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Hoverboards Are a Hot Holiday Gift, but a Catchy Name May Conceal Multiple Personal Injury Risks

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The hype for hoverboards as this year’s hot holiday gift has come fast and furious since at least the weeks leading up to Black Friday. However this hype for hoverboards may conceal several particularly serious risks. Aside from the risk that the device can malfunction and cause a rider to fall to the ground and sustain serious, life-changing injuries other injury risks also exist.

Perhaps the most serious and anxiety-inducing risk concerning this product are nationwide reports that hoverboards can catch fire or explode. Reports indicate that hoverboards have caught fire while being charged and also while in-use. In at least one instance, a home was destroyed due to a fire that burned so intensely that the entire building was engulfed in flames in mere minutes. These two injury risks along with concerning statements by the Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman should make parents think twice before purchasing these products. However, if you, your child, or another loved one have already experienced severe injuries due to a defective product in Bella Vista like a hoverboard, a Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer at the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 today or contact us online.

What Is a Hoverboard?

A hoverboard is probably more aptly described as a self-balancing or self-correcting scooter. Like traditional scooters, hoverboards travel across paved surfaces on two wheels. However, unlike traditional scooters, a hoverboard is equipped with a gyroscope, two or more independent motors, microprocessors, and a lithium-ion battery. This hardware is used to control and balance the scoter such that the rider does not have to concern him or herself with balancing the unit. When the product works as intended, a rider should be able to effortlessly glide over pavement. Unfortunately, a number of injury risks exist with these devices that prevent them from working as intended.

Hoverboards Lack Safety Standards & Present Falling, Fire, and Explosion Injury Risks

Hoverboards are known to contribute to serious injury or catastrophic property damage through two separate mechanisms of injury. First, the devices are known to catch fire and explode when they are in use and when they are charging. Incidents that have occurred regarding hoverboard explosions and fires include:

Washington – A hoverboard fire at a Washington mall was captured on a cell phone and uploaded to YouTube. One can clearly see a burning hoverboard on the ground that is extinguished with a fire extinguisher.
Louisiana – Two hoverboard fires have occurred in this state. The more shocking of the fires occurred when the device was charging in the family home. According to the mother of the child who owned the device, “It was like fireworks … the middle part of the board — just ‘poof’.” The house was destroyed by the fast-moving intensely burning fire.
New York – A Westchester family reported that the hoverboard purchased for their son caught fire while charging in the living room. A family member was able to extinguish the blaze before it spread.
Alabama – The hoverboard belonging to a man from Gulf Shores, Alabama had his hoverboard catch fire (flash video) while apparently in use. He says, “I came outside turned it on, came down the sidewalk not even a 100 feet, and it exploded. Batteries started shooting out of it; you would not expect a fire like that to come out of a little thing like that. I was not expecting something like that. I cannot believe this y’all. It is on fire. It just blew up. $500 just like that.”

Aside from the risk presented by hoverboard fires, CPSC Chairman Kaye also stated that he, “[does] not want to downplay the fall hazard.” The chairman elaborated stating that CPSC has received reports of falls from the device from emergency rooms across the nation. Some injuries have been potentially life-altering. These injuries include concussions, TBIs, broken bones, and injuries to internal organs. It appears that these injuries can occur when the device is working properly, but lockups and other malfunctions make falls significantly more likely.

If the potential for a serious house fire or severe injuries weren’t enough to deter your use of these hoverboards, the chairman also lamented the lack of safety standards in place for the devices. The chairman states that retailers should always ask about safety standards before selling a product because “strong safety standards protect consumers.” The lack of standards should spur retailers to require extra proof of safety regarding the design and construction of the device.

Injured by a Defective Hoverboard?

If you or a loved one have suffered serious, life-altering injury due to a hoverboard fire, explosion, or fall, an Arkansas personal injury attorney of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak can help. To discuss whether our practice and services are a good match for your personal injury situation call 470-439-1843 or contact us online today.

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