Fireworks are a symbol of joy and celebration. Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured by them in the United States every year. The injuries associated with fireworks range from the minor to the severe, but they have the potential to permanently alter victims’ lives in devastating ways when they are defective or set off negligently.
Some of the most common serious injuries caused by fireworks include:
1. Permanent Vision Loss
Sadly, approximately 45% of injuries caused by fireworks happen to children under 16. Of these injuries, those that result in loss of vision, both permanent and temporary, are among the most common. Firework-related eye damage can be caused by all kinds of fireworks, including sparklers. Although many people consider these hand-held fireworks harmless, they typically burn at a staggering 1,200ºF and the sparks they throw can easily damage eyes if held too close to someone’s face.
Professional fireworks account for a fortunately small number of firework injuries, but consumer-grade fireworks set off in residential yards lead to significantly more accidents. In addition to the injuries sustained by those setting off the fireworks, it is not uncommon for bystanders to suffer eye injuries, especially if they weren’t far enough away from the fireworks when they were set off, or if an ariel firework such as a bottle rocket takes off erratically. Other times people might be injured when the person setting off the fireworks does so negligently, such as by pointing a lit firework such as a roman candle at another person.
Bystanders at firework displays should be aware of the potential dangers of being around fireworks and take steps such as wearing eye protection and supervising children at all times. Organizers of displays must also follow strict precautions such as clearly indicating safe areas for the public to stand and safely disposing of all explosives.
2. Permanent Hearing Loss
Although firework displays are beautiful, they are exceptionally loud and can pose a real risk to your ears, including causing permanent hearing loss. Just as standing too close to fireworks increases the risk of an eye injury, close proximity to fireworks can damage your hearing beyond repair. Always be aware of how close you are to fireworks and consider wearing protective earplugs or headsets.
If another person’s actions caused your hearing loss, you might be able to receive compensation by filing a personal injury claim. This could entail a situation where the organizers of a public firework display use fireworks with too high a decibel level for the proximity to viewers or people living nearby.
You may be eligible to receive damages even if your hearing loss is not permanent. However, it can be challenging to prove that ear damage brought on by fireworks was the result of someone else’s actions rather than your own. For this reason, working with an experienced lawyer is advisable for this type of case.
3. Severe Burns
Burns are another common injury caused by fireworks. Because fireworks and sparklers burn at an extremely high temperature, burn injuries are frequently severe. Severe burns from firework burns often require a lot of expensive treatment, including IV drips, antibiotics, tetanus shots, skin grafting, and even cosmetic surgery to prevent disfigurement.
If you sustain a burn from fireworks and wish to file a personal injury claim against the firework manufacturer or the person running the display, you must be able to prove that their actions caused your injuries.
To keep you and your loved ones safe from burns, take safety precautions when near fireworks, such as staying at a safe distance behind a protective barrier. If setting off your own legal fireworks, only light one at a time per the instructions and always make sure to have water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.
4. Loss of Fingers
One of the most serious accidents caused by fireworks is the loss of fingers. One report estimates that in 2019, 31% of firework injuries involved the hands and fingers. Many of those, unfortunately, led to finger loss. That’s why you should never, for any reason, hold a lit firework in your hand or attempt to relight a firework that didn’t go off.
This kind of injury usually occurs in backyard displays where amateurs have to light the fireworks themselves. Because non-professionals light the fireworks, it can be challenging to prove that accidents were the manufacturers’ fault. However, if the products were faulty or mislabeled, you may have a case for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
5. Disfigured Face
Tragically, some firework displays result in injuries that leave someone with a disfigured face. Treating facial disfiguration can incur tons of medical bills and is an incredibly traumatic experience for the victim.
If you were the victim of such an accident and it was caused by the actions of another party, such as a defective firework, unsafe public display, or someone recklessly endangering you with consumer-grade fireworks such as by pointing or throwing a firework at you, you could be eligible to file a claim and receive a significant sum in compensation.
Contact Experienced Catastrophic Injury Lawyers
Handling explosives demands caution, but sometimes you can take all the necessary measures and still sustain injuries due to the actions of another party. Liable parties might include the manufacturer or the person putting on the firework display.
If you or someone you love is a victim of a firework accident, turn to experienced Indianapolis catastrophic injury lawyers for support. Guidance from Wagner Reese Injury Lawyers can dramatically increase your chances of filing a successful claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact our experienced legal team today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.