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Firework Injuries on the 4th of July

Many families are packing up their picnic baskets, blankets, hats, sunscreen and fireworks and heading out to a family celebration for the 4th of July. Fireworks and celebrations go hand in hand over this holiday weekend, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind individuals that fireworks can cause serious injury including burns, eye injuries and death.

According to the CPSC, “Consumers need to heed our warning: fireworks related incidents, especially those involving illegal fireworks, can be fatal.” The CPSC reminds everyone to be safe, be smart and follow directions.

Believe it or not, there is also a National Council on Firework Safety. They have published a few guidelines to help keep Americans safe during the holidays. Some safety tips include:

• Use fireworks only outdoors.
• Always have water near the firework display
• Do not alter or combine fireworks. Use them as they are packaged.
• Never relight a firework which did not ignite the first time.
• Use common sense and keep a safe distance between the spectator and the fire work shooter.
• Wear safety goggles when you are igniting the firework.
• Do not drink alcohol and use fireworks.
• Do not create homemade explosives.

Firework Injuries

It is estimated that in 2010 more than 8,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country for firework-related injuries. Up to 73% of these injuries occurred between June 18 and July 18th.

Most of the injured were males and up to 40% of the injured were children who were under the age of 15 years. Most of the injuries, an estimated 1,200, were from sparklers and 400 were from bottle rockets. Another 900 were caused by firecrackers, with an estimated 30% from small firecrackers.

Burns were the most common injuries, and they were present on the hands, legs, head, face, ears and fingers. Other common injuries included lacerations and contusions.

The best way to stay safe is to allow trained professionals to handle the fireworks. Keep in mind people who are actively participating in the firework related activities are much more likely to be injured, and injured more severely, than bystanders.

Filing a Personal injury Claim for a Firework Injury

Most firework injuries cause minor injuries, but serious injuries or death do occur. If you have been injured from the negligence of another person, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.

Whether your injuries were caused from another person’s negligence or a defective firework product, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and recover lost wage compensation, medical costs, pain and suffering. If your injury caused permanent scarring or disability, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

Personal injury claims must be filed within a specified time from the date of injury, and the statute of limitations to file a claim may vary by state. To win a personal injury claim you must also prove certain elements of your claim including:

• The defendant owed you a duty of care.
• The defendant breached their duty of care toward you.
• The defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of your personal injuries.
• You have suffered actual loss or injury from your injuries.

To prove loss you may need to gather evidence such as medical records or expert testimony. If your injury was caused by a defective firework you may not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product was defective.

Personal injury lawyers can review your claim, hire experts, gather evidence and either negotiate a settlement or, if needed, fight for compensation in court.

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