Hoverboards are self-balancing, motorized scooters that are often compared to Segways without handlebars. Since the year 2015, these have increased in popularity.
Hoverboards may be dangerous. There have been reports of fires resulting from defective batteries and charging systems.
If an individual has been injured by a hoverboard, they may be entitled to compensation. Certain hoverboard brands and styles have been subject to a product recall.
These types of injuries are different from user error or mishandling that results in the user falling or crashing into someone or something else. In these cases, it is more likely that the rider was not operating the hoverboard correctly and less likely that the product was defective.
Can I Sue for a Hoverboard Injury?
If an individual has suffered a hoverboard injury, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries. Personal injury lawsuits are commenced when a plaintiff files a complaint outlining the relevant facts and the specific laws that the defendant allegedly violated.
The complaint also outlines what the plaintiff is requesting from the court, for example, monetary damages or an order requiring action or inaction from the defendant. Complaints should be drafted by lawyers.
Once it appears that the case will be heading toward a trial, the parties may:
- Engage in mandatory settlement conferences;
- Make motions in order to establish what evidence will be allowed at trial;
- Proceed to trial if they cannot negotiate a settlement.
What Kinds of Hazards Could a Hoverboard Cause?
The majority of claims involving hoverboards involve fires. There have been reports of hoverboard fires that occurred during charging, in addition to reports of spontaneous combustion.
Riders of hoverboards have suffered serious injuries, which included:
In addition, early hoverboard products may have used counterfeit UL certifications on their products. UL is a respected company that assesses the safety of electronic products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission began investigating hoverboard fires in 2016 that appear to be related to defective batteries and electronic systems. The agency recalled over a half million hoverboards because of unsafe battery systems.
In addition, numerous commercial airlines have banned hoverboards because of the fire risk. A hoverboard rider may also be involved in a collision or a fall.
An inexperienced rider may lose control of their hoverboard, causing injuries to both the rider and themselves. Injuries an individual may suffer on a hoverboard include:
- Bone fractures;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
A technical failure of a hoverboard may also contribute to accidents and injuries.
What Do Personal Injury Attorneys Do?
Personal injury attorneys provide representation for a plaintiff or a defendant. These types of attorneys can provide representation for many different types of cases, including but not limited to:
Lawyers for each party will research the facts of the case and what laws will apply during the lawsuit. Examples of the types of work that a personal injury lawyer may do include:
- Investigating claims and screening potential clients;
- Gathering evidence to support the claims of their client or refute the opposition’s claims;
- Negotiate with insurance companies as needed;
- Composing and sending demand letters to insurance companies or other parties;
- Prepare pleadings, such as those detailing the legal arguments as to why the defendant should;
- Be held liable for their plaintiff client’s injuries;
- Conduct discovery, as previously discussed;
- Represent their client at trial.
What Kinds of Claims Could a Plaintiff Bring?
If an individual was injured by a defective hoverboard, they may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Product liability claims involve:
Depending on the applicable state laws and the facts of the case, an individual may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a retailer. These types of claims usually involve detailed technical and legal analysis.
If an individual needs assistance with a defective hoverboard claim, they should consider contacting an attorney. An individual may also be a member of a class action lawsuit.
There have been class action lawsuits filed involving hoverboards. Class action lawsuits are filed on behalf of a large group of individuals and are often used in product liability and consumer-related actions.
If an individual is a member of a class action, they will be notified of the lawsuit. They can choose to either opt out of the class action lawsuit and pursue their own claim or continue as a class member.
If a lawsuit results in a recovery, all of the members of the class action lawsuit will receive a share of the judgment or settlement. Injuries that are caused by negligent hoverboard riders may be covered in personal injury lawsuits.
Insurance may not cover hoverboard-related accidents and injuries. If a negligent hoverboard rider caused an individual’s injuries, they should consider contacting an attorney. The attorney can help them determine whether or not the case has insurance coverage.
What Defenses Could a Plaintiff Expect?
In product liability claims, manufacturers may present many defenses, including:
- Assumption of the risk: If the individual knew of the risks involved with using the hoverboard and ignored the danger,
- Comparative fault or contributory negligence: These may apply if the used contributed to their injuries;
- Unforeseeable use: If the individual misused the hoverboard in a way that the manufacturer could not anticipate; or
- Substantial change: If the individual made significant changes to the hoverboard that caused their injuries.
If an individual is suing another individual for being a negligent hoverboard rider, comparative and contributory negligence may also be a defense. An individual may be able to rebut these defenses with the help of a skilled attorney.
It is important for an individual not to assume that they will lose their case simply because the manufacturer presented a defense.
What Remedies Could a Plaintiff Demand?
If an individual was injured by a hoverboard, they may be entitled to damages and monetary compensation, which may include:
- Economic damages, intended to cover:
- Lost wages;
- Medical bills;
- Hospital expenses;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Property damage;
- Non-economic damages, intended to cover pain and suffering;
- Punitive damages.
The calculation of damages will depend on numerous factors, including:
- The severity of the individual’s injuries;
- The presence of any pre-existing injuries; and
- Any limitations based on damages laws in the state.
In cases that involve manufacturer defects, the remedies may also include a product recall. Product liability claims, as noted above, may also result in class action lawsuits if there are many consumers who are affected by the defect.
Can a Lawyer Help With a Hoverboard Lawsuit?
Hoverboard lawsuits are often complicated and typically require the assistance of a legal professional. If you have suffered injuries or losses related to a hoverboard, a personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help protect your legal rights.
Most hoverboard injury lawsuits require testimony from experts and individuals with technical expertise. Your lawyer can help guide you through the lawsuit process, find the necessary experts, and ensure that all of the filing deadlines are met.
In addition, your lawyer will represent you during any negotiations between you and the defendant. It is important to be aware that many large companies have lawyers on staff and will do their best to pay you the least amount they can for your injuries.