November 4, 2013

£50k awarded to fireworks victim

Withy King's Personal Injury team has secured over £50k in compensation for a woman who was severely injured by a firework which hit her in the chest and set her alight.

Personal injury partner at Withy King, Louise Hart, who achieved the out-of-court settlement on behalf of her client, who does not want to be named, is urging people to be extra vigilant this week when attending or hosting any bonfire night celebrations.

“This particular case involved a defective firework and my client was injured despite following all the rules,” said Louise Hart, partner and head of the personal injury team at Withy King. “Incidents like these really bring home to us how dangerous fireworks can be. Many of us enjoy the fun and excitement of fireworks but with Guy Fawkes’ celebrations just around the corner, it’s worth reminding everyone how important it is to follow the safety instructions to the letter.”

Withy King’s client was injured at a public fireworks display which took place near Bath on 5th November 2011. The woman, who was 29 years old at the time, was standing with her mother behind the safety barrier provided when a firework failed to explode properly and sent a fireball into the crowd. It hit her in the chest and set her alight. Spectators rolled her on the ground to extinguish the flames. Paramedics treated her at the scene before an ambulance arrived and took her to hospital where she was treated overnight. She suffered burns to her face, chest and fingers and was in considerable pain for a long time after the event. She was off work for four months.

With the help of Withy King, the woman brought a claim against the manufacturers of the defective firework, Sandling Fireworks UK, for the injuries she sustained. Her claim was settled out-of-court recently by the company’s insurers.

The latest available figures from RoSPA reveal that 6,637 people were hurt by fireworks and required hospital treatment during a six year period from 2000 to 2005.

In 2005, there were 990 injuries with 475 of those occurring at homes or private parties. Rockets caused the most injuries (216) followed by Roman Candles (111) and sparklers (104).

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