A promoter of a fireworks display is the person who sets up and organizes the fireworks event. It is the promoter's duty to provide spectators with a safe place to watch the fireworks and choose an operator skilled setting fireworks. The operator is the person who is in charge of actually firing the fireworks. The operator has a duty to fire the fireworks in a way that does not injure spectators or cause a fireworks accident. Sometimes, the promoter and operator are the same person.
Fireworks fall into two categories:
- Display fireworks are larger fireworks used by professionals in fireworks displays. Only professionals can possess or use display fireworks with permits under federal law.
- Consumer fireworks are smaller fireworks approved for consumer use by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and are legal under federal law. However, states have further restrictions on consumer fireworks
Who Can I Sue If I Am Injured In a Firework Display?
To successfully sue a promoter of a fireworks display, you must show that the promoter failed to keep spectators at a reasonable distance. Keep in mind that you have a duty to not put yourself in a dangerous position. To sue the operator of a fireworks display, you must show that you were injured by the discharge of fireworks or a firework that did not explode properly.
Because fireworks are so dangerous and the operator is in sole control of firing them, negligence by the operator is presumed when injuries occur. In some places, strict liability is imposed on fireworks related injuries, meaning the operator does not even have to be negligent to be liable.
Someone injured by firework display may also have a products liability claim if the injury was caused by a defect in the product. This is a somewhat difficult claim, however, because fireworks are dangerous products by nature. The injury must be the result of an unexpected danger or the result of a lack of proper warning about the products danger
What About Property Damage?
You may sue for damage to your property as well if it was caused by a fireworks display. In most cases, you will not have to show the operator was negligent. Fireworks that land on your property and start fires, causing damage, are considered a nuisance or trespassing. You will only need to show that the fireworks were an annoyance or unlawfully entered your property.
Should I Contact a Lawyer About my Fireworks Related Injury?
If you have been injured by a fireworks display, a personal injury lawyer can advise you of your rights and remedies.