Roller Shoes Injury Lawyers

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 What are Roller Shoe Injuries?

Roller shoes are shoes fitted with a small wheel or two in the back end of the shoe’s sole. Unlike roller skates, the wheels of a roller shoe are almost even with the sole rather than extending down to the surface on which the person wearing the shoes stands.

The wheel allows the wearer to use the shoe in a manner somewhat similar to a roller skate. The person wearing the shoe can lean back on the wheel in the rear end of the sole and roll along on the wheel. Roller shoes are popular among younger children, though they are marketed to all ages.

There are different kinds of roller shoes. One kind has four wheels that are even with the shoe’s sole. But they can be manipulated to extend down from the sole like the wheels on roller skates. They are basically athletic-style shoes with wheels embedded in the sole. They offer no protection to the feet as some kinds of roller skates do.

Research into the accidents and injuries associated with children using roller shoes shows that broken wrists are the most common type of injury reported. Other injuries are broken arms, dislocations of the elbow, foot and ankle injuries, and fractures of leg bones.

Most accidents occur when a child falls backward or forward as the child tries to transfer their body weight from the sole of the shoe to the wheels and tries to balance on the wheels. Less often, an accident results in injuries when the child jumps or tries to change direction suddenly.

Roller shoe injuries can occur in many other ways as well. For instance, the person using the roller shoe may often collide with others walking in the vicinity, especially with certain surroundings such as on a hill or slippery surfaces. Injuries can also occur to the wearer/user of the shoe, much in the same way that roller skating or rollerblading injuries occur.

These can result in injuries such as hand and wrist injuries, sprains, broken bones, head/neck/back injuries, or other similar injuries caused by falling. Lastly, serious injury or even death can occur if the wearer is struck by a car or other vehicle, for example, if they glide onto the street.

It is estimated that roller shoes have led to more than 1,600 visits to emergency rooms, and at least one recorded death has been attributed to roller shoe use.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Roller Shoe Accident or Injury?

Roller shoe injuries can often be attributed to a defect in the shoe product. For example, if the wheel is not attached correctly to the shoe, this can cause the wheel to disconnect during use, resulting in an accident.

Common defects alleged in strict product liability lawsuits are defects with the product’s design, defects that arise in the manufacturing process, and defects related to insufficient warning information about the use of the shoes. In such cases, the manufacturer and distributors of the shoe product may be held liable for injuries resulting from the defect.

In cases where the child has injured another person through their skating actions, liability may be a bit more difficult to assign. In many cases, though the child is a minor, the court may sometimes hold the parent liable for their children’s actions in causing injury to another person. An example is when the parent instructs a child to perform actions that they know are dangerous and may injure another person. The victim would file a claim for negligence against the parent.

Are There any Legal Remedies for Roller Shoe Injuries?

The most likely type of lawsuit a person injured while using roller shoes might pursue would be a lawsuit for strict product liability. A person could claim that their roller shoes had a defect caused by faulty design, manufacturing, or a failure to warn of known defects.

Usually, a person would successfully recover damages for their losses if they can show that the roller shoe was defective in some way and that the defect directly caused the accident in which they were injured. The victim does not have to prove negligence on the part of anyone. As noted above, the manufacturer and distributors of the roller shoes would be liable.

The problem with any lawsuit seeking damages for injuries caused by roller shoes is that the potentially liable parties might claim that the victim assumes the risk of accident and injury when they use a product such as roller shoes. If a person knows how they use a product that could lead to an accident and consequential injury, a person who might be liable may claim the defense of the “assumption of the risk.”

If the product user disregards the known risks of using a product, this can lead to successful use of the defense of the assumption of the risk. Many states allow the use of the assumption of the risk defense in strict product liability cases; however, some do not.

The states that do not allow the defense are Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. All other states allow the defense, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and others.

What Are the Remedies for a Lawsuit for Roller Shoe Injuries?

Remedies for a roller shoe injury typically involve an award of compensatory damages. This damages award usually reimburses the victim for economic losses such as medical bills, hospital expenses, and lost wages if they have a job and cannot work because of their injury. Victims might also recover damages to compensate them for their non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Occasionally, a manufacturer or distributor may recall a product and pull it off store shelves if they fear large losses because of a product defect. Also, if many people are affected by the same product issue, class action filings may be an option.

Can a Roller Shoe Manufacturer Claim that Roller Shoes Are Unavoidably Unsafe?

A defendant in a product liability case can also defend that the product is “unavoidably unsafe.” This is a possible defense in a case involving roller shoes. It should be clear to most consumers that the roller shoe is potentially unsafe.

The person who asserts this defense must produce evidence that the particular product’s value to society greatly outweighs the risks that the product poses to its users. If the defendant successfully shows this, the victim must produce evidence that a safer product serves the same purpose and poses less of a risk of harm.

An inherently dangerous product is not an “unavoidably unsafe product” unless the following is true:

  • The usefulness of the product greatly outweighs the risk created by its use;
  • The risk posed by using the product is known to users;
  • The benefits realized from the use of the product cannot be achieved in another way;
  • The risk created by using the product is unavoidable, given the state of knowledge that existed when the product was manufactured.

The use of the assumption of the risk or unavoidably unsafe product defenses would be suggested by the fact that roller shoes should appear potentially unsafe to any reasonable consumer.

The need to shift one’s weight to the back of the shoe to use the wheel feature could arguably present obvious risks. And in fact, the research that has been done shows that children are often injured when they first use the shoes because they are not used to making the movements needed to balance in the exact way necessary to use the wheel feature.

Do I Need the Help of a Lawyer for My Roller Shoe Injury Issue?

Roller shoe injuries can involve a complex mix of different legal theories and defenses. It may be best to consult a class action lawyer if you have been injured in a roller-shoe accident. You also want to consult a lawyer if your child has been injured.

Your attorney can provide legal advice and guide you on proceeding with your claim. Also, your lawyer can represent you in negotiating a settlement of your claim, or if you need to appear in court, your lawyer can also represent you in important court hearings.

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