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The Law and Accidents Involving Fireworks

The Law and Accidents Involving Fireworks
Every year in the months around the Fourth of July we hear about people being injured in accidents involving fireworks. The underlying cause of these accidents often involves an element of recklessness on the part of the injured person. Someone who hand-holds an explosive while its fuse runs out is asking for trouble. But sometimes fireworks can be involved in accidents that are less clearly the fault of the person who gets injured. In these cases an injured person may have the option of suing for compensation. Here are some possible causes of action:
  • Negligence

The most common cause of action in personal injury cases is negligence. In a nutshell, a negligence case asks whether the defendant failed to comply with a legal obligation toward the plaintiff, and as a consequence of that failure the plaintiff was injured. Someone who is lighting off fireworks arguably owes nearby people a duty to light them in a way that will not put bystanders at undue risk of harm. The boundary of this duty quickly becomes clear the more reckless the defendant was. For example, if the defendant thought it would be funny to light a firecracker on someone’s head, and the person suffered hearing loss, this would be a clear case of negligence and probably would qualify as gross negligence due to the particular disregard the defendant showed for the plaintiff’s safety. A defendant can be liable for accidentally causing someone harm as well. For example, a defendant will probably be liable for injuries that result after the defendant throws an explosive into the air with the idea that it will pop overhead, only to have it sail into a crowd by mistake. Negligence claims can be easier to establish if the responsible person was also committing a crime doing the activity that caused the plaintiff’s injury. Here in Clark County use of fireworks is only permitted from June 28 through midnight on July 4, and only products that labeled “safe and sane” list are permitted. Fireworks that explode or fire into the air are generally illegal for consumers to use within the county. Potential plaintiffs may also be violating the law if they are participating in a use of illegal fireworks—an attorney can advise how this may affect a civil case.
  • Products Liability

Everyone understands that fireworks involve a degree of risk. Even a relatively low-risk device like a sparkler can cause minor burns. That probably means that in ordinary use a properly designed and manufactured firework doesn’t create limitless liability for the business that makes or sells it. But a firework can be defectively designed or made in such a way that it is much more dangerous than a consumer will know to anticipate. For example, an unpredictably fast fuse may give users too little time to get out of the way before the firework detonates. In such cases chances are good that other people have been similarly injured and can group their cases together in a class action.

Call a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to discuss your fireworks-related injury

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured in an accident involving fireworks and you have questions about how a lawsuit can help you recover compensation, call us today for a free consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Las Vegas House Fire

bigstock-House-Fire-1402895.jpgFireworks can be fascinating. Their colors and booming explosions are enough to capture just about anyone's attention. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely dangerous in the wrong hands and can be the subject of a premise liability or personal injury case with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. A central Las Vegas community learned just how easily fun times could turn into fearful ones when a family of four was forced from their home after a fireworks-initiated fire blazed through their property.


According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the family's neighbors were setting off illegal fireworks when the remains of one caught a bush on fire just outside the family's home. The family was inside their home when one of the family members noticed orange flickering outside a bathroom window.

According to Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman, Tim Szymanski, the man grabbed a gallon of water and attempted to extinguish the fire with it. When that failed, he attempted to use a garden hose but the flames had already begun spreading too fast. By the time official fire crews arrived, the fire had shot up an exterior wall and ignited the building's attic.

It took the Las Vegas Fire Department 30 minutes before they were able to successfully extinguish the blaze. Not before the fire caused an estimated $55,000 in damages and respiratory health issues for one family member.

It’s unknown whether the displaced family will pursue a legal case against the individual who set off the illegal fireworks, but a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer could help them recoup damages. While homeowner's (or renter's) insurance should foot the bill in cases of a fire, other out-of-pocket expenses can be pursued due to neighbor negligence. Fireworks are dangerous and many of them are illegal and inoperable without special licenses. A person who is injured by fireworks, illegal or not, may hold the person responsible for setting off those fireworks via a personal injury claim with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.

You can help prevent fires from occurring by practicing safety tips such as:

  • Putting sparklers and other consumer grade fireworks in a bucket of water once they’re finished
  • Staying away from ground-based fountain devices
  • Keeping family members a safe distance away from firework displays
  • Setting off fireworks only on a concrete, compact dirt, or similar non-flammable pad
  • Only purchasing legal “safe and sane” fireworks in Clark County

Contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys of GGRM

For more information about firework safety and negligence laws, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476. Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling a wide variety of cases and will help you get the compensation needed to get back on your feet after an accident.

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