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Can I claim compensation if I am injured at a firework display?

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Stay safe this bonfire night

This year is flying by so fast, and with it, comes the annual celebration of Guy Fawkes night, more commonly known as bonfire night.

I for one love the thought of getting all wrapped up in a big coat, scarf and gloves, and going down the road to the local cricket club’s bonfire and firework display. The sounds of the fireworks going off, the smell of the bonfire; it is a welcome celebration in the run up to Christmas. However, it is important to remember that even though fireworks are pretty with all of their fabulous colours, they are explosives, which have the potential to be incredibly harmful. When ignited, the maximum temperature of a firework can reach 2,000°c, which is incredibly dangerous if we are unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.

Organised displays

Statistically you are less likely to suffer harm at an organised display, as the organiser must have sought authority from the local authority to hold the display in the first place. At these type of events, there are usually barriers in place to prevent you from getting to close to the fireworks, and other strict regulations about you coming into contact with any type of fireworks. If you are injured at an organised display, it is likely that a claim for personal injury will have a better chance of succeeding, as these events should be fully insured.

Private displays

We have all been there, and had a couple of fireworks in the back garden to celebrate bonfire night. Those holding private displays may not be as qualified as those at an organised display and so there could be a higher risk of injury. It is important to remember that these displays are incredibly unlikely to have insurance, and so a claim for injury would need to be pursued against the individual.

Defective fireworks

Always buy fireworks from a reputable source. Ensure that the fireworks being bought carry a “CE” mark, and are in a sealed box, which would indicate that the product has not been tampered with.

Fireworks have the potential to cause serious and catastrophic injuries, but by being sensible and vigilant, we can enjoy the fireworks and still have fun.

What types of injuries can be sustained as a result of fireworks?

Despite taking precautions and being sensible, it is still a very real possibility that injuries can happen, even if it isn’t your fault. The types of injuries that you could claim for include:

  • Burns (including trivial burns, to much more serious burns)
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Hearing damage/loss

A spokesman for the British Burns Association believes that all fireworks should carry a mandatory image of the devastating injuries that fireworks can cause, while the NHS has issued a stark warning for people to be careful in the run up to bonfire night. Figures from NHS Digital revealed that there were almost 2,000 admissions for firework related injuries in 2018/19 alone.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, you are less likely to be injured at a large firework display, than at home. However, if you unfortunately do suffer an injury as a result of a firework, or a bonfire, our team of professional, experienced lawyers can help you. Call us on 0175 321 6399.

By Helen Livesey, graduate paralegal in the personal injury team

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