Hoverboards aren’t just harmless toys — they’re actually very dangerous.
Last year, hoverboards were the gift of the holiday season. Celebrities across the country were pictured riding these cool devices, and they were regularly featured on news and talk shows throughout the late fall and early winter. But shortly after these expensive devices made their way to market, reports of injuries began cropping up, and companies started issuing recalls. If you have been injured by a hoverboard, a personal injury lawyer can assess your case to determine if you can file a claim to recover for your losses.
How Hoverboards Work
Despite their name, hoverboards do not actually hover or float about the ground. Instead, they function more like a self-balancing scooter. They have two wheels that roll over the ground, powered by motors and complete with sensors to detect which way you want to go. The scooters do not have handlebars, which makes them fairly tricky to operate. Riders must control the device using just their feet: to move forward, you lean forward, pushing down with your toes. To move backwards, you lean backwards, pushing down with your heels.
It’s easy to see why so many people want hoverboards: they’re undeniably cool. Being able to lean in one direction and have the hoverboard go that way is very futuristic — and a lot of fun! These devices made their way onto the Christmas list of many kids, teens and adults in 2015 — before the Consumer Product Safety Commission began to take action.
The Danger of Hoverboards
Hoverboards can be a lot of fun, but they can be dangerous — not just because inexperienced users often fall off, but because their batteries have been known to malfunction, causing fires.
Most hoverboards run on batteries—typically, lithium ion batteries. These batteries have flammable liquid electrolytes that may explode if they overheat. This could occur if the batteries get too much voltage when charging or from prolonged use. Injuries have been reported from both charging the boards and for using them for too long, causing the batteries to explode. Several retailers voluntarily stopped selling hoverboards once these risks became known. In February 2016, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided that no hoverboard currently on the U.S. market can be considered safe until it meets new safety standards. Specifically, these scooters must be certified by UL before being sold. Without certification, hoverboards “pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers.”
In addition to injuries from fires, many people have been hurt by falling from hoverboards. This could happen in any number of ways, such as if a scooter hits a stationary barrier, like a curb, causing the rider to pitch forward unexpectedly. People have suffered severe facial injuries, broken bones and more from these falls. One New York man filed a lawsuit against a hoverboard manufacturer after his home burned down, allegedly as a result of charging his device.
If You Have Been Hurt By A Hoverboard
Thousands of people purchased hoverboards before major retailers stopped selling them, and many still have them in their homes. While you may not have experienced issues from your hoverboard, it is still possible for the battery to explode if it becomes overheated. If you have been hurt or have experienced losses due to riding or using a hoverboard in any way, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. A lawsuit could be based on the defective nature of the product, such as it being improperly designed or manufacturer, or from the failure of the manufacturer to properly warn users about the risks of using a hoverboard.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are skilled at handling all types of personal injury and defective products lawsuits. We offer free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we are able to recover money for you. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help if you’ve suffered damages from using a hoverboard.