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Fireworks Injuries in South Florida

There was no shortage of fun family activities this past Fourth of July holiday, and that includes many spectacular fireworks displays in our area.  However, in addition to these safe and processional fireworks displays, there were many who chose to launch amateur fireworks at their back yard barbecues, or more likely, in the middle of the streets in front of their respective homes.

Prior to the holiday, the Miami Dade Fire Rescue department did what they could to prevent injuries, as seen in this article from the Miami Patch. However, despite these warnings, many people still enjoy backyard fireworks, and that is fine, but extra caution must be taken to avoid harm to yourself and others.As our Broward personal injury lawyers can explain, if you or a loved one was injured by fireworks at someone else’s home, or as a result a fireworks display (professional or amateur), you may have a valid personal injury case. If the injury occurred on someone’s private properly, you could likely file what is known as a premises liability case.

There are a variety of ways someone could get hurt during a home fireworks show.  The first thing to discuss in terms of both fireworks safety and negligence in a fireworks accident is that alcohol and firearms do not mix and when the person operating fireworks is doing so while under the influence of alcohol, there is a much greater chance that someone will be injured.

Some of the specific types of negligent behavior involving fireworks are people holding fireworks such as Roman Candles in their hands while launching them or lighting fireworks way to close to structures and vegetable beds. For maximum safety, all fireworks should be set off at least 25 feet from any structures such as buildings or homes.

It is also recommended that you keep a bucket of water nearby to be able to douse any fires or fireworks that are accidentally lit.  One common cause of accidents is when a person who is not being careful places multiple fireworks in a can and or jar and is only intending on lighting one, yet another is accidentally lit by sparks of fire from the one intended to be lit.

In some cases, we have seen accidents that result in hearing loss.  This is quite common with the use of large fireworks, many of which are illegal to own anywhere in the U.S. without special pyrotechnics or demolition licenses, as they are really for professional shows and for blasting in construction projects. While we are on that topic, it should be noted that, other than sparklers and some small ground showers, all fireworks that fly into the air are illegal in the state of Florida.

This is of course confusing because they sell everything from bottle rockets to mortars at roadside stands all over the sunshine state. As it turns out, Florida Statute 791.07, contains an exception that fireworks are allowed for use frightening away birds from agricultural works and fish hatcheries. Stores are essentially selling them for this purpose, and buyers must be using them for this purpose.   This could potentially be used to show negligent conduct in personal injury lawsuits.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Malpractice damage caps struck down by Florida Supreme Court, June 15, 2017, By Jim Saunders, Orlando Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Home Fireworks For July 4: How to Stay Safe, July 4, 2017, By Paul Sicicchitano, Miami Patch

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