What Are Your Rights If You Are Injured by Fireworks?
Protecting Your Legal Rights after You Have Been Injured by Fireworks
It seems that fireworks are not just for holidays anymore. The ready availability of all types of firecrackers, sparklers and rockets has people using them for birthday celebrations, anniversaries and sometimes purely for entertainment. But they are inherently dangerous items that can cause serious injury if used without reasonable care. If you or someone you love has been hurt by fireworks, you have a right to take legal action for injuries caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence.
According to a study released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2014, there has been a gradual, but steady increase in death and injury from fireworks accidents over the last decade. In 2013, more than 11,000 people suffered injury from fireworks and eight people died.
Fireworks claims typically take two different forms: general negligence and product liability.
- Under the general legal theory of negligence, all people are charged with using reasonable care in all daily activities. A person driving a motor vehicle must do so with reasonable care (not exceed the speed limit, stop at all red lights and stop signs, etc.). Likewise, a person using fireworks, for any reason, must employ the same standard of care that a reasonable person would. This standard applies, whether the person is shooting off fireworks in his back yard, or is part of a team that is handling a large municipal fireworks display.
- Under a product liability approach, the designer or manufacturer of a product has a responsibility to ensure that the product as designed or built does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to users or bystanders. Under this theory, the designer or manufacturer of fireworks must carefully assess all potential risks and either design/sell a product that does not pose such a risk, or properly warn potential users of such risk.
In a lawsuit to recover damages for a fireworks-related injury, you can seek compensation for general negligence and product liability at the same time.
Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr
At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we bring more than 40 years of experience to injured people throughout central New Jersey, including people who have been injured in mass transit and commercial vehicle accidents. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.