Alcorn, Sage, Schwartz &
Magrath LLP

Who is responsible for injuries from fireworks?

Every year, hospitals around the nation brace for a sudden onslaught of injury victims on and around the Fourth of July. Approximately 91,000 injury victims seek medical care on July 4 and July 5 each year due to various injuries -- many of them related to fireworks. In fact, more than half of all fireworks injuries take place during the first eight days of July.

According to an 18-year study of hospital records, fireworks injuries often involve thermal burns, bruises and cuts. Fireworks can cause eye, face, hand and finger injuries.

So, who is legally responsible for firework injuries? Here are some of the possibilities:

1. You are liable.

Fireworks are admittedly dangerous, so if you bought them yourself and handled them with the full understanding of your danger, you may not be able to hold anyone else responsible for an injury.

2. The manufacturer or distributor is liable.

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that the packaging on the fireworks was misleading or unclear. Maybe you had no idea that the product you bought at the local grocery store was that volatile because it was advertised as "safe." In that case, you may be able to hold the manufacturer of the fireworks or the store where you purchased them liable for your injuries.

3. The host of your gathering is liable.

A lot of people end up injured by fireworks gone awry at a social gathering. If you were just trying to enjoy a hot dog when someone sent a bottle rocket into the crowd, you may be able to sue the host of the gathering for your injuries and damages. Whoever is in charge of a gathering or celebration generally has a responsibility to ensure the safety of those in attendance.

Because the issue is complicated, it's always smart to discuss liabiility regarding a fireworks injury with a personal injury attorney.

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