Hoverboards: The next frontier in personal injury law

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


In this post-holiday season, many people may now be dealing with the impact of the Christmas gift-giving binge. For some, that’s tackling enormous credit card bills, for others, it may be recovering from hoverboard-related injuries. The new tech toys were the hottest item this year, with kids and adults clamoring for the personal transportation items. Though they may be fun, they’ve also proven to be quite difficult to operate safely, opening up a new avenue for personal injury claims. To find out more, keep reading.


arm in cast Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Accident AttorneyHoverboards are the general category that covers a multitude of specific products. These boards have two wheels and a board to place your feet on. Operators step on the device and can direct their movement by leaning forward or backward. They’re fun and a can be a source of great amusement. Sadly, they can also be a source of great pain.


Since becoming the focus of media attention, the hoverboards have begun collecting bad press as well. It’s been reported that hoverboards have been randomly and without warning bursting into flames. The fires have occurred at many different times, some while the boards are charging and others while in use.


Another, and likely much larger problem, has to do with injuries to operators. The devices can lurch forward unexpectedly and are often more sensitive than people imagine. Though they are treated as toys, they can move quickly and cause tremendous damage, sending riders tumbling onto hard pavement, other people or objects, in turn leading to cuts, bruises and broken bones.


According to news reports, lawsuits have already been filed by owners of the hoverboards, including at least two different class-action lawsuits. In one case out of New York, a man filed suit claiming that the hoverboard he purchased, a Swagway, was defective after it caught fire while it was charging. In another case out of Alabama, a couple is suing a local retailer after one of the devices caught fire at their home.


Another problem for hoverboard manufacturers is that government regulators may soon be closing in on those companies responsible for putting out shoddy pieces of equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has revealed that it is currently investigating nearly two-dozen complaints re: hoverboard fires. The CPSC says it is busy testing the products in its labs, but hasn’t yet issued any broad warnings. That hasn’t stopped the airline industry, with Delta leading the charge in banning the products from its planes after the reports of sudden fires began to increase.


One concern injured owners may have is that the vast majority of hoverboard manufacturers are located overseas, specifically, in China. Though it is true that this can complicate filing lawsuits, it absolutely does not prevent these claims for faulty or defective products from moving forward. Overseas companies still have financial assets located in the U.S. that can be seized in the event of a successful civil claim. Additionally, retailers can also be sued if they are found responsible for harm caused by the products they market to unsuspecting consumers.


One point that’s important to note about those considering such a claim is that a valid lawsuit cannot be filed based purely on clumsiness. The fact that someone trips or falls is not usually sufficient justification for a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, it will need to be demonstrated that the product is either misleadingly labeled or is instead defective and that these issues led to the harm suffered by the consumer.

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.


About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.







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