Fourth of July Fireworks Safety

As we enter the height of summer, all of us at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, wish you a wonderful Independence Day.

fireworks-1443766-300x214The weather is beautiful and the beaches and waterways are flourishing. Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers remind you to plan your trip and drive safely, always designate a driver and avoid distraction. Your number one injury risk this summer is being involved in a traffic collision. Boating and water safety should also be high on your list of concerns if you plan to be on the water.

But each year fireworks hit the night sky to signal the start of the peak summer season.  And each year injuries occur, both at sanctioned municipal or corporate shows, or as a result of using backyard fireworks. These incidents are not rare. In fact, they have grown increasingly common amid the nation’s lax enforcement attitude toward fireworks sales. And the injuries typically result in permanent scarring or lasting disability, with severe burns, facial disfigurement, loss of eyesight and loss of fingers being among the most common.

The Insurance Journal reports nearly 13,000 serious firework injuries occur each year in the United States as fireworks sales approach $1 billion amid relaxed laws and enforcement. At least 8 people a year die as result of fireworks injuries. Two-thirds of accidents occur between mid June and mid July.

In Florida, F.S. Chapter 791 governs the sale of fireworks. While the law allows for the sale of fireworks, it prohibits consumer use of anything that explodes or emits sparks, except by permitted groups and organizations that seek advanced permission.  Roadside stands and temporary fireworks emporiums that spring up each summer use the law to sell many fireworks that are not legal for consumers to detonate in Florida.

Effectively, Florida law outlaws all but the sparklers, smoke bombs, and other minor novelty items of the type sold at Publix or Walmart.


Fireworks Injury Liability in SWFL

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know your best bet for staying safe is to leave the fireworks to the professionals. However, even then there are risks associated with watching large professional fireworks displays. Most commonly, people are injured each year by falling debris.

Under Florida Statute 768.81, Florida recognizes comparative fault. Being partially at fault for an accident or injuries may not preclude victims from seeking damages from other at-fault parties, however damages will be reduced by proportion of blame. The law specifically addresses comparative fault in product liability cases, allowing actions alleging that injuries received by a claimant in an accident were greater than the injuries the claimant would have received but for a defective product.

Cases for damages in the wake of fireworks injuries proceed based on the facts and circumstances of a case:

  • Premises Liability Claims: Those injured while attending a professional fireworks show are likely to have a claim for damages against the property owner, host and organizers of the event, and those responsible for preparing and launching the fireworks display.
  • Negligence: Those injured by a private display on someone else’s property may also have a claim against a property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Product Liability: Products liability means a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product.

Consulting with an experienced personal injury law firm is best done in the immediate aftermath of a serious accident and injury.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.

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