Fireworks behind a house's dark silhouette.

This year, it seems like more New Jerseyans than ever have taken a cue from The Simpsons and “celebrate[d] the independence of [our] nation by blowing up a small part of it.” Complaints about illegal fireworks have been flooding in. It is all but certain that reports of fireworks-related injuries will soon begin to peak as well. 

New Jersey actually banned the use of all fireworks in response to a shocking number of gruesome firework-related injuries that occurred in the summer of 1936. Bowing to popular demand, and recognizing the fact that many area residents were driving across state lines and buying fireworks anyway, the state of New Jersey legalized a small number of fireworks in 2017. 

Since then, we have seen a growing number of fireworks-related injuries each summer. This year that number has skyrocketed as quarantined families who are inexperienced fireworks handlers opted for backyard blowouts as a substitute for the many large, public displays that have been canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Fireworks are inherently dangerous, and you use them at your own risk, but that does not mean that all fireworks-related injuries are your own fault. It may be possible to seek compensation for your injuries if the firework was defective, or if the irresponsible behavior of another caused your injury. At Levin & Malkin, we have helped several victims of firework-related injuries in the Hackensack area seek compensation. 

Product Defects 

Some firework injuries are the result of product defects. Manufacturing defects can make an already dangerous product deadly. This is why you should never light a firework while holding it, stand over a firework while trying to light it, or try to re-light a “dud.” 

Negligent Or Reckless Use 

If your injury was caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of someone else, and your injuries are no fault of your own, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the irresponsible party. 

To recover damages, it will be necessary to establish: 

  • Duty of care. The first step is showing that the responsible party owed the victim a duty of care. This means the party had a legal requirement to act with reasonable care to prevent harm or injury to the victim.
  • Breach of duty of care. Next, you must show that the liable party breached its duty by some sort of reckless or even intentional act.
  • Causation. Here, you have to establish that, but for the negligence of the liable party, you would not have been injured. The negligent party’s breach must have directly caused harm to you.
  • Damages. These are the consequences to you, the injured party. Typically these include expenses related to medical treatment, lost time from work, decreased earning capacity, mental or emotional trauma, and more. 

Applying these factors to your case is going to involve looking at the facts to see if what happened to you meets the legal threshold for bringing a claim. Levin & Malkin’s experienced team of attorneys are ready to take your call, hear your story, and provide an initial assessment of your case free of charge. 

Posted in: Personal Injury