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Fireworks injuries on the rise

The July 4 holiday is now past. Unfortunately, it was not a safe one for everyone. While it will be months before comprehensive numbers on fireworks-related injuries are released, eight people lost their lives in 2017 (double the number of 2016) with another 12,900 (up from 11,000) injured bad enough for a trip to the emergency room. About two-thirds of fireworks related injuries each year occur between mid-June and mid-July with more than one third of the victims under the age of 15.

Sparklers are the most dangerous

It's a common assumption that the larger and more powerful fireworks are the most dangerous, but that is incorrect. According to the Insurance Journal's web site, the most common causes of injury in 2017 were:

  • Sparklers accounted for 14 percent of injuries
  • Firecrackers accounted for 10 percent of injuries
  • Bottle rockets and homemade or altered devices accounted for 3 percent
  • Public displays account for less than 1 percent

The ubiquity of sparklers is partially to blame, but it is also widely accepted that sparklers are "safe" enough for children to use.

Common types of injuries

It's no surprise that burns are at the top of the list, but severe injuries come in many forms, including injuries to the hands, arms, face and eyes, ears and even hair:

  • 57 percent involve burns
  • 16 percent result in bruises
  • 16 percent result in open wounds

The victims may have a legal right to compensation

Depending on the circumstances, a victim may be able to recover damages for their injuries. This includes if you are burned or injured at a public display because of a malfunctioning firework: depending on the law -- the city or the fireworks company may be liable. The negligence of another individual is often the cause of injury as well.

If you or a loved one is a victim in an incident involving fireworks, it is wise to contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options for compensation. They can evaluate your circumstances and help determine the best course of action.

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Rosen Louik Perry, P.C. Pittsburgh
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