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Fireworks related injuries and products liability

Independence Day is a time of joyous celebration and festivities for people in Philadelphia and throughout the country. Along with grilling and enjoying time off with family and friends, nothing is more iconic than a fireworks display on our nation's birthday.

Viewing a professional fireworks display is usually safe enough, though accidents can happen even at professional shows. Some people, however, choose to celebrate the Fourth of July by putting on their own personal fireworks displays.

Regardless of whether a person suffers a fireworks-related injury while viewing a professional fireworks display or from using a consumer fireworks product, it can be possible to recoup monetary compensation for damages to property or for reimbursement of medical bills if the person suffers injuries due to negligence or a malfunctioning firework item.

In the case of a professional fireworks display, it may be possible to file a negligence lawsuit against the company that set up the fireworks display. It may even be possible to sue the city itself that hired the company, even if state law imposes limits on holding a city liable.

If fireworks injuries were caused by malfunctioning consumer fireworks products, victims can sue the manufacturer, the retailer, and any other parties in the distribution chain. If the fireworks product was manufactured outside the United States, it may also be possible to sue the company that imported the product into the country.

In order to minimize the possibility of injury, always read all the instructions that accompany the fireworks product and follow them diligently. Do not attempt to modify or retrofit a consumer firework product in any way, and always make sure that children who use consumer fireworks do so under direct adult supervision at all times.

Independence day should be about family, freedom and celebration, not trips to the emergency room from a defective fireworks product.

Source: FindLaw, "Fireworks Injuries," Accessed July 6, 2015

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