Injured by Fireworks – Who is Liable?

Firework igniting on the ground revealing blue sparks

Each summer, people across America love to celebrate the holidays and special occasions with fireworks displays. Kentucky is no different, and unlike many states, allows its residents to possess and use fireworks under certain conditions. Nevertheless, each year a number of people in Kentucky get injured by fireworks, with the most common injury being burns. Even the most careful and experienced person may get injured by a fireworks mishap. So, holding someone liable if you get injured depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Our experienced personal injury attorney in Kentucky can help you get the compensation you need if you or a loved one suffers an injury caused by fireworks.

Injuries Caused by Illegal Use of Fireworks

Kentucky allows adults over 18 years of age to purchase, own, possess, and use certain fireworks under certain conditions. So, if the person who lit the fireworks is a minor, then this is against the law and the child’s parents can be held liable for any injuries caused by them.

The law requires that you cannot ignite any fireworks within 200 feet of any structure, vehicle, or person. This is to prevent them from catching on fire. If a person uses them in this regard causing your injury, then they are liable for your injuries. In addition, local ordinances may create additional conditions for the use of fireworks, including banning some that are more dangerous than others. Some counties limit the ones you can own, while others ban them outright unless you possess the proper permit. The use of a banned item or usage without a permit can also be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.  So, if the person using the fireworks has done so in violation of the law and you have been injured, then you will have a strong case to hold them liable for the losses caused by your injury. 

Injuries Caused by Personal Usage in Compliance With the Law

Even if someone uses fireworks while following all of the legal requirements of the local government, such a person can still be held liable for negligence. You will need to show that the person owed you a duty of care and that this was violated in some way, shape, or form. The Kentucky government sets a bare minimum for safety requirements. Depending on the type of gathering, the presence of alcoholic beverages, and the type of fireworks involved, the host of the gathering and the person who lit the device can be held to account for any injuries.

Interestingly, if you are injured by fireworks that you bought and ignited, then you are solely responsible for your own injuries. There is an assumption of risk involved, which your various insurance providers may use to decline coverage.

Injuries Caused by Defective Devices

Fireworks are not foolproof. They often contain hazardous materials like gunpowder that can misfire. Furthermore, the packaging of the fireworks may contain false or misleading statements. Finally, the place that sold the fireworks may have improperly advertised them or sold them to a minor in violation of Kentucky law. Under any of these circumstances, if you are injured by the fireworks in question, then you can also sue to hold to account the manufacturer, distributor, store, or anyone else who played a role in the process, under a theory of product liability. 

Municipal Fireworks Displays

Often the safest way to watch fireworks is at a municipal gathering. Usually held in large parks, these displays are put together by professional fireworks companies with years of training and the involvement of top safety experts. However, sometimes accidents occur that can injure workers and members of the audience. If you are injured while attending a municipal fireworks display, you can try to hold the municipality, the fireworks company, and any contractor involved in the display liable for your injuries. With respect to the municipality, it is crucial that you follow all of the steps required for suing government entities in Kentucky. The good news is that most if not all of these entities have significant insurance policies, making it likely that you can get compensated for your injuries.

If You Are Injured by Fireworks, Call Our Firm Today

Fireworks injuries are a very common occurrence, especially during the summer months. If you or a loved one is injured by fireworks, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Dickman Law Office can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today.

Posted in: Personal Injury