Sparklers Aren’t Harmless

June 28, 2021

Sparklers are a summer tradition, especially for young children. They are easy to hold and less scary than other fireworks, allowing children to participate in the highlight of Independence Day. However, these handheld fireworks are not toys.

Sparklers are considered harmless fireworks by most people enjoying Fourth of July festivities, but this does not mean they are without risk. Sparklers account for 14% of almost 13,000 fireworks injuries annually, making them the most frequent cause of fireworks accidents.

Common Sparkler-related Injuries

Sparklers burn at temperatures ranging from 1,800°F to 3,000°F, depending on the oxidizer and fuel used to manufacture the firework. These temperatures are hot enough to melt skin and ignite clothes, causing a wide range of injuries, and are a leading cause of sending young children to the emergency room. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2018, 54% of patients treated for injuries from sparklers were aged 5 or younger.  

Burns to the hands and face account for 50% of injuries. While most burns may simply blister or cause temporary redness, prolonged contact with a burning sparkler or flying embers can cause second- or third-degree burns that require hospitalization and surgeries such as skin grafts or oxygen therapy for recovery.

Eye injuries due to sparklers can range from minor burns to complete vision loss. The sparks emitted by these fireworks are tiny molten pieces of metal that can easily pierce the eye.

Most-injured Body Parts From Fireworks Annually:

  • 33% hand and fingers
  • 28% head, face, and ears
  • 18% legs
  • 12% trunk
  • 8% arms
  • 9% eyes
  • 8% arms

If you plan to seek compensation for a fireworks injury, after seeking medical attention, photograph the injury and keep all medical documentation related to treatment. This can be used as evidence in your case.

Determining Responsibility

Accidents with sparklers and other fireworks can happen no matter how careful you are, but when an injury or fatality occurs, who is held responsible? 

  • Municipality: If an injury occurs at a public fireworks display, the local government may have some responsibility due to negligence.
  • Manufacturer: As most fireworks and sparklers are manufactured in China, it can be challenging to recover damages directly from the company. However, you may be able to file a suit against the fireworks importer if they were aware of known defects.
  • Fireworks Operator: For spectators injured during a fireworks display, you may be able to recover damages from the company settings off the pyrotechnics if they have failed to set up the display compliant with local fire codes or not taken appropriate safety measures. You may also be able to seek compensation from an individual if you were injured by consumer-grade fireworks they set off negligently.
  •  Property Owner: The property owner can be held accountable or share responsibility if an injury occurs on their property

Filing Your Personal Injury Claim

If you or a loved one has sustained a firework injury from a sparkler, fountain, firecracker, bottle rocket, roman candle, or other type of firework, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a personal injury claim.

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the injury, which means you must file all required paperwork in court before this date expires. Establishing liability in personal injury cases can be challenging, so we recommend hiring a Louisiana personal injury lawyer experienced with burns or defective products to help you navigate the complex legal process.

Louisiana is a comparative fault state. This means that the financial damages awarded to the plaintiff equal the fault percentage to that person. You will need to establish when and how the injury occurred so the court can determine the degree of liability.

For example, if the court establishes that you were 20% at fault for the accident, either through failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions or take adequate safety precautions, you will receive 80% of the damages awarded for the case.

The monetary value of your fireworks injury claim varies according to the severity of the injury. You may also be able to claim pain and suffering for emotional hardship resulting from your injury.

Louisiana has no cap on damages awarded for most personal injury cases.

Get the Compensation You Deserve With Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers

Although sparklers can seem like harmless fun, any type of pyrotechnic device comes with inherent risk. Sparklers can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries that can significantly affect your quality of life and require costly medical treatment.

Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help you recover from your accident financially by filing a personal injury lawsuit and fighting for compensation on your behalf. Contact our law firm to schedule your free initial consultation.