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2024 Personal Injury

From Fun to Fiasco: Staying Safe From Fireworks Injuries

Summer has arrived in Georgia. For many, that means backyard barbecues with family and friends, languid afternoons at the lake, and camping trips to the mountains. It also means plenty of fun and festivities over the Fourth of July holiday, which for most people includes fireworks. Unfortunately, fireworks can go from fun to fiasco in minutes, often leaving serious injuries in their wake. When negligence leads to fireworks-related injuries, you might want to speak to a Tifton personal injury lawyer

Fireworks Injuries Are More Common Than You Think 

Fireworks are essential Americana and form an integral component of Independence Day celebrations, but they must be used with caution. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries that required hospitalization in 2023, although deaths were rare. The share of injuries fell disproportionately on young people, with teenagers aged 15 to 19 having the highest rate of injury, followed by children aged 5-9. Sixty-six percent of those injuries occurred in the weeks before and after the July 4th holiday. Alarmingly, nearly a fifth (18%) of fireworks tested were found to contain noncompliant elements, including fuse violations and prohibited chemicals. 

Common Fireworks Injuries 

Burns and other injuries to the extremities are the most common types of fireworks injuries. Those include: 

  • Hand burns 
  • Eye injuries 
  • Hand fractures and lacerations 
  • Facial injuries
  • Loss of fingers 
  • Hearing loss 

Beyond physical injuries, fireworks can also lead to forest and structure fires. 

Regulation of Fireworks in Georgia 

Georgia law places restrictions on the manufacture, sale, and use of fireworks throughout the state. Key provisions of Georgia’s fireworks regulations are as follows: 

  • Fireworks may be used only until 11:59 P.M. on July 3 and 4
  • Fireworks may not be used within the right-of-way of public roads, streets, highways, or railroads
  • Children under the age of 18 may not ignite, possess, or transport fireworks 

Various state agencies place additional limits on the use of fireworks. For example, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources strictly prohibits fireworks in state parks. The Georgia Fire Code also prohibits the use of fireworks within 100 yards of certain types of buildings, including hospitals, nursing homes, gas stations, and electric and water treatment plants. And local governments may impose their own restrictions. 

Legal Options for Those Injured by Fireworks 

Those who have been injured by fireworks have a few options when it comes to pursuing legal recovery. If the firework that caused the injury was defective, plaintiffs may pursue products liability claims against the manufacturer and seller of the firework. If the injury was due to someone else’s negligence (such as by using the firework in violation of any state or local law), the plaintiff may pursue a personal injury action. 

Contact a Tifton Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case 

If you have suffered a firework injury that you believe was the result of negligence or a defective product, you should consider speaking to an attorney to discuss the merits of your case. For more information, please contact a Tifton personal injury lawyer at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form.