By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Firework injuries to children and others seem to spike during the July 4th time period. People are enthusiastic and eager to celebrate America’s Independence. Unfortunately, injuries result from the lighting off of fireworks by untrained individuals. Furthermore, the lighting of fireworks that tend to fly through air and spin around aimlessly tend to be quite dangerous especially when lit in confined areas like urban areas, backyards, and residential driveways and streets. Individuals with experience lighting off fireworks feel that they have a good working knowledge of the fireworks and how to light them off in a safe manner. If this was the case, there would not be so many visits to the emergency room due to firework related injuries. It was reported that over 11,000 people were treated in an emergency room as a result of firework related injuries including those related to firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets. You can read more about the statistics related to Fireworks Related Injuries at Experts Urge People to Leave Fireworks to Professionals.
What if a child is injured by fireworks?
Is there a case to pursue?
What actions should a parent take in the aftermath of a fireworks related injury?
First and foremost, a parent should seek out medical care for the injured child. If possible, it would be helpful (but not absolutely necessary) to have a photographs of the area where the fireworks were ignited. In addition, it would be helpful (but not absolutely necessary) to have photographs of the fireworks that caused the injury. It can even be collected and preserved if that is possible.
As for the medical care, it should be obtained as soon as possible to prevent further complications from the fireworks related injury. A parent may seek out medical care from the pedestrian, urgent care center, and when the injuries are serious and / or emergent in nature – a local emergency room. Follow up care should be obtained as recommended by the treating physicians.
Photographs and videos should be taken of the fireworks related injuries. In addition, while the incident is fresh in mind, it may be helpful to write down the course of the events and the name of the witnesses to the incident.
When a child is injured as a result of a fireworks related injury or another incident, a parent should seek out a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, and legal representation when needed. A Child Injury Lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of the case. Like other personal injury cases, there are four elements to a fireworks injury case as follows:
1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages.
If the incident took place at the home of another person, there may be a claim or case to pursue under the homeowner’s insurance policy of the homeowner. There may or may not be coverage for firework related personal injuries. The applicable policy will need to be reviewed as to coverage and exceptions under the policy. This goes the same for fireworks related injuries that are caused by a business, government, or commercial entity.
The book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Medical Treatment and Insurance, Automobile Accidents, Playground Injuries, Homeowner’s Insurance and Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.