SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID INJURY AND HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION

City of Henderson Fourth of July Celebration will be Thursday July 4, 2019, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Heritage Park at 350 E. Racetrack Road.  Admission and Parking are Free

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, we urge all of our fellow city of Henderson and Las Vegas community members to prevent injuries and have a safe and happy Fourth of July. https://www.cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/events/special-events/fourth-of-july-celebration 

The following safety tips can reduce the risk of injuries:

  • Always follow the directions on the fireworks package very carefully;
  • Be sure not to set off fireworks near fire hazards such as tall grass, dry leaves, and other dry debris.
  • Do not try to re-ignite used or malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergency purposes, and soak any used or misfired fireworks before discarding to prevent fires or accidental ignitions.
  • Never allow children use fireworks without adult supervision. Even simple fireworks like sparklers have been known to cause injury
  • Never alter or modify or experiment with homemade fireworks.

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS INJURED BY A FIREWORK

Fireworks injuries can be catastrophic and an attorney should be contacted immediately.  If injury occurs, it is important to immediately take the following steps:

  1. Immediately take as many photos as possible of the scene, the debris, and  the injury. 
  2. Take the name, address and phone number of every person present who witnessed the accident. 
  3.  Most importantly, keep all remnants of the firework including the packaging and the receipt if available. If not, find out where it was purchased and when.

In  July 2017, (the last stats available as of this writing)  eight people lost their lives in fireworks mishaps  and a staggering 12,900 sought care for injuries at hospital emergency rooms.  Children under 15 years of age accounted for about 36 percent of the injuries, and males of all ages were involved in 70 percent of injury accidents involving fireworks.  The most common injuries from fireworks are burns to fingers, hands and arms. 

Sadly, the deaths included a four-year old Wisconsin girl who was killed by shrapnel when a metal tube filled with sparklers exploded after being set off by her father in their yard.  I can’t imagine the grief of that family. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. we urge you to use extreme caution with fireworks and make sure all children are at a safe distance.  Last year an11-year-old boy was left home alone in Kansas and died from playing with fireworks when one exploded and lodged in his neck.

WHAT TYPE OF FIREWORKS CAUSE THE MOST INJURIES

Of all of the different kind of fireworks, sparklers caused approximately 14 percent of the estimated injuries during the July Fourth period last year.  This is most likely do to the fact that children are the most frequent users of sparklers. Reloadable shells were involved in 12 percent of the estimated injuries; and firecrackers were associated with 10 percent. Bottle rockets and homemade/altered devices were involved in three percent of the injuries each.

If you are injured by Fireworks, Know your Legal Rights

Whether a spectator at a fireworks show gone wrong or the user of a malfunctioning firework, victims may be able to recover damages for their injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the firework injury, a number of legal theories may apply. It is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured by fireworks.   

If you are injured as a spectator, you may be able to hold the person or company setting off the fireworks liable through negligence.  This may include the organizers of the shows such as cities or hotels that may be liable for failing to properly supervise the activity. Although a city’s liability may be limited by state law, entities hiring fireworks companies still have a duty to protect attendee’s from injuries. Cities and hotels and other show organizers can be negligent in fulfilling their duty to supervise and open the door to liability if they are negligence.

         When fireworks malfunction and cause injury, the injured person may be able to recover substantial damages from the manufacturer, the importer of foreign-made fireworks, or the local retail seller. All of these entities have a duty to sell products that function properly.  Under the theory of products liability, they may be liable for any injuries caused by a defective firework. http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/fireworks-injuries.html.  Over the past decade, thousands of people in the United States have been injured by fireworks.

Who Is Liable to Pay for Your Medical Bills

Injuries from fireworks can be serious and the medical bills to treat such injuries can be substantial.  Homeowners’ insurance protection liability coverage is often available, but is it extremely important to contact an attorney first to discuss the facts of your case and determine if coverage applies.  If you or a loved one is injured in a firework accident, do not give any statements until you speak with an attorney. Criminal laws and contractual provisions apply in every instance. Liability coverage under a homeowner’s policy can cover the medical expenses, pain and suffering  and property damages. This means that if someone other than you or a family member sustains an injury in your home or on your property, your insurance policy may pay for their medical expenses. Health insurance will cover any injuries you or a family member may have sustained in a firework accident and should be used first.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may also protect you in the event you are sued for an accident involving fireworks you are lighting which causes injury to a guest or passerby.  For a covered loss, your homeowner’s policy will pay the cost of litigation including attorney’s fees and a judgment, should the person suing you succeed in getting the lawsuit to court. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has found that the typical homeowner’s insurance policy has a liability limit of $100,000. I would advise you to check your policy to make sure you have enough coverage if you typically put on a large fireworks display.  


            However, if  your state or county has made firework shows illegal in your jurisdiction, and you put on a private show in spite of the law, your insurance company may not be responsible to pay for any damages that you may incur as a result of a firework caused fire or injury. It is important to review your policy for an “illegal acts” exclusion. Because the use of certain fireworks was illegal, you should not have been using them.  Unlike the coverage on your home, the law of negligence would apply to your guests and they would be covered by your policy for your gross negligence in setting off illegal fireworks. 

 At the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne Hunt in Henderson, Nevada we urge you to use extreme caution to avoid injury with fireworks. By following the safety tips listed above we hope that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday. A few extra steps can avert a catastrophic injury. Most of the injuries listed above occurred by the failure of someone to take reasonable steps around children with fireworks. It is extremely important that the dangers of fireworks are recognized and that adults supervise children and use extreme caution for their own safety when handling fireworks. It can be a fun and joyous holiday if a little extra time and caution are used in handling fireworks.

If you have a question about an injury over the holiday and/or any questions regarding any personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.