Los Angeles HoverBoard Injury Lawyers
The Los Angeles personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase is investigating hoverboard injuries and explosions. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hoverboard-related incident, call us at (323) 238-4683 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
Injury as the result of a defectively manufactured and designed hoverboard makes it important that you have a thorough understanding of your legal rights and options.
The safety of hoverboards has come into question after scores of injuries and incidents where these devices have spontaneously exploded or caught fire, have been reported nationwide. The incidents have piled up to such an extent that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the cause of the hoverboard explosions and fires and the serious dangers they pose to consumers.
Do You Have A Case?
Hoverboard manufacturers are obligated to make sure their products are safe and are considered negligent if their products are prone to explode and injure anyone nearby. However, injuries that occur from simple interaction with a hoverboard such as falls or wipeouts are not considered negligence on behalf of the manufacturer, and therefore are not eligible for a lawsuit.
What is a Hoverboard?
Hoverboards became a buzzword after the movie "Back to the Future II" was released in 1989. In the film, the hoverboards were skateboards that actually hovered above the ground. But the hoverboards in question now are merely self-balancing, two-wheeled boards. They consist of two wheels arranged side by side with two small platforms between the wheels on which the rider stands. The device is basically controlled by the rider's feet, as he or she stands on built-in pads with gyroscopic sensors.
Los Angeles saw its first recorded hoverboard explosion in late December 2015 when a man who was riding his hoverboard in the Koreatown district saw his wheels begin to smoke. The device eventually caught on fire and exploded. This fire happened just days before the devices were banned on Metrolink trains in Southern California. Several airlines have already banned the hoverboards as have college campuses in Los Angeles and California-wide. Many airlines have also banned hoverboards on their flights because of the potential fire hazard.
There are several reasons why these hoverboards may explode. Experts have already said that the one common reason why they do ignite is because the products themselves are poorly manufactured or the lithium-ion batteries that power these boards, are substandard. In a number of cases where the hoverboards exploded or caught fire, the batteries were overcharged.
While many devices we use such as cell phones and laptops are also powered by lithium-ion batteries, they don't explode when overcharged because the quality of the batteries they use are well-regulated. That's not the case with hoverboard batteries, which are made by a number of factories in China. Their quality and consistency is simply not as good as top-tier manufacturers. A number of the lithium-ion batteries we see in cheap hoverboards are not knockoffs, but mass-manufactured cells that lack quality control.
Common Hoverboard Injuries
In addition to explosions, hoverboards are also causing serious physical injuries to riders. In fact, emergency rooms around the nation have reported a spike in people who come in for treatment of hoverboard-related injuries. CPSC has reported receiving dozens of injury reports from emergency rooms nationwide. Some of the most commonly reported injuries involving hoverboards are concussions, bone fractures, contusions, abrasions and internal organ injuries.
California has also passed a new law that became effective January 1, 2016, which requires riders of hoverboards to be at least 16 years old to ride in public. All riders are required to wear helmets and can only ride on streets where the speed limit for vehicles is under 35 mph. It is also illegal to ride hoverboards while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Additionally, college campuses across the nation want hoverboards off their campuses.
Product Liability Issues
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning hoverboard, you may be able to recover compensation for damages by filing a product liability lawsuit. For such a claim to be successful, injured parties or plaintiffs must prove that they were injured while using the product as intended and that the product was defective. There are three types of product defects:
- Manufacturing defects that occur when the product are not made according to design or specifications or when mistakes occur during the manufacturing or assembly of the product.
- Design defects occur when the product's design makes the device inherently dangerous to use.
- Defective marketing or advertising is when the company fails to provide proper instructions to use the product or warnings for safe use of the device.
Compensation for Injured Victims
Victims of hoverboard injuries, whether they are caused by fires, explosions or falls, can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles hoverboard injury lawyer who will thoroughly examine the product for manufacturing or design defects and flaws, and help hold the manufacturer accountable for victims' losses. Call (323)238-4683 for a free case evaluation.