying up it explodes instantly, causing burn injuries to your hands and face.
Yes, you may have what is called a “products liability” or a “defective consumer products” claim against not only the manufacturer of the fireworks, but the distributors, suppliers, retailers, and even government entities. When a product enters the “stream of commerce” where consumers such as yourself are able to purchase these products, it’s logical to assume that the product is safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as poor testing or shoddy production could spell disaster for unsuspecting consumers.
Fireworks Safety Tips For The 4th of July
If you plan to light fireworks on Independence Day, here are a few safety tips to follow to ensure you enjoy your 4th of July safely:
- Check your city ordinances to make sure it is legal to pop fireworks in your location.
- Light fireworks ONE AT A TIME; do not group or intertwine fuses.
- Always make sure that an adult is lighting the fireworks. NEVER allow children to light fireworks on their own and supervise any and all children at all times.
- Never purchase commercial-grade or illegal fireworks.
- Do not light fireworks directly on your hand.
- Never try to relight fireworks that did not ignite fully.
- Never point or “shoot” fireworks at a person’s or a car’s direction.
- Keep a hose or water nearby to extinguish any fires, if the fire is too large to safely extinguish, call 911 immediately.
- Do not use glass containers to launch bottle rockets.
- When cleaning up, douse all fireworks fodder with water before throwing it in the trash.
BONUS: Can I File A Fire Damage Claim If My House Sustained Fire Damage From Fireworks?
Did you know that nearly 47% of all property fires reported on July 4th are fireworks-related? Since our personal injury lawyers also practice property damage claims, we figured we could provide some much-needed insight in the event that your property sustains through fire and smoke damage on the Fourth of July.
BONUS Scenario: A stray bottle rocket lands on your roof, igniting and starting a fire that damages most of your home.
Yes, you can file a fire damage claim in this scenario. Ensure that you take photos of all the damage sustained by your home so that there is adequate evidence that there is clear damage that must be paid out by your homeowner’s insurance. If your insurance carrier somehow denies or undervalues your fire damage claim, speak to an experienced property damage lawyer immediately.
Call The McAllen Injury Lawyers At Moore Law Firm Today!
If you or your child was injured in a fireworks accident, you need to call the McAllen injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm today at 1-800-444-2780 for a FREE and FAST consultation right now!