Thursday, April 21, 2016

Clearwater Hoverboard Injuries

What is a Clearwater Hoverboard?

The term “hoverboard” may generate an image of a person soaring or levitating through the air on a skateboard or surf board-like device. In reality, however, the device is tethered to the ground, rolls on two wheels, and is subject to the same rules of gravity as all other things.

Aside from the standard mechanical parts that make up most scooters, self-balancing scooters have several other components that allow them to maintain their pitch and balance. Inside all self-balancing scooters are a gyroscope, a number of microprocessors, and two or more independent motors that balance the board. This hardware is all powered by a lithium ion battery which is housed in the same unit. Aside from the regular and natural falling risk, it is these batteries that present the greatest risk for an accident that produces a significant and life threatening risk not only to the rider but also to others in the immediate area.

Consumer Product Safety Commission Warning to Clearwater Residents

On February 19, 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission[1] (CPSC) took the unprecedented step of sending a letter to hoverboard manufacturers, importers, and retailers telling them that all hoverboards are potentially unsafe.  The CPSC letter indicated that the self-balancing two-wheeled scooters pose an "imminent hazard" and may be seized or recalled by the government. Anyone caught selling unlicensed hoverboards risk civil and criminal penalties, according to the US government.

According to Elliot F. Kaye, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, his agency has received at least a dozen reports of hoverboard fires in ten states, which included homes being burned to the ground. In hopes of finding answers as to why the popular boards are bursting into flames while their batteries are charging, engineers have been working around the clock at the agency's testing facilities in Maryland to determine if certain manufacturers used cheap lithium-ion batteries that may not be compatible with the board's charger. The CPSC is charged with protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury, death and property damage fromthousands of types of products which cost our nation more than $1 trillion dollars annually.

Hoverboard Manufacturer Warns Clearwater Consumers

A major manufacturer of hoverboards, Swagway[2], has also told people who own its hoverboards to quit using them until they are deemed safe.  "In complying with the CPSC's requirements, we ask customers who have purchased a Swagway to refrain from using their boards in the interim."  "We will issue a recall if necessary, as soon as we fully understand the exact specifics that need to be addressed according to the CPSC requirements and will offer a remedy for our customers accordingly."

Duty of Care Owed to Clearwater Residents

Generally speaking, consumer product liability is based on a duty of care. Any manufacturer has a duty to design a reasonably safe product. Moreover, when a distributor or product marketer places an inherently dangerous product (such as anything with malfunctioning steering or explosive batteries) into the channels of commerce, it has a duty to adequately warn of the danger and the duty to provide instructions as to its proper use.  As such, manufacturers, distributors and resellers could be held liable for all damages as a result of their failure adequately design, inspect and test a defective hoverboard which not only start on fire, but there have been hundreds of reports of people falling off of their hoverboards and incurring significant injuries, including numerous brain injuries and fractures of various bones.  Those types of injuries have the potential to be permanently life-altering.

Clearwater Lawyers for Hoverboard Accident Victims

If you or a loved one received a hoverboard over the holidays or have otherwise been injured as a result of a hoverboard, it is important to speak to a Clearwater hoverboard accident lawyer as soon as possible.  The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can review your case, assist with the filing of claims or in dealing with insurance companies and, where appropriate, to file a lawsuit on your behalf against any business entity that may be responsible for your damages.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900