One Hot Holiday Gift Proves to Carry Many Injury Risks
When Marty McFly jumped on his hoverboard in Back to the Future Part 2, audiences were instantly impressed by this futuristic mode of travel. Of course, each Charlotte personal injury lawyer at our firm also had to question the safety of such a device.
Our earlier concerns about a fictitious device recently jumped to the forefront when, even before the holiday, sales figures made it clear that non-flying hoverboards were a popular gift item. On December 16, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman issued a statement pertaining to the real-life version of hoverboards. He promised to quickly, thoroughly and carefully conduct a study to determine the reasons for hoverboard fires. He also stressed, however, that the CPSC has already received numerous emergency room reports of fall injuries related to the use of hoverboards.
Batteries Are Not the Only Safety Issue
Shortly after gift-giving ended during last winter’s holiday season, the CPSC started reporting accelerated levels of emergency room visit reports pertaining to hoverboards. While 22 reports involved boards bursting into flames, more than three times that amount involved falls and collisions.
Consider the types of accidents that are bound to become common:
- Hoverboard users may lack the control needed to avoid crashing into pedestrians.
- A loss of balance can cause a board to shoot out from beneath a rider and strike a passerby.
- Riders can easily become distracted while talking or texting — or even by participating in conversations initiated by admiring onlookers.
While riders need to know how to properly protect themselves from battery-related fire hazards, they also need to wear protective helmets and other gear. After reading all safety information supplied with the product, they should then proceed slowly by building skills in unpopulated areas and having someone nearby to observe and assist.
People Injured by Hoverboard Riders Should Consider Seeking Compensation
California may be the only state that has instituted official rules of the road for hoverboards. In North Carolina, local jurisdictions may have their own rules. For example, Asheville regulates the boards similarly to electric wheelchairs, restricting their use to sidewalks.
Naturally, anyone injured due to a hoverboard fire has the right to seek compensation based on product liability issues. However, even if no specific rules of the road are on the books for hoverboards, personal injury laws help protect anyone who is injured due to the negligence of other parties. Individuals who sustain injuries caused by negligent hoverboard riders certainly have the right to pursue compensation for the expenses related to their injuries.