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Catastrophic injuries: When fireworks backfire

As the Fourth of July approaches, you may be looking forward to using fireworks at home or going to see a fireworks display. What you may not be aware of is the risk that display is to you and your family. Fireworks, when set off correctly, should not be a danger to anyone, but the truth is that things can go wrong.

If things do go wrong, fireworks can explode too early, hurting everyone within range. After firework injuries occur, what was once a dazzling display may now be a horrible reminder of the pain and suffering you went through. Fortunately, it's possible to hold someone liable for the injuries you've suffered.

What are some risks of fireworks displays?

Most of the people who are injured by fireworks suffer injuries because they misuse them. For example, if you purchase sparklers, common small fireworks available commercially, you should never use them close to flammable items. If you catch your hair or clothing on fire, then that is a result of using the firework incorrectly.

Another example would be if a homeowner wants to set off a display and does not ignite the fireworks far enough from the crowd or at the right angle. When the firework explodes, it could cause burns or debris could impact those watching the display. In that case, the homeowner would likely be held liable.

What should you do if you're injured at a fireworks show?

The first thing you need to do is to get medical attention. Call for emergency care. The police will likely also attend the scene and create a report about the incident. If you are able to wait for care, find out who is in charge of the fireworks show. If it's a homeowner, have him or her speak to the police. If it is a major show, it's likely you are not the only person injured and that the owners know that something has gone wrong, but the police can reach out to the person behind the show to gather more information.

There are a number of ways to seek compensation after an injury like this. You may be able to seek compensation from an insurance carrier or the person who ran the show directly. Your attorney can help you choose how you want to proceed.

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