Hurt By Illegal Fireworks? Fireworks Injury Attorneys Review The Law

As Independence Day approaches, San Diego explodes with vibrant firework displays and backyard celebrations. Yet, amidst the festive atmosphere lurks a hidden danger: illegal fireworks. These unregulated explosives pose a significant threat, and getting hurt by them can have serious legal and medical repercussions. This blog post, informed by San Diego news articles [1, 2], will guide you through the legal landscape surrounding illegal fireworks in San Diego, what to do if you’re injured, and how to stay safe during firework festivities.

The Devastating Dangers of Illegal Fireworks

Beyond the dazzling spectacle, illegal fireworks pose a multitude of dangers:

  • Fire Hazards: San Diego’s dry climate makes it especially susceptible to wildfires. A single rogue firework landing on dry brush can spark a devastating inferno, endangering lives and property.
  • Serious Injuries: Illegal fireworks are often unpredictable and malfunction, leading to severe burns, eye injuries, and even limb loss. A 2023 NBC San Diego report [1] highlighted a Cal Fire captain’s warning about the potential for serious injuries, even from seemingly harmless sparklers.
  • Psychological Trauma: The sudden, loud explosions from illegal fireworks can be terrifying for children, pets, and veterans suffering from PTSD.

What to Do If You’re Injured by Illegal Fireworks and do you need advice from Fireworks Injury Attorneys?

If you or someone around you is injured by an illegal firework, immediate action is crucial:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Call 911 immediately. Even if the injury seems minor, seeking professional medical evaluation ensures proper treatment and documentation for potential legal action.
  2. Gather Evidence: If possible, try to identify the type of illegal firework that caused the injury. Take pictures or videos of the scene and any remaining firework debris. Secure witnesses’ names and contact information. This evidence can be crucial for authorities to investigate the source and prevent future accidents.
  3. Contact an Attorney: Firework injuries can be life-altering, and you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Consulting a San Diego personal injury attorney specializing in firework accidents can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Legal Repercussions of Illegal Fireworks in California

California law permits only “Safe and Sane” fireworks in approximately 300 counties. San Diego County, however, enforces a complete ban on all consumer fireworks, including sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets [3]. Violating this law can result in hefty fines and even jail time:

  • Fines: Possession or use of illegal fireworks can lead to fines of up to $50,000, as outlined by the San Diego Fire Department [3].
  • Imprisonment: In addition to fines, individuals caught with illegal fireworks may face jail time of up to one year.
  • Civil Liability: In the approximately 300 counties where fireworks are allowed, if someone uses illegal fireworks and causes harm to another person, may face civil lawsuits for damages incurred due to the injury. In fact, someone misusing a legal “Safe and Sane” approved firework, that injures another may also become liable for negligently using said fireworks.

Staying Safe During Firework Displays and Celebrations

While professional firework displays offer a dazzling spectacle, prioritizing safety is paramount:

  • Follow Safety Instructions: Always adhere to the guidelines set by event organizers or local authorities. These instructions often include designated viewing areas, restricted zones, and parking regulations.
  • Protective Gear: Utilize earplugs to shield yourself from loud explosions, especially for children and pets. Consider wearing safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential debris. Place your pets indoors since they will most likely experience severe stress and can even develop fatal health problems. 
  • Maintain a Safe Distance: Keep a safe distance from the firework launch site, at least 25 feet is recommended. This minimizes the risk of burns or injuries from malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Never Touch Unexploded Fireworks: Unexploded fireworks are extremely dangerous and can detonate unexpectedly. If you see unexploded fireworks, leave them alone and report them to a designated official.

Celebrating a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

Independence Day is a time to commemorate freedom and celebrate with loved ones. By prioritizing safety and adhering to the regulations outlined in this article, you can help ensure a fun and injury-free holiday weekend. Remember, in San Diego County, only permitted professional firework displays are legal. Enjoy the vibrant shows but leave the dangerous pyrotechnics to the experts. Don’t forget one of the largest fireworks shows in America is The Big Bay Boom throughout San Diego.