Are you responsible for damage done by fireworks?


Dave: Hi Tom. Great show. Just a quick question about firework damages and if it's illegal to shoot any fireworks in Volusia county. My two neighbors across the street are shooting for two or three hours at the fourth of July. I wake up, there's scratches all over the car, not all over, but it in several spots. Of course the little bottle rocket stuff and firework stuff is all over the place. I approached one of them and it's like, "Prove it."

Attorney Tom Olsen: That's the deal Dave. Number one, you'd have to prove they did it and number two you'd have to prove your damages. Dave a case like this is meant for small claims court and so you're in front of a small claims judge and you're saying, "Oh judge, look. They did all these bottle rockets. I had to walk around my yard and pick up all the debris." "Well how much is that worth, Dave?" "I don't know." "Fifty bucks?" And then you'd say, "And then plus the fireworks they did caused damage to my car. Here are some scratches or some burn marks." That's where the judge is going to say, "Well Dave, how do we know that your neighbor caused that?" The judge may or may not buy it Dave, but the question is, what would be the monetary dollar damage to your car that they did? 

Dave: How do I stop it in the future from shooting fireworks? Call the sheriff's office on fourth of July? 

Attorney Tom Olsen: Dave, you see the same issues that I do. What they tell you is whenever you're having a problem these days, no matter what it is, you're supposed to call 911. That'd be my only advice to you, Dave. 

Dave: Okay. Thank you, Tom 

Attorney Tom Olsen: Good luck to you. Chrissy, we're about to take our fireworks over the Volusia County on a beach. We should rethink that. 

Chrissy: The good news is that this is a beach where it's a private beach attached to the house. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: We have a lot of fireworks leftover. We're shooting them off this weekend away from cars and people. 

Chrissy: Exactly, I was going to say, away from cars, people and property. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: And we'll do it at a reasonable time of the night. 

Chrissy: Reasonable time, always about being safe, and always about being respectful of other people’s property.