Our San Jose Personal Injury Attorney Can Answer Your Questions
The days surrounding the Fourth of July almost always result in clusters of firework injuries across the country, including here in the Bay Area. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), emergency rooms treat an average of 180 people per day for firework injuries during this period.
Cases here in California and other states show how serious these accidents can be for survivors or grieving families. Recently, a man in Ohio died after a mortar firework hit him in the chest. Other victims of firework accidents lose fingers and limbs. In Philadelphia, a 9-year-old girl suffered major injuries after a firework exploded in her hand. She lost several fingers and suffered burns to her face, chest and hands.
Illegal fireworks are even more dangerous, and it would seem almost as popular as legal fireworks. Federal law may classify some illegal fireworks as explosives, even if these products are sold as consumer fireworks under United Nations shipping classifications. Consumers may be unaware of the severe risks associated with using illegal fireworks, which could lead to injuries and deaths.
Families in the Bay Area need to know that it may be possible to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by fireworks. Your ability to recover compensation after a serious firework injury is extremely important, as it can help pay for medical bills, loss of future earnings and other damages. Depending on the severity of a firework injury, it is possible to suffer millions of dollars in damages.
Damages from Firework Injuries
Firework injury survivors and their family members can suffer extensive damages. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the goal is to recover compensation that can help pay for damages associated with an injury or death. Damages from a firework injury may include:
- Medical bills. All serious injury victims will incur medical bills. The question is how extensive will the medical bills be immediately following the injury and in the weeks, months and years after. For a person that suffers severe third-degree burns and lost limbs, it may be necessary to stay in a hospital for weeks or months. Expensive surgical procedures, such as skin grafts, may also be necessary.
- Rehabilitation. This is a certain type of medical expense that may be necessary after suffering a severe injury caused by fireworks. Firework injury victims may require prosthetics or therapy to help deal with partial or total loss of vision.
- Loss of income/loss of future earnings. Firework injuries may keep a person from being able to return to work. If a person relied on a keyboard and mouse, but lost several fingers or both hands, it would not be possible to return to that occupation. Severe injuries also tend to limit how much a person can make over a lifetime.
- Pain and suffering. Severe, life-altering injuries also cause injury victims and their families to suffer non-economic damages. Pain and suffering damages are associated with a loss of enjoyment in life.
This is not an exhaustive list of damages that are possible after a serious firework injury. Each case is going to be different. What is important to understand is that a verdict or settlement from a lawsuit can help pay for these damages. Compensation, while it cannot fix all problems, can make life easier for injury victims and their families.
Can I Sue for Injuries Caused by Fireworks?
Whether you can sue for injuries caused by fireworks depends on the circumstances. An attorney can help you determine whether it would be possible. In cases that involve negligence, reckless behavior or intentional harm, you may be able to file a lawsuit. The several types of possible defendants in firework lawsuits include:
- The person who lit the fireworks. If a person (such as a private homeowner) had a duty of care for bystanders/invited guests, and one suffers an injury due to the property owner’s violation of that duty, it may be possible to sue for damages.
- Firework manufacturers. Some firework injury cases are product liability lawsuits. These are lawsuits filed against manufacturers who developed products (such as fireworks) that contained design flaws, manufacturing defects or inadequate instructions or warnings. This avenue is typically more difficult because manufacturers may conduct operations overseas and may not have assets in the United States.
- Venue operators or firework companies. Venues may hire professional firework companies to put on Fourth of July shows. However, venue operators may be responsible for injuries or deaths that occur if they are negligent. The same is true of firework companies.
- Municipalities. Cities may sometimes hire firework companies to put on shows during the Fourth of July. Although it is more difficult to file a lawsuit against a government entity, it may not be impossible under the right circumstances.
- Retailers. Stores or stands that sell fireworks can also be liable for damages. For instance, if a retailer sold defective or illegal fireworks, and a customer suffered an injury and damages from that injury, it may be possible to sue.
If you or a loved one suffered harm from a firework injury, then you should speak with an attorney to learn more about who may be responsible, and which legal options are available. We also have a lot of helpful information on our website about illegal fireworks. You can learn more about the dangers of illegal fireworks and how they spread in California on our website.
About Our San Jose Personal Injury Law Firm
The Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia can help you determine whether it would be possible to pursue compensation for firework injuries. San Jose personal injury attorney Braid Pezzaglia can walk you through your possible options during a free consultation. To schedule a free consultation with Braid, call (408) 650-8955 or use our online case review form.