The Fourth of July is a day away and our friends and family are gearing up for celebrations, grilling, and fireworks. In addition to obvious changes to our celebrations due to ongoing Covid restrictions, the recent past has also brought a noticeable change to Pennsylvania residents’ Fourth of July celebrations. As of October 2017, Pennsylvania residents over 18 years old are permitted to buy “Class C” or consumer grade fireworks from brick-and-mortar retailers in Pennsylvania. Class C fireworks includes fireworks, roman candles, bottle rockets, and other aerial fireworks with a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. “Display fireworks” or “salutes” that contain more than 130 milligrams of explosive material and certain aerial shells are still only to be used by professionals operating with a permit from their local municipality where the firework display will be held.
It means we must continue to use common sense and be safe around fireworks to reduce your risk of a fireworks injury at our Fourth of July celebrations. Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent Fireworks Annual Report revealed that fireworks were responsible for 5 deaths and 9,100 injuries treated in the Emergency Departments across the United States during the calendar year 2018. Not surprisingly, 5,600 or 62 percent of those fire-work related injuries occurred between June 22, 2018 and July 22, 2018.
Unfortunately, you, your friend or your family member may suffer a firework-related injury because someone else was not using common sense or being safe around fireworks. After receiving prompt medical attention, you may want to consult with a lawyer to discuss your legal rights. There are a number of potentially responsible individuals or businesses who may be held accountable for the disfigurement, medical bills, pain, suffering, and economic uncertainty that accompany a firework injury.
A property owner who hosted the gathering or party where injury occurred is one potentially responsible party who may be held accountable in a premises liability lawsuit after a firework injury. If the firework injury occurred at someone’s home or residence, the homeowner’s insurance company would be responsible for paying the settlement or verdict in a lawsuit to cover the injured person’s losses from a firework injury. When the injury occurs at a public fireworks display, there may be a contractor or business involved in the fireworks display who may be held accountable in addition to the property owner who hosted the fireworks display. Other potentially responsible parties who may be held accountable to the firework injury victim include the store, firework manufacturer, and distributor who sold the firework that caused the injury. A product liability lawsuit would attempt to hold these businesses responsible for the losses suffered as a result of a firework injury for creating and selling a defective firework.
Whatever the case may be, always exercise caution around fireworks and encourage others to do the same. If you find that you or a loved one is hurt in a firework incident, first seek medical attention and then call 877-637-7252 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Messa & Associates. You can also submit your potential case information online for a free case evaluation.
Stay safe and happy Fourth of July!