Injured by defective firework

I was injured by a firework that exploded almost instantly when I lit the fuse. I sustained a cut/abrasion to my chin and right leg, ringing in my ears and possible decrease in hearing secondary to this incident. Is the manufacturer and store that sold the firework liable?

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Manufacturer definitely (assuming you prove that you used it correctly, followed all instructions, etc.).

Store possibly--if there has been a history of problems with this model of firework or manufacturer, then yes, if there's no reason why they would have known of problems or risks, you can still try suing them, but they'll have a good defense. (They can't be "negligent" if there was no reason to know there were risks or defects.)

The main problem will be with proof--how do you prove that the firework exploded instantly and was not mishandled, when the evidence destroys itself? That doesn't mean not to try, but bear in mind that's the main problem. As a practical matter, if what you're asking for is modest, there's a good chance you'll be paid rather than the manufacturer and/or store spending lots of time, effort, and money defending a case; if you're asking for the world, they (and their insurers) are more likely to fight you tooth and nail.

You should probably get a consultation with a good local personal injury attorney with products liability experience, especially if you can get a free or reduced rate initial consultation, explain all the facts of your case, and see what the attorney thinks.


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