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The Fourth of July Brings the Risk of Firework Injuries – Know Your Rights


If you work with fireworks, then you should know that fireworks-related injuries can be compensated, but only under some specific circumstances.

It’s a time for great celebration in America, but also one that seems to send a lot of people to the emergency room.

Most 4th of July celebrations are nothing without a nice display of fireworks to mark the occasion, but the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there were roughly 9,100 fireworks-related injuries in 2018. Of all, 62% of them happened around the fourth of July mark.

What Happens If You Work with Fireworks and Get Hurt?

If you work with fireworks, then you should know that fireworks-related injuries can be compensated, but only under some specific circumstances.

1. Firework Malfunction

Here, the company that produces the fireworks may be liable for damages if the firework that got you hurt was defective. As long as you used it according to the indications, and you still got hurt, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the company.

Note that Missouri allows only 2 periods during the year for purchasing and selling fireworks: June 20—July 10 and December 20—January 2. However, if you bought your fireworks from the black market and not from an approved seller, it may be difficult to sue the manufacturer, as the firework itself may not even be made by them. You may hold the seller responsible, though you are also opening yourself up for liability for purchasing illegal fireworks.

2. Employer or Seasonal Worker

If you work for a company and are not classified as a seasonal worker, or independent contractor, you should qualify for workers compensation benefits if you are injured at work. According to Missouri law, Missouri Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have five or more employees. Missouri Employers involved in the construction industry are required to carry the coverage if they have one or more employees. If your employment agreement falls into the category of independent contractor, you likely cannot benefit from workers comp benefits,

Your Best Strategy Is to Stay Safe

To stay safe, the CPSC issued the following recommendations:

  • Ensure the fireworks come from an approved vendor
  • Do not allow children to use or come near fireworks
  • Do not place any body part directly on it
  • Keep your distance
  • Keep water or fire extinguisher close in case of fire
  • Do not relight a firework

Your Legal Options

If you get injured around the 4th of July because you work with fireworks, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries but, as you can see, it greatly depends on the circumstances of your employment.

To understand if you are entitled to get compensated, you should reach out to a St. Louis work injury lawyer and talk about your case with them. Your lawyer can tell you exactly if your case has merit, and what you need to do to get coverage for your medical treatments.

Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form.

Updated: July 10, 2019
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