On almost any night in the first week of July, you can turn on the television news and hear about more injuries that have been caused from fireworks. From homes being burned to the ground to children losing fingers, these senseless firework accidents continue to maim and even kill people all across the country. When these tragic injuries occur, the victims are often left with permanent injuries, both physically and emotionally that will scar them for the rest of their life. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly represents adults and children injured by fireworks at the home of friends and at public celebrations throughout Illinois.
Firework Accident Statistics
Not just for Independence Day. Fireworks have become a major part of our culture and are regularly used to celebrate birthdays, holidays and just plain old backyard fun. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS) records injury statistics for consumer products that cause injuries. Fireworks are among the most dangerous entertainment products, resulting in thousands of injuries each year. Despite education and local law enforcement to curb injuries, the amount of injuries have not dissipated over the last 15 years. The number of injuries has rose and fallen each year, yet remain constant on an average basis. In the report issued by CPCS for 2012 on firework injuries, some of the significant date includes:
- 8,700 estimated injuries due to fireworks in 2012.
- 5,200 or about 60% of all injuries happened between June 22 and July 22, 2012.
- 6 or more non-occupational deaths were reported from fireworks.
- 46% of firework injuries involved children or teenagers under the age of 20.
Burns accounted for over half of all injuries.
Types Of Injuries From Fireworks Accidents
Although burns may be the most common injury, they are far from being the only way that fireworks can cause injury. Explosions can cause objects to be thrown at high speeds, causing contusions and other injuries. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory problems. Both hearing and site can be altered from loud noises and items penetrating the eyes. There are very real dangers, both to those using the fireworks and even those just standing nearby. Common injuries include:
- Hands and fingers. The most common area to be injured are the hands and fingers, making up 41% of the injuries in 2012. Burns are the most common injury, however, they are also prone to lacerations, sprains, fractures and even amputation.
- Head, face and ears. The 2nd highest area of injury was the head area. 19% of injuries were to the head, face or ears.
- Eyes. The eyes were injured in 12% of the injuries, most often from flying objects. Combined with the other head injuries, 31% of all injuries affected the head region.
- Other body areas. The trunk, legs and arms made up the rest of injuries, with 29% affecting these regions. Most of these injuries were from burns.
Firework Safety & Accident Prevention
The best way to protect yourself from firework injury is to not sue consumer fireworks or be around others using fireworks. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that consumers refrain from using any type of consumer fireworks and instead enjoy professional firework displays from a safe distance. However, if you are going to use fireworks, take extreme precautions. Sparklers, considered of the safest fireworks and given to small children burn at 1200 degrees, 300 degrees higher than what is needed to melt glass. No firework is completely safe!
It should be noted that while the State of Illinois has a ban on almost all types of fireworks for consumer use, being present at a home where fireworks are present will generally not preclude a recovery for an injury. Most Illinois firework accidents at a private residence are covered under a homeowners insurance policy.
In the case of a person injured at a public firework display organized by a municipality, a claim for injuries may also be brought. However, most municipalities are protected from general negligence claims by forms of tort immunity. In order to succeed in these cases, it must be established that the municipality acted with recklessness.
Fireworks can cause painful injuries that can leave burn scars and in extreme cases, cause permanent damage or disability. Depending on the circumstance, you or your loved one may be entitled to receive a financial award for your injury that can cover medical expenses, replace lost income and compensate for the pain the injury caused. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can examine your case and discuss your options for compensation. We offer a free initial consultation and we never charge for personal injury representation unless it results in financial compensation for our clients. Contact us today!
Get further information about firework safety at the resources below: