Hoverboards have been one of the hottest new toys of the past year. However, many consumers have reported multiple injuries while using their hoverboards. Additionally, some hoverboards have even caught on fire, causing injuries to their owners. In Forsyth County, Georgia, urgent care clinics reported that they have seen a growing number of injuries caused by hoverboards. One physician stated that, in one shift, she treated five patients for hoverboard injuries. In most cases, hoverboard enthusiasts were injured as they tried to get off of the two-wheeled device. They would lose their balance and fall, which often caused serious injuries.
Hoverboards Contributing to a Growing Number of Injuries
Over the last year, hoverboards have become a popular accessory for individuals of all ages. Starting around the 2015 Christmas holidays, hoverboard sales began to grow more and more. Unfortunately, so did the number of reported injuries caused by these two-wheeled devices. Our personal injury attorney in Georgia reports that in Forsyth County, Georgia, urgent care centers saw a large number of injuries caused by hoverboards.
In a single shift, one physician commented that she treated five patients for hoverboard injuries. The injuries needed various types of treatment and ranged in severity. Some patients had broken bones, others needed stitches, and some had concussions.
Injuries on hoverboards are most likely when users try to stop riding them. Bringing them to a stop can be tricky, and can cause a user to lose his or her balance and fall. For first time users, the risk of a fall is even higher, since there is a bit of a learning curve to using the hoverboard. Hoverboards can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. At such a rate of speed, the risk of injury is significant, especially if no protective gear is being used.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, users of all ages, including both children and adults, should don safety gear while they ride hoverboards. Helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards should all be used to reduce the risk of injury.
However, falls are not the only issue that consumers are reporting with hoverboards.
There have been numerous reports of hoverboard fires as well. Some hoverboards reportedly ignited and exploded, creating a serious risk of injury or even death. Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines have all banned passengers from bringing hoverboards on a flight. In addition, hoverboards have been banned in the entire city of New York due to their hazardous nature. The risk of fire seems to be higher when the hoverboards are charging, since it is believed that battery malfunctions cause the devices to overheat.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are used in hoverboards, contain a flammable electrolyte. If the company that manufactures the hoverhoards uses a low quality battery, the chance of the hoverboard overheating and catching on fire increases. If numerous batteries are needed to charge the hoverboards, the risk of a fire increases even more.
As of the summer of 2016, over half a million hoverboards had been recalled because of the risk of fire. Thousands of customers have sought refunds for their hoverboards, which may cost up to $900 a piece. Amazon also pulled several hoverboard models from its website.
If you were injured by a hoverboard, you need to speak with an attorney
If you or a loved one fell off of a hoverboard, or if you were injured when a hoverboard caught on fire, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Georgia as soon as possible to determine what your legal options may be.