If you have been injured by a fireworks accident, you should speak to an experienced Fireworks Attorney. Our Pittsburgh law firm has handled complex fireworks accident cases involving products liability and negligent supervision of fireworks. We offer free consultations on all Fireworks Accident Cases.
Setting off fireworks has become an increasingly popular activity for Americans, especially around holidays such as the 4th of July. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that the sale of imported fireworks has increased an estimated 700 percent in the past few decades. The sale of consumer fireworks is legal in Pennsylvania, and residents often purchase such allowed fireworks as mortars, shells, tube devices, rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, smaller firecrackers, and other novelty items.
Unfortunately, just because the sale of fireworks is legal in Pennsylvania does not mean that all fireworks sold are safe. Some fireworks are defective and can misfire, severely injuring people simply trying to have a good time. The National Fire Protection Association even goes so far as to say that no fireworks are safe, even if they are not defective, since the risk of injury is so high. When you add in possible defects or human error, risks of accidents and injuries are even higher. If you have been injured in a fireworks accident due to the negligence of another party, you should always contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who has experience with fireworks accident cases.
Injuries suffered in fireworks accidents may vary widely and many may require significant medical treatment. Some common injuries include the following:
Accidents involving fireworks can cause permanent disabilities, and some burns are so severe that victims may require painful skin grafts, surgeries, or may even lose a limb. Additionally, many fireworks can cause disfigurement to the face or other body parts.
Victims of fireworks accidents often require emergency medical attention or even extended stays in the hospital, surgeries, and long-term rehabilitative therapy. Many victims must miss work while they recover, and some may never return to work again. This means they may lose significant income and benefits on top of facing overwhelming medical bills.
If a manufacturer sells defective fireworks, that company should be held responsible for any accidents and injuries that result from the defect. Additionally, if a person is using fireworks in a negligent or dangerous manner, that person should also be liable for any resulting injuries and losses. An experienced fireworks accident lawyer knows how to demonstrate negligence in a fireworks case in order to make sure victims are able to fully recover for all of their financial losses and more.
Q: Who can purchase fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: Individuals who are 18 years of age and older can purchase fireworks in PA.
Q: Where can I purchase fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: Fireworks can be purchased at brick and mortar retailers or temporary structures. Bottle rockets, Roman candles, reloadable aerial shells, and firecrackers may only be purchased at a permanent structure.
Q: When can I purchase fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: Fireworks may be purchased year-round at permanent structures, or within 20 days of a temporary structure opening.
Q: What kind of fireworks can Pennsylvania residents purchase and use?
A: Consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer” fireworks. This includes bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers.
Q: What is the difference between “consumer fireworks” and “display fireworks" in Pennsylvania?
A: Consumer fireworks are combustible or explosive substances intended to produce audio or visual effects and are lawful for public to own and ignite. Display fireworks are large fireworks intended to produce audio or visual effects through combustion, deflagration, or detonation, and are to be used solely by professional pyrotechnicians.
Q: How can I tell if a firework is “consumer” or “display?"
A: Display fireworks are salutes that contain more than 130 milligrams of explosive material, and aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions.
Q: Where can fireworks be ignited or discharged in Pennsylvania?
A: Consumer fireworks may be intentionally ignited or discharged on public or private property, only with express permission from the owner of the property, and not within 150 feet of an occupied structure. Fireworks and sparkles cannot be ignited or discharged within, thrown from, or thrown at, a motor vehicle or building. A person under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or other drugs may not lawfully ignite fireworks or sparklers.
Q: Who is liable for injuries from consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: Depending on the circumstances, the manufacturer, retailer, consumer, or injured party may be responsible for the damages.
Q: When is the manufacturer liable for damages in Pennsylvania?
A: A manufacturer is liable for damages when there is a defect in manufacturing, design, or warning.
Q: What is a manufacturing defect for fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: A manufacturing defect is when there is a one-off error that deviates from the intended design which causes the injury.
Q: What is a design defect for fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: A design defect is when the product matches the intended design but is unreasonably dangerous.
Q: What is a warning defect for fireworks in Pennsylvania?
A: A warning defect is when the risk cannot be cured with a different design, but the foreseeable risk could be avoided by adequate warning.
Q: When is the retailer liable for damages from a fireworks accident in Pennsylvania?
A: A retailer is liable for damages when the firework that caused the injury is found to be defective.
Q: When is the consumer liable for damages for an fireworks accident in Pennsylvania?
A: A consumer is liable for damages when he/she intentionally, recklessly, or negligently harms another person or property when igniting or discharging fireworks.
Q: When is the injured party liable for damages in Pennsylvania?
A: The injured party may be found liable for part or all of their own damages, as well as damages to the other parties, if he/she is found to be responsible through his/her own negligence.
Q: What if I am injured by a firework display at a party or event in Pennsylvania?
A: If you are injured by a firework while at a party or event, the host or property owner may be liable for damages through premises liability.
Q: What if my child ignites a firework and injures someone?
A: If your child ignites a firework and intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causes harm to another person or property, your child will be liable for the damages, unless they are less than five years old. Because igniting fireworks is a dangerous activity typically undertaken by adults, youth is not a defense to subsequent harm.
Q: What if I work/volunteer for a company performing a firework display and am injured?
A: Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not be able to recover from the employer/employee who caused the injury. You may be responsible for “assumption of risk.”
Q: What is “assumption of risk” in a fireworks case?
A: Assumption of risk is when you know of the inherent danger of an activity and proceed regardless of the risk. Assumption of risk limits the duty a party owes to the injured party.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in an accident involving fireworks, it is highly important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
An attorney can evaluate whether you have a potential case, what that case may be worth, and who should be held responsible for your injuries and losses. An attorney from the law office of Flaherty Fardo will work to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve, so contact us today at (412) 802-6666 to schedule a free consultation.