Injuries Caused by Fireworks
Thousands of people are injured by fireworks every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In 2017, U.S. emergency departments treated approximately 12,900 people whose injuries were at least partially caused by fireworks. Here are a few other related stats:
- There were eight fireworks-related deaths in 2017 (not counting people who work with fireworks professionally).
- Most people injured by fireworks are men, who account for 70% of fireworks-related injuries.
- Children younger than 15 years old made up a significant percentage of injuries in 2017 (36%). And 50% of the injuries were to people younger than 20 years old.
- Hands and fingers are the body parts most often injured.
- Two-thirds of the annual fireworks-related injuries happened between June 16, 2017 and July 16, 2017 (which of course coincides with Fourth of July celebrations).
While many fireworks-related injuries can be attributed to user error, manufacturer negligence could play a role in some cases.
Firework-Related Injuries in Florida
In 2017, an Orlando couple bought a “smiley face” firework from Sky King Fireworks, a company in Daytona Beach. The firework blew up when the man tried lighting the fuse, injuring his face, hands and leg. The blast blew the middle finger off his right hand, and he learned at the hospital that the rest of the fingers on his right hand would be amputated. He also suffered hearing loss. The couple filed a lawsuit accusing Sky King of negligent distribution, negligent failure to warn, strict liability and breach of implied warranty of fitness. They’re seeking more than $15,000 in damages.
Eye injuries are also common when using fireworks. Experts warn that ocular trauma caused by fireworks can lead to lifelong disabilities and vision loss.
The CPSC provides numerous safety tips for using fireworks, including:
- Light the fireworks one at a time and then quickly back away.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
- Don’t pick up or re-light fireworks that didn’t ignite properly.
- Don’t allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Don’t allow older children to play with or ignite fireworks without adult supervision.
Most Fireworks Are Illegal in Florida
It is illegal to sell or set off fireworks in Florida, except for groups with permits for public demonstrations. (Illegal fireworks don’t include sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs or snaps. Fireworks can also be sold for agricultural reasons, like scaring birds away from fish hatcheries. See the statute for more details.) But that doesn’t stop roadside stands from selling rockets, firecrackers, giant sparklers and other illegal products.
So besides getting injured from using fireworks, you also risk being criminally penalized with fines and jail time.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you were injured by fireworks. We will examine the facts of your case and help determine if negligence is to blame. If negligence caused your injury, then you are entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.