Fireworks Accident Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
People enjoy watching fireworks, especially on Independence Day. Many people buy fireworks and have their own display by setting them off in backyards. However, if not handled properly, they can lead to serious injuries. Fireworks are far from being safe. Essentially, they are miniature explosives that when lit, can get up to 2,000 degrees. Improper use of fireworks or defective fireworks can cause eye injuries, burn injuries, blindness, third degree burns, and permanent scarring. In addition, fingers and hands are also commonly hurt during mishaps. Eye injuries make up about 40 percent of all firework accidents. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 11,000 people end up in the emergency room every year after a firework accident. On average, about 12 people die from fireworks-related injuries annually.
Of all the firework accidents that caused injuries last year, firecrackers were responsible for more than 1,400 injuries. Sparklers caused more than 1,100 injuries, and rockets contributed to about 800 injuries. Children are the most vulnerable to fireworks-related injuries and burns. Even seemingly harmless sparklers cause injuries. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. Children cannot appreciate the danger involved with fireworks and may not act appropriately while using sparklers or other types of fireworks.
More than 30 percent of the deaths attributed to fireworks were caused by illegally sold fireworks. Fireworks sale and use laws differ from state to state. Although 40 states allow some fireworks, the sale must be made to a qualified individual, with many states prohibiting fireworks sale to children or non-professionals. This requirement is partially due to the fact that nearly half of fireworks accidents involve victims 15 years old and under.
Under Pennsylvania law, people residing in the state can buy only sparklers, sparkle fountains, smoke bombs, ground and hand-held sparkling devices, novelties and toy caps. Sales of a firework that explodes or propels itself or a projectile into the air are not allowed. The law does allow residents of other states to come to Pennsylvania to purchase such more powerful fireworks as rockets and exploding projectiles.
Pennsylvania law allows Pennsylvanians to get a special permit and display fireworks. The permit is obtained from officials in the municipality where the fireworks are expected to be set off. Getting a permit requires inspections by the local fire chief and approval of the area where the fireworks will be used. In addition, there is a bond requirement designed to cover any possible damage or injuries that might occur.
Since 1980, fireworks sales have risen from about 41 million pounds to more than 200 million pounds. With the rise of the sales, injuries and property damage resulting from their use increased as well. On Independence Day, many stands and kiosks sell fireworks that may be very dangerous if handled by non-professionals. Cherry bombs, M-80s, M-100s, and silver salutes are all extremely dangerous, and both buyers and sellers need to exercise caution in handling them.
Surprisingly, many fireworks injuries occur before people attempt to light them. When customers buy a mail order kit containing fireworks and attempt to assemble them, fireworks may explode in the hands of a user and cause severe hand, arm, face and eye injuries. Fireworks may be improperly packaged or contain a manufacturing defect.
To be safe, you should follow the following rules set out by the Department of Health:
- Don't allow children to play with or ignite them without the presence of an adult;
- Make sure observers are out of range before lighting and setting them off;
- Light them on a smooth, flat surface away from the house;
- Do not light them near dry grass, bonfires, grills, or any flammable materials;
- Never try to relight ones that failed on the first try;
- Never light them in a container, especially a glass or metal container;
- Don't bend directly over one while lighting;
- Be especially cautious during hot dry conditions, including droughts and heat waves.
When a person gets injured by fireworks, he or she may have a claim for money damages. A personal injury attorney will help investigate the accident and indentify liable parties. The Lassen Law Firm represents people injured in fireworks accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured by fireworks due to another person's negligence, contact the personal injury lawyers of the Lassen Law Firm today.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Authored by: Christian Lassen