Fireworks are meant to be fun and exciting. They are used throughout July to celebrate our nation’s birthday, but also tend to be the number one cause of residential fires during the summer.
On July 6th, fire crews and investigators were looking into a fire that took down million-dollar home. Investigators believed that bottle rockets and Roman candles were to blame for this waterfront property in Sewall’s Point being destroyed.
The blaze was spotted by a fisherman around 1:30am in the morning and the damage is estimated to be around $500,000. The home was listed only a few months ago with a purchase price of $2.25 million.
Unfortunately, this costly event has served as a reminder to those that set off fireworks for any holiday – there are risks. Also, it has highlighted the potential issue of premise liability – and how setting fireworks off can put numerous individuals at risk.
Fireworks Cause Injury
Fireworks are known to cause injury and property damage. In this event, if someone was burned or died while in the house during the fire, the homeowner’s would be liable for those injuries.
Even if the house had not caught fire, if someone is injured by fireworks on a person’s property, they have a potential premise liability case.
Identifying the Property Owners
To bring a premise liability claim to the courts, it is important that the attorney identify the person that is responsible for the property.
The law states that a person is in possession of the property when:
- They occupy that land
- They have previously occupied the property with the intent to control it and no one has occupied with the intent to control it since then
- They are entitled to occupation of the property and no one else is in possession of the property
Determining a Victim’s Right to Be on the Property
Not all injured parties are eligible for premise liability claims. A person must be invited or a licensee of the property in order to file a claim against the property owner.
For example, a guest at a home that is burned by a firework would be eligible to collect compensation under a premise liability claim.
But, if a person had no permission to be on the property or was trespassing and injured by fireworks, they would not have a valid claim for premise liability – because the owners were under no requirement to provide care or reasonable care to a trespasser.
What About Liability Waivers?
In Florida, to purchase fireworks you must sign a waiver of liability – stating that you will not sue the company selling you the fireworks for any injuries or losses.
This protects the retailer from anyone’s unauthorized or misuse of the fireworks, but what if the firework itself was defective?
If the firework was defective and the retailer knew this, a liability waiver may not protect them from a lawsuit. Also, if the waiver has ambiguous or misleading wording, it may not be honored by the courts.
Injured by Someone’s Firework Show? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured by someone’s fireworks or by faulty fireworks, contact the personal injury lawyer at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates today for a free consultation.
We will assess your case and help explore your options for compensation. Call now to get started.