Fourth of July comes in second only to Halloween in my book when it comes to holidays. Growing up, my grandparents had a summer home in a gated golfing community, which is where I spent most of my summers. Most people would probably assume this meant my summers were spent with a lot of old people, but in reality, the place was crawling with kids. Because it was a golfing community, every house had a golf cart and every kid in the community used them as their own personal vehicles for the summer, my sister and I included. When we weren’t taking turns driving the golf cart from one house to the next to see which of our friends were in town, we’d be at the community pool practicing our diving or on a paddle boat on the lake with our grandpa.
More than anything though, what I really loved most about my grandparent’s summer home was the 4th of Julys spent with family. When my grandparents bought their cottage, they knew they wanted it for summer get-togethers, so the layout was perfect for mingling and the décor was done in red, white, and blue. My cousins would come in town from Maryland. While the four of us, my sister, cousins and I, ran around doing kid stuff, the adults would put together a big BBQ. We’d eat hamburgers and fruit and salads of all types until we could barely move. Then as the day gave way to night, we’d all walk down to the small community park to watch the fireworks over the lake.
Aside from the occasional sparkler, I’ve never been one to light my own fireworks for fear of injury. Apparently I had a legitimate fear and made the correct choice. According to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 67% of the estimated annual fireworks-related emergency department-treated injuries occurred within the time period of June 19, 2015 and July 19, 2015. Most injuries were associated with misuse, such as lighting a firework in one’s hand, or malfunctions, such as errant flight paths or early/late ignition of fireworks. Reports show that men are more likely to end up injured from fireworks related accidents than women and people between the ages of 15-25 were at the highest risk of being injured. More than 50% of all fireworks related injuries are burns, and 36% of the time hands and fingers are the body parts that suffer.
As with any liability lawsuit, you cannot be the reason for your injuries. If you handle fireworks in a manner they were not intended, or misuse them and end up injured, you cannot hold someone else at fault. However, if you are injured do to a fireworks show going wrong or are the user of a malfunctioning firework, you may be entitled to compensation.
If I find myself in a scary situation and end up with a fireworks related injury, I’m glad to know I have an attorney I can trust on my side. If you find yourself injured this 4th of July weekend, you should know you can contact an attorney that you too can trust to get you the help you deserve.
By: Tatum Tipton