Hoverboards Pose Danger of Injury and Fire to Consumers
If you purchased a hoverboard for yourself or your child over the holidays, you’re not alone. Hoverboards were among the most popular holiday gifts of 2015. However, the craze for hoverboards is now giving way to numerous complaints of injuries received while riding hoverboards, as well as serious concerns over electrical failings in the devices resulting in fires.
Two-wheeled, motorized, self-balancing scooters—or, hoverboards—look like sideways skateboards. Riders control the boards by shifting their weight forward, backward, or to the side on the device’s footpads, and the boards can travel at up to 15 miles per hour. Hoverboard sellers claim that the devices are easy to ride and intuitive to control, but dozens of injured riders might disagree. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has received 70 reports of injuries requiring a visit to the emergency room, and many more injuries occurred which did not warrant urgent medical attention. Most of these injuries were caused by falls and collisions, though at least one was caused by smoke inhalation when a hoverboard caught fire. As with falls from skateboards, many of the injuries are caused by victims catching themselves with outstretched arms when they fall, resulting in hand, arm, and wrist injuries and fractures. However, the impact from such falls can also travel up the arm and result in injuries to the neck, shoulder, and head. One teen was filmed falling off his hoverboard, striking his head on the concrete, and being knocked unconscious. In another instance, a parent who had purchased one of the devices for her daughter fell backward off the hoverboard and shattered her elbow, requiring surgery and months of rehabilitation. Users are advised to wear safety gear such as helmets and wrist guards while riding the devices.
In addition to the risks posed by falling off moving hoverboards, the CPSC is also investigating fires that have been started by the devices. The safety agency has so far received 22 reports of fires which originated with a hoverboard, and are currently conducting research in CPSC facilities to test the devices’ propensity to burst into flame. The CPSC advises owners to watch the boards while they charge, as that is when they are most prone to catch on fire.
If you have been injured by a hoverboard and need legal assistance to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, contact attorney Andrew Jacobs for a free consultation on your potential claims, at 973-532-9681.