Between Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, fireworks are a popular part of celebrations across the United States. Shows carefully designed by engineers and executed by professionals capture the attention of thousands of theme park visitors — as do less formal firework displays that take place in parks and neighborhoods when consumers purchase fireworks for their own personal use.
Unfortunately, fireworks are more dangerous to use than one may think, and cause thousands of injuries each year. Indeed, consumer fireworks are actually illegal in Florida, though a loophole in the law makes it possible for anyone to buy fireworks as long as they sign a simple form.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted a study from June 21 through July 21 of 2013 that revealed some startling information about accidents involving fireworks. The CPSC reported that, on average, 240 people visited emergency rooms every day as a result of fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. It also reported that 62 percent of firework injuries are burns, and that the most injured body parts are (by percentage):
- Hands and fingers: 36 percent
- Heads, faces and ears: 22 percent
- Eyes: 16 percent
- Legs: 14 percent
- Trunks and other body parts: seven percent
- Arms: five percent
Eight fireworks-related deaths occurred in 2013. Tragically, a Florida woman passed away on July 5th of this year as a result of severe burns after an errant firework started a fire in her home, setting off other fireworks while she was inside. Her son was able to remove her from her house, but she succumbed to her injuries the next day.
Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be able to seek compensation from liable parties if you or a loved one is injured by a firework. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain Florida’s injury laws and work with you to see if you have a viable claim.