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4th of July Firework Display Injuries

Posted by Emily Ruby | Jun 24, 2024 | 0 Comments

Every Fourth of July, communities across California come together to celebrate Independence Day. Amidst the excitement, we often see a surge in California firework display injuries.

People injured at firework display

While professional shows pose less risk, it's crucial for everyone to be mindful. The potential dangers of even seemingly "safe and sane" fireworks, unfortunately, sometimes result in California firework display injuries.

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The Dark Side of Fireworks in the Golden State

We often associate firework accidents with amateurs but accidents during professionally organized displays can and do happen. While attending professional displays, there's a certain level of trust that these shows undergo rigorous safety checks. But, like any large-scale event, things can still go wrong. Mechanical malfunctions, human error, or unforeseen circumstances like a sudden wind change can have dangerous consequences.

Recent California Firework Display Accidents 

Just last year, California saw a spike in firework-related incidents. This past July Fourth was especially heartbreaking. An 8-year-old boy in San Bernardino tragically passed away after being struck by an illegal mortar-style firework during a block party. It's these instances that remind us of the crucial need for firework safety and vigilance, whether it's a public display or a backyard gathering. We owe it to our children to be informed and responsible.

A sobering case in Simi Valley a few years back underscores the risks even at professionally managed events.  A "faulty fireworks display" during the Simi Valley Rotary Club's annual celebration, resulted in injuries to at least 35 people. As reported, a collapsing launching platform caused fireworks to misfire into the crowd. Imagine the terror of those present as what should have been a joyous celebration turned into a scene of panic.

Types of Injuries from Fireworks

Fireworks can cause a range of devastating injuries, some you might not immediately consider. Of course, burns are the most common and range from minor to life-altering, requiring extensive medical care. Then there are the shrapnel wounds - imagine being hit by flying debris propelled with tremendous force. Beyond immediate physical trauma, firework-related incidents can cause lasting psychological effects. For some, it might be the emotional scars of witnessing a traumatic event or the persistent fear associated with loud noises long after the celebrations end. The lasting impact of firework display injuries often extends beyond physical healing, impacting a person's overall quality of life. 

What Happens if You Get Caught With Illegal Fireworks in California?

In California, it's illegal to possess or use fireworks that explode or leave the ground. Violating this law carries serious consequences, including hefty fines and even jail time. Let me share an example: Just last summer, a group of teenagers in Sacramento County learned the hard way. They were caught setting off illegal fireworks in a public park and ended up facing charges resulting in mandatory community service, and their parents were hit with thousands of dollars in fines.

Why Knowing "Ramsey v. Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks Co." Matters

If you or someone you love has suffered a firework-related injury, you should know that you might have legal options. In these cases, you might be wondering who bears the responsibility. Understanding legal precedent can be empowering. A case to be aware of is "Ramsey v. Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks Co.", this highlights that even if a firework malfunctioned, a plaintiff may need to establish a specific "defect" to have a valid claim.

FAQs about California firework display injuries

FAQ 1: How many people get injured by fireworks every year?

Sadly, approximately 11,500 fireworks-related injuries occur annually in the United States, with a significant number in California alone. It highlights the urgent need for awareness and stringent safety protocols during celebrations involving fireworks. These numbers reflect not just physical harm but also the emotional toll and long-term consequences often associated with such incidents.

FAQ 2: Did anyone get hurt from fireworks?

Unfortunately, firework-related accidents result in injuries across the country, impacting both adults and children. Sadly, we hear of these heartbreaking accounts too often - amputations from mishandled explosives or innocent bystanders suffering severe burns. Remember, each injury represents a life potentially changed forever, reminding us that caution should always be paramount when handling these devices.

FAQ 3: What types of injuries can you get from fireworks?

While we often associate burns with fireworks, other serious injuries can occur. Shrapnel wounds from exploding fireworks can lead to permanent scarring, blindness from projectile debris is a very real risk, hearing loss due to loud explosions is a concern, as well as respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation. The potential harm from firework misuse underscores the critical importance of leaving firework displays to trained professionals and strictly adhering to safety guidelines for any authorized use.

FAQ 4: What happens if you get caught with fireworks in California?

California strictly enforces its fireworks laws to prioritize safety. Being caught in possession or use of illegal fireworks in California will lead to serious consequences. These vary based on the specific offense but may include: misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and fines that start at $1,000 and can go up significantly for repeat offenses. If you cause a fire or injury, expect felony charges with stiffer penalties, potentially leading to years in prison and even larger fines.

Obtain Firework Display Injury Compensation

 While Fourth of July and other festive celebrations wouldn't be the same without dazzling firework displays, the risks associated with California firework display injuries remain. Understanding the importance of attending professional shows over using personal fireworks, knowing basic firework safety, recognizing that accidents happen even in controlled environments, and taking steps to minimize risks are crucial steps in ensuring a joyful and safe celebration for all. This way, we can all appreciate the spectacle without the tragedies that, unfortunately, accompany careless firework use.

If you or your loved one were injured during a professionally managed fireworks display, we can help. Give our personal injury law firm a call or engage with our chat to have your situation evaluated for potential compensation today. Professionally managed firework displays have a responsibility to provide a reasonable level of safety and care. When they don't, we help hold them responsible and ensure injured victims receive the compensation they need to fully recover.

About the Author

Emily Ruby

2022 "Women in Law" Award Winner, Emily Ruby, specializes in complex cases, many of which involve catastrophic injuries and deaths. Mrs. Ruby has personally obtained more than $100 Million in compensation for her clients with an impressive 97.4% success rate and is a graduate of the prestigious CAALA Trial Academy. She was selected as one of Forbes' Best Wrongful Death Lawyers and is a writer for Advocate Magazine.


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