This past Independence Day many went and enjoyed one of the numerous professional fireworks displace across the State of Florida. However, many others went over to a barbecue at relatives or friends homes and capped-off the night with an amateur fireworks display. This can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous, and for this reasons, authorities also warn fireworks are best left to the professionals.
One thing many do not realize is fireworks are actually illegal to sell in the state of Florida if they are being used for what most consider their normal purpose of shooting them off on the Fourth of July. If you want to legally purchase fireworks for public display, the buyer and seller actually need permits, but that is not what typically happens. You may be wondering how all of these roadside stands are allowed to sell virtually any type of fireworks to consumers. As discussed in a recent news article from the Sun Sentinel, they are using what should be a very obscure loophole to get around the prohibition of selling fireworks except to organizations with permits for public display. There is a law on the books which allows the sale of fireworks for a specific agricultural purpose. You can purchase fireworks if you sign a waiver saying you will only use them to frighten birds away from fish hatcheries and other protected wildlife areas, and many sellers will actually offer you this waiver and make you sign it before you purchase the fireworks. There is a also another exception that railroad workers are able to use fireworks as lighting. Aside from these exceptions, the sale or use of anything that explodes, launches up into the sky, or emits sparks is banned under state law. It is safe to assume the vast majority of those purchasing fireworks at roadside stands are not railroad workers in need of lighting or agricultural workers trying to frighten birds away from their fish hatcheries.
With this in mind, if you were at the home of another and were serious injured while watching or even participating in a fireworks display that was being held without a valid permit, you should speak with an experienced Broward County personal injury lawyer to see if you have a valid claim.
There are a variety of types of personal injury we typically see in South Florida fireworks accident cases and they include some of the following:
- Serious burns
- Hearing loss
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Amputation of fingers
- Head injury
Burns and amputation of fingers is very common in fireworks accidents in Broward County. These serious injuries can result from someone holding a firework in his or her hand while lighting it, or simply being too close when they explode. One of the more common reasons for fireworks accidents is failure to supervise properly children who should never be using fireworks in the first place. This failure to supervise is often compounded by the fact that many of the adults who are supposed to supervise the children at the event have been drinking all day and are not in any condition to exercise sound judgement. It should be noted that voluntary intoxication is never a defense to a negligence-based personal injury action.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Fireworks are illegal — but here’s how Floridians get away with buying them, July 3, 2018, By Kyle Arnold, Orlando Sentinel
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Florida Wrongful Death Claims: Awards to Survivors v. The Estate, May 11, 2018, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog