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Why Fireworks Are Leading to More Catastrophic Injuries in 2020

An unprecedented quarantine due to COVID-19 has millions of Americans feeling restless and stir crazy, desperate to return to some semblance of normal life. Holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day have been met with fanfare and an increased propensity to live on the edge, and Los Angeles has experienced a surge in fireworks usage as a result. While these holidays do tend to be popular with amateur pyrotechnics, this year feels different – in fact, residents are reporting loud and lengthy episodes of fireworks blasting late into the night around these summer holidays. With the vast majority of parades and organized fireworks events being canceled in an effort to implement crowd control and slow the spread of the coronavirus, it’s no wonder that people are experimenting at home – and getting seriously injured in the process. 

A team of health professionals at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center in fact reviewed major catastrophic injuries and burn cases from January 2015 to the present day and found there has been a substantial increase in firework-related injuries since the start of the pandemic. Their findings show that fireworks injuries are 10 times more common this year than they have been in previous years, as more and more at-home pyrotechnics experiment with major fireworks. These injuries are often catastrophic – resulting in thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and life-changing consequences for both the injured and those around them. While there are legal remedies an injured person can pursue with an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney to recuperate these expenses, the loss of enjoyment of life after a catastrophic injury is priceless for many.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

Catastrophic injuries are life-altering and typically require years of prolonged medical treatment, along with a fundamental adjustment into how one navigates life. Generally speaking, catastrophic injuries are either physical injuries, spinal cord injuries, or cognitive injuries. Some examples of physical injuries would include amputation, burn injuries, severe fractures, organ damage, and other major orthopedic injuries. Victims of fireworks accidents are most likely to suffer these types of injuries – for example, the researchers at LA + USC found that the fireworks injury victims coming to their hospital in 2020 predominantly needed to have a hand or finger amputated (80 percent), had eye injuries (50 percent) or suffered from ruptured eardrums (50 percent). 

Spinal cord injuries are considered even more severe since the spinal cord acts as the central nervous system of your bodily functions. Those who suffer spinal cord injuries will generally experience paralysis or organ failure and face lifelong mobility issues. Cognitive injuries can be some of the most costly and emotional for injury victims, as brain injuries suffered by victims experience loss of memory, and the ability to form words, speak, or work. 

How Catastrophic Injuries Impact California Victims

Because victims of catastrophic injuries often require enormous support to do everyday tasks, the impact of a catastrophic injury extends beyond one person and often affects entire families. As such, our Los Angeles injury attorney often helps victims’ families to file lawsuits against those liable for their loved one’s injury in order to help shoulder the burden of their new lifestyle. Between having to hire caretakers or take time off work to care for the injured, a catastrophic injury can be incredibly burdensome.

Speak to Our Los Angeles Injury Attorney Today

So, what’s our Los Angeles injury attorney’s advice? If you’re thinking of getting a little crazy with the fireworks this year, consider the potential cost and proceed with the utmost caution. If you need to discuss your legal options, contact us today.