This Fourth of July is one that Payton Johnson will always remember, but not for good reasons. Johnson decided to shoot fireworks off his boat. Things started out well, but quickly took a serious turn when one of the fireworks exploded in his boat rather than in the sky. When the smoke cleared, was severely injured. According to the emergency room reports, his list of injuries included severe burns to various parts of his body, broken hands, eye injuries.
Medical University of South Carolina is currently in charge of providing medical care to Johnson. At this point, it’s difficult to say just how many more surgeries he’ll need and how long he’ll have to stay in the hospital.
His mother, Christine Johnson, was willing to speak to the press about the accident. “He said there was a loud explosion in his ears, and his ears were ringing and he felt everything breaking in his hands as it was doing it and he described it to us, the tendons ripping. It was pretty much a malfunction and he knew right away that something was about to go wrong.”
The team of First Responders who arrived on the scene were surprised to see a familiar face. Johnson works as a First Responder for Beaufort Water Rescue.
While the family doesn’t yet know what the final cost of the hospital stay will be, they expect it will be steep and are considering the possibility of creating a Go Fund Me fundraiser.
“Fireworks are pretty, but they’re also dangerous,” said Joseph Sandefur, managing partner of a top personal injury firm at with an office headquartered in South Carolina. “Anyone who uses them has to accept that there is an element of risk involved. That being said, it’s up to fireworks manufactures to make sure their products are as safe as they can possibly be. If an investigation reveals that Payton Johnson’s injuries were the result of badly designed fireworks, I’d urge him to meet with a personal injury lawyer and discuss the possibility of a product liability lawsuit.”
The statistics surrounding firework related injuries are quite alarming. In 2002, emergency rooms around the country reported 8,800 injuries that were the result of fireworks. 50% of those incidents involved children who hadn’t yet celebrated their 14th birthday. That year, four people died as a result of their firework related injuries.
It’s estimated that firework related injures cost about $100 million each year, which means that in 2002, the average person injured by fireworks required over $11,000 in medical treatment.
If an investigation reveals that the injuries were sustained as the result of the manufacture or the actions of someone other than the injured party, it’s reasonable for the person to seek a personal injury lawsuit. This type of lawsuit is designed to help the injured party recoup some of what the fireworks cost them, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Visit joeandmartin.com if you’ve been hurt in a fireworks related accident and want to know more about how to obtain a settlement.