Can You Sue For a Hand Injury Caused By Fireworks in Portland?

Each year, it is estimated that over 10,000 fireworks-related injuries occur in the United States and at least 40% of these injuries involve the arm, hand, and fingers. [1]

Proving Negligence For a Fireworks Related Hand Injury

When it comes to proving negligence in a fireworks hand injury case, there are several key elements that must be established. The injured individual must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care. The person responsible had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable caution to prevent harm to others. 

The plaintiff needs to provide evidence that the defendant breached their duty of care. This involves demonstrating that the person responsible for the fireworks acted negligently or failed to exercise reasonable caution. Examples of negligence may include manufacturing or selling defective fireworks. Witnesses, photographs, videos, or expert testimonies can be instrumental in establishing such a breach of duty.

The plaintiff must prove that the negligent act directly caused their hand injury. This often requires medical documentation linking the defendant’s negligence to the specific injuries sustained. Medical reports, opinions from healthcare professionals, and expert testimonies can help substantiate this crucial connection.

The plaintiff needs to demonstrate that they suffered damages as a result of the fireworks-related hand injury. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages due to inability to work, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or any other losses incurred as a direct consequence of the incident. Collecting supporting evidence such as medical bills, employment records, or psychological evaluations can strengthen the plaintiff’s case for damages.

Proving Negligence For a Fireworks Related Hand Injury

Product Liability Claims for a Firework Injury

To pursue a product liability claim, the injured party must demonstrate that the firework’s manufacturer, distributor, or retailer was negligent in some way.

This negligence can be exhibited through different factors, such as a manufacturing defect where the firework was inherently defective or dangerous; a design defect where the firework’s design caused an unreasonable risk of harm; or a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions for safe usage of the firework.

In Portland, the possession, sale, and use of fireworks are regulated by the city code. Consumer fireworks are generally prohibited, with only specific types allowed during certain times of the year. If the injury resulted from illegal fireworks usage, it could potentially affect the viability of a product liability claim.

What Do I Do if I Have a Hand Injury from Fireworks?

  • Prioritize your health and safety. Seek immediate medical attention for your hand injury without delay. Don’t underestimate any pain or discomfort you experience, as some injuries may not be apparent right away.
  • Document your injuries thoroughly. This includes taking photographs of your hand from different angles, highlighting any visible burns, cuts, swelling, or disfigurement. 
  • Building a strong case may involve gathering witness statements from people who observed the incident, video footage, or any other relevant evidence.
What Do I Do if I Have a Hand Injury from Fireworks?

Can I Get Compensation for a Fireworks Injury?

In Oregon, the Statute of Limitations generally allows individuals two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

If successful, your personal injury lawsuit can provide you with compensation for a variety of damages. These can include medical expenses, both current and future, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any necessary rehabilitative or physical therapy costs.

The exact amount awarded will depend on the severity of the injury, its impact on your life, and the specific circumstances of the case.

Who Can I Sue if I have a Hand Injured from Fireworks?

  • The Manufacturer/Distributor:
    If the injury resulted from a defect in the product, such as a malfunctioning fuse or faulty construction, you may have grounds for a product liability claim.
  • Retailers/Vendors:
    Retailers have a duty to ensure that the products they sell are safe and defect-free. Their level of responsibility may vary depending on your legal relationship with them and the specific circumstances surrounding the injury.
  • Event Organizers:
    If the hand injury occurred during a public fireworks display in Portland, the event organizers could potentially be held liable if they failed to adhere to necessary safety protocols. Inadequate crowd control, insufficient safety barriers, or negligent supervision could contribute to an accident. 

Even sparklers can cause burns – they reach temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! Sparklers caused 600 ER visits in 2022. [2]

Dr. Jennifer Hsu, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of microvascular upper extremity and hand surgery, treated 19 patients for traumatic fireworks injuries over the July 4 holiday, the most she has seen in her nine years at the hospital. Sixteen were children, who in many cases did not understand what they had picked up. [3]

Who Can I Sue if I have a Hand Injured from Fireworks?

Contact Goldberg & Loren’s injury lawyers today for a free consultation.


[1] 5 Fireworks Tips from a Hand Surgeon | The Hand Society. (n.d.).

[2] An Ounce of Prevention: How to Avoid Hand Injuries this Summer. (n.d.).

[3] Gomez, M. (2023, February 28). A 12-year-old suffered traumatic hand injuries after setting off a firework – Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times.

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