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More Than a Bang for Your Buck: Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year

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The brightly colored tents advertising great deals on roman candles and other fireworks have been up for weeks in preparation for Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks attract people of all ages with their colorful sprays of light and resonating booms, but they can also cause painful burns and other injuries and to the user or spectators.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported approximately 10,500 fireworks-related injuries that required hospital treatment in 2014. “Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 35 percent of the estimated 2014 injuries,” according to the report.

Most of us know it is illegal to use fireworks without a permit, even though fireworks are widely sold to any person the age of 18 or older. You can find the details under Wis. Stat. section 167.10, which allows consumers without a permit to buy and possess certain items like sparklers less than 36 inches long, caps, and ground spinners. Despite the legal precautions, many will be participating in or spectating fireworks shows this weekend.

Whether you will be watching a fireworks show at your local fairgrounds or lighting some on your own property, fireworks come with some risk. Burns account for most fireworks injuries, but many people receive lacerations or debris in their eyes. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using fireworks, and keep the safety of yourself and others in mind.

There are many situations of firework mishaps that can lead to a lawsuit. If someone is injured by a firework that was misused or knocked over, the party responsible for lighting the firework may be liable for negligence. If a firework malfunctioned, the responsibility goes to the manufacturer or sometimes the seller. Call Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee at 414-273-7777 if you have legal questions about a fireworks injury case.