HM Insights

Bonfire Night - Remember, remember to take care this November

Most, if not all, public firework displays have been cancelled this year in an attempt to avoid further spreading of Covid-19. However, we are still likely to hear the explosive bangs and see the bursts of colour overhead as many people choose to celebrate bonfire night in their own gardens. Scottish Government guidance is that fireworks should only be set off in private gardens if it can be done safely. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has published guidance and top tips on its website for celebrating bonfire night safely. Our personal injury team has also been considering some of the risks associated with bonfire night and how we might be able to help you should accidents happen.

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There isn't much we can do about a broken tooth on a toffee apple but what about some of the other traditions of bonfire night?

Personal Injury and Product Liability

Fireworks and sparklers are readily available in shops and from online retailers at this time of year and they are heavily regulated to ensure that they are safe. We're still talking here about explosives so best practice is to be extra careful when you are around them, even if you are only spectating. Make sure to check that any firework you purchase carries the CE mark. This mark is an indicator that the firework meets the required safety standard.

It won't always be obvious if there is a defect in a firework from how it looks. As a consumer, you are generally entitled to assume that the firework you purchased is safe and, provided that you follow all of the safety instructions on the packaging, you will not be injured. However, if you are injured as a result of a defect in a firework then you may be entitled to claim for damages. Fireworks are goods covered by the Consumer Protection Act 1987. If a firework is defective, you may have a claim against the producer, manufacturer or supplier under the 1987 Act.

Criminal Injury

If you are injured as a result of a criminal act this bonfire night you may be entitled to make an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (the Scheme) is a government funded scheme to compensate blameless victims of violent crime. A claim under the scheme is different from an action for damages that would be pursued in the Scottish courts. So long as the crime is reported to the Police, you can apply for compensation from the CICA. The Scheme sets out the specific compensation due for each particular injury. Our specialist personal injury lawyers can guide you through the criminal injuries application process.

We hope you enjoy a safe bonfire night this year

If someone you love has been involved in an accident, our solicitors can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us free on 0800 904 7777 or find out more information about the personal injury service we provide.

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