As you may well know, hoverboards are similar to skateboards only they are powered electronically. They run on batteries to be precise and the batteries can either be charged or replaced.
A hoverboard moves because of the sensors it has that are sensitive to your body’s movements and the pressure you put on the steps. They are pretty sensitive and whether or not you are a beginner, one wrong move can lead to an accident. There are several injuries you can get and usually it’s a sprain or a broken ankle. This is because riders can easily topple over due to the sensitivity of the sensors. However, there is another common accident you can get yourself into when using a hoverboard, and that is a fire.
Hoverboard fires occur when the lithium ion battery used inside has a leak or is not of high quality. Since the battery is crucial to the hoverboard, it is better to buy it from a high-quality manufacturer. But obviously, this is not always the case since top brand hoverboards are relatively more expensive and often riders would prefer cheaper products.
Incidents of a hoverboard fire can occur whether the rider is using the hoverboard or charging it. During these times, the battery can overheat and can cause a fire. If you are riding it, you might have scars or burns or even a broken ankle because you will probably topple over once you realize your hoverboard is caught on fire. If you are charging indoors, the fire can spread to the things near it and can cause severe damage to property.
Safety Guidelines for Hoverboard Users
Not all hoverboards are bound to catch fire. Most of the time, hoverboards that are of high quality and whose brands are well-known in the industry are not prone to this. But for safety measures, it is best to know the following:
- have a handy fire extinguisher with you to immediately kill the fire
- charge your hoverboard outdoors or if you prefer indoors, keep it at a safe distance from combustible objects
- familiarize yourself with the legal courses of action you can take in case of fires
What to Do if you are Injured by a Hoverboard Fire
There are several things you can do during these incidents. First, get yourself treated, but you can also choose to document what happened (when you can) because this will help you with the other things you can do. Second, you can file a legal complaint against the manufacturer or retailer where you bought your hoverboard from.
You might be wondering why you could file a legal complaint. First and foremost, hoverboard fire injuries are serious and most of the time are not caused by the rider. During an investigation by the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission done in December 2015, they were able to prove that fires were caused by the lithium ion in batteries, therefore, making it the fault of the manufacturer and reseller since they produced and sold a product unfit to guarantee human safety. Moreover, it is not just you who would be injured. If your personal property was damaged because of overheating while charging, you have to be compensated for that. In this case, you should hire an attorney to guide and help you all throughout the legal process.
Legal Claims You Have as a Victim of a Hoverboard Fire
As the victim of a hoverboard fire, you can file a claim for the following:
- economic damages
- non-economic damages
- punitive damages
- product liability
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified. This means their monetary value is known. Examples of economic damages are medical expenses, hospital bills, attorney’s fees, work salary, property damages, and other related expenses incurred because of the fire injury.
As mentioned earlier, the manufacturer or seller is responsible still for the property damage a flaming hoverboard affects. On the other hand, non-economic damages are damages that you cannot directly quantify. These are feelings of sadness, trauma, and the like.
Punitive damages are unlike the other two because this is not granted for every hoverboard fire case. Punitive damages is also a kind of monetary compensation given to the injured party that is paid by the wrongdoer. It is more of a punishment rather than a reimbursement of expenses. Lastly, a product liability claim is a claim you can have because the product is defective. This aims to protect the buyer in good faith from the negligence and the warranty given by the manufacturer, designer, or the seller.
Is an Attorney Necessary?
An attorney is definitely necessary to ensure that damages due to you will be repaid. Having an attorney will greatly help you for legal advice and for put your case forward. Moreover, with enough complaints regarding a specific unit or brand, the manufacturer could be pressed to make a product recall.