If you have been involved in an accident involving fireworks and suffered personal injuries as a result, it can be difficult to determine exactly who could and should be held liable for your injuries. It may be that someone deliberately interfered with an individual who was attempting to use and discharge the fireworks properly, however, clear-cut cases of that sort tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Fireworks Accident?
Some of the entities that could be held completely or partially responsible for your injuries include:
- The property owner or property inhabitant;
- The fireworks’ user;
- The fireworks’ purchaser;
- The fireworks’ seller;
- The fireworks’ distributor; and
- The fireworks’ manufacturer.
What follows is a more in-depth look at how and why each of the parties listed above could potentially be responsible for any accident involving fireworks.
The Property Owner or Property Inhabitant
If you were invited onto someone’s property, they owe you a duty to protect you from—or at least notify you about—known hazards and defects on their property. So, if the property has flammable or combustible materials on it, or if there is uneven terrain that could cause someone to trip and fall, the property’s owner or inhabitant should let you know before you start using fireworks. If they failed to notify you, they could be held liable for your injuries.
The Person Who Lit the Fireworks or Interfered with their Proper Use
Although people should always be extremely careful when lighting fireworks, they may not always use the appropriate level of care. If someone lights fireworks improperly, whether intentionally or by accident, that person would likely be determined to have caused the accident, as well as if that person interferes with someone else using fireworks properly intentionally or by accident.
The Person Who Bought the Fireworks
If someone else bought the fireworks that injured you, you need to make sure that person used good judgment and did not buy fireworks they knew or reasonably should have known were defective in some way. In the event they did not take these precautions, you could make a claim against them for their failure to use reasonable efforts to protect you and anyone else who was injured.
The Person Who Sold the Fireworks
As is the case in most states, selling fireworks in Georgia can be done only after obtaining a permit. If you bought your fireworks from someone who had not obtained the required permit, or if the person who sold them to you knew they were defective or tainted and sold them to you anyway, you could recover compensation from them for your injuries.
Anyone Who Distributed the Fireworks to the Person Who Sold Them
After fireworks are produced, they typically go through several layers of the distribution chain before they reach sellers and, ultimately, consumers. If anyone of the distributors who handled the fireworks that injured you were somehow negligent in their transportation or storage practices, they could be found at least partially liable for causing your injuries.
The Company That Manufactured the Fireworks
Fireworks are risky to manufacture, and manufacturers do not always get the process right. Many fireworks manufacturers churn out millions of units of various types of fireworks. Even if defects only occur in less than one percent of those units, there are still hundreds or thousands of defective units being shipped out for distribution and sale. The odds of ending up with one of them may not be high, but they definitely aren’t equal to zero. Your fireworks injury could very well be the manufacturer’s fault.
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