Fireworks can be fun and are an integral part of some celebrations: New Year's, 4th of July, sporting events, and so on. Due to the explosive nature of a firework, there is some danger in using them. Regardless, there are many avenues to justice if you've been injured by a firework in South Carolina.
Types of Firework Negligence
Normally, a firework injury victim is the user of the firework. In these instances, we attack the case from a products liability standpoint. However, sometimes, the victim is an innocent bystander at an event. Here are the main forms of negligence in firework cases:
Product Liability - Defective Product: the product does something it's not supposed to do (e.g., goes off to early) or doesn't do something it is supposed to do (e.g., shoot straight into the air)
Product Liability - Failure to Warn: the product has a dangerous aspect that the manufacturer has failed to warn the user about (e.g., "don't hold in hand")
Product Liability - Design Defect: the product is designed in a way that makes it more dangerous, while a safer design alternative was available (e.g., the fuse is two inches shorter than it should be)
Negligent User: when someone improperly uses a firework and injures you, s/he may be held liable for their actions and your subsequent injuries (e.g., a neighborhood party has no safety precautions for a firework show)
Common Firework Injuries
Most people think "blown up hand and fingers" when they think of firework injuries. Yet, this is only a portion of what we've seen when it comes to defective product cases. Normally, the worst injuries are as follows:
Death (read more on how to assert this claim for a loved one)
Burn injuries (these are usually the most painful and difficult for a victim)
Loss of limb or digit
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
All injuries are unique to each individual and his/her case. At Littlejohn Law, we develop the client's story by not only learning about the injuries through the treating physician, but also by speaking with the client on the effects of the injuries. We bolster this testimony by speaking with people who have seen the changes in the client.
Protect Yourself from Firework Accidents
Being proactive when using fireworks or watching a firework display is always best. Be sure to employ some sort of eyewear. Read all instructions on the firework. Set off fireworks in a safe outdoor environment. Keep children away from fireworks. Have an extinguisher and water nearby. Never, ever, point fireworks at yourself or others.
What Should I do if Injured by Fireworks in South Carolina
As with all of our cases: get medical treatment if necessary. Like we say time and again, Andrew has never met an attorney who can represent you and treat you for your injuries. Doing the following can also help your case:
keep all receipts from purchasing the firework
keep all packaging from the firework
find and keep the faulty firework
let the firework company and seller know that you were injured by their product
document all injuries
get names and contact information of any witnesses to the even
In all of our products liability cases, notifying the manufacturer and seller of the incident is a crucial step. First, it notifies them that there is a potential case. Second, it requires them to keep all evidence related to the product. Third, it may save the lives of other potential users of that firework. Further, quick action on all above points helps our clients obtain full justice at the end of the case.
Experienced South Carolina Products Liability Attorney
Our attorney Andrew Littlejohn Johnson has handled firework injuries and other products liability cases. He understands the need for rapid movement on a case, both to keep evidence from being spoiled and to ensure the client maintains the best route for recovery. Additionally, we work tirelessly on developing your non-economic damages story so that your case is about more than just medical bills and lost wages.
If you were injured by a firework--regardless of whether it was a short fuse, negligent user, or inadequate warning--give us a call for free today. We look forward to helping you obtain justice.