Florida Firework Accidents: Can I get compensation for my injuries?
Sustaining any kind of personal injury can be frustrating and difficult to handle. When you are injured due to the negligence of others, it makes it doubly difficult. What about injuries caused by horrible fireworks accidents? Whether it’s a Fourth of July celebration – or some other festive event when fireworks are displayed – the last thing one expects is to experience a potentially devastating injury from the beautiful fireworks. But such injuries can and do happen. When they do, it’s time to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore, Tampa accident lawyers.
The firm of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore has been the voice for the injured since 1967. Today, it is considered among the most respected plaintiff’s personal injury law firms, showing extraordinary leadership in the legal profession and the courtroom.
It can be difficult in most cases to determine who is responsible for an injury. It can be even more difficult to determine liability for an injury caused by fireworks.
Around July Fourth of each year, we hear stories about people getting injured by fireworks. Sometimes, those cases result from foolish pranks or stunts, some involve alcohol or drugs, and others from poor judgment. Many end in tragedy, as did this incident that occurred in south Florida recently involving fireworks: Man loses hand in pre-Fourth of July fireworks accident in South Florida (nbcnews.com)
Adults are not the only ones at risk. Children under the age of 15 account for nearly one-third of fireworks-related injuries. In general, younger people are the most at-risk group when it comes to this type of injury.
Causes of Fireworks Injuries
We conjure happy celebrations and good times when we think of fireworks. We never think of the danger involved and the possibility of a serious accident. However, if fireworks are not carefully and correctly handled, they can be very dangerous. Both professional fireworks displayers and lay individuals using fireworks are required to use proper safety procedures. This does not always occur, however.
The most common cause of injury due to fireworks is misuse. Forty-one percent of injuries are due to misuse. Thirty-nine percent of injuries result from fountains or flares. Next is device failure at 35%, with the most common failure due to ground fireworks emitting sparks upwards, like flares or fountains, and only 6% of injuries are caused by sparklers.
Fireworks accidents are also caused by:
- Defective fireworks
- Early explosion
- Improper direction
- Indoor use of fireworks
- Negligent use or misuse of fireworks
Types of Fireworks Injuries
The firework hand injury is most common, resulting in a burned finger or hand. Minor burns cause pain and redness, while more serious burns cause the skin to blister. The most serious burns cause damage under the skin and cause it to become white and leathery.
In addition to injuries from minor burns, damaged ears or eyes, loss of fingers, and in some rare cases, even death can result. Serious injuries involving significant medical costs can severely impact someone’s ability to work and provide the basis of a lawsuit.
Compensation for Fireworks Injuries
If you have suffered injuries from a fireworks display, do not hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney. He or she can help determine if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence and whether a lawsuit is advisable. You may be entitled to:
- Medical expenses covering costs of emergency care, required surgery, doctor visits, or any medical care necessitated by your injuries.
- If your injury results in lost time from work, your damages may include reimbursement for wages you lost during that time.
- If you are considered to be permanently disabled by your injuries and are not able to work the same position, you may be able to receive compensation for lost future earnings.
- Beyond the economic damages noted above, you may be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering.
- Under certain circumstances, punitive damages may be assessed where the offending individual or company acted particularly irresponsibly in setting off fireworks and knowingly endangering others.
How Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore Can Help
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a fireworks display, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers in Tampa of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore. Our attorneys have decades of experience in personal injury claims and can help guide you in all aspects of your fireworks-injury claim.