Each year, on average, Americans spend $1 billion on fireworks in preparation for a Fourth of July celebration. Fireworks are bright, noisy, and exhilarating, but also hazardous. Despite this, they’re widely available. Open fireworks merchants around the country offer what they refer to as “safe and sane pyrotechnics” to anybody over the age of 16. Typically, these are non-flying, non-exploding fireworks. Nevertheless, it’s not surprising that emergency departments see a significant surge of patients with fireworks injuries a few weeks before and after the holiday.
If you or a loved one was harmed by pyrotechnics, or if your home or business was damaged by negligent handling, you may be unsure of your legal rights to compensation. However, you must establish either that the individual handling the pyrotechnics was negligent, or that the fireworks were defective.
How to Prove Damages After a Firework Injury
You may claim damages if someone’s recklessness with fireworks caused harm or destroyed property. For example, if you were watching a pyrotechnics display and injured by a firework set off by another person, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the individual(s) responsible for putting on the show and igniting the pyrotechnics.
To prove a defendant’s liability in court, a plaintiff must provide the following evidence:
- The defendant in question owed you, the plaintiff, a duty of care
- The defendant breached this duty through negligence
- The defendant’s carelessness contributed significantly to the plaintiff’s injuries.
Malfunctioning Fireworks Causing Injuries
Fireworks that malfunction may result in a range of injuries. They frequently malfunction due to:
- Premature detonation before the handler has reached a safe distance.
- Detonation in a manner not anticipated by the maker.
- Unexpected flight routes that cause harm to individuals in safe locations.
In such situations, you may have a product liability claim, since the injuries were caused by manufacturing or design flaws.
A pyrotechnics producer or designer may also be held liable for harm if the fireworks lack proper safety warnings. Additionally, in certain instances, illegal pyrotechnics have been sold, and the vendor may be held accountable for any accidents.
Since pyrotechnics are so deadly, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) strictly regulates them. All fireworks packaging should include rigorous warning and instruction labels to avoid user mistakes that might cause injury or property damage. These cautions may be found on the ATF website.