Over time, Onewheel accidents have become more common. If you or your loved one sustains injuries from a one-wheel accident, you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. With the help of an experienced product liability lawyer, you can receive compensation for your injuries. You should not hesitate to contact Consumer Alert Now if you feel that you have grounds for filing a Onewheel accident lawsuit in the United States.
Understanding How A One Wheel Electric Skateboard Works
Onewheel refers to a single-wheel, self-balancing electric skateboard invented by Future Motion Inc CEO and founder Kyle Doerksen. This device contains a brushless electric motor that spins to propel a rider forward or backward. The motor makes countless micro-adjustments per second to ensure that riders are balanced. When using Onewheel electric skateboards, riders place their feet on either side of the wheel. In addition, the device contains pressure-sensitive pads that enable it to detect when a rider is on it.
The rider leans slightly towards the direction they intend to travel to direct the skateboard. When a rider wants to stop, they lift their foot off the side of the front footpad. Depending on the Onewheel model they are using, a rider can stop the skateboard using the optional dismount system. The rider will have to lean backward to make the device disengage and stop slowly, allowing them to step off.
Onewheel contains internal gyroscopes and accelerometers to help measure the board's orientation in space. These monitors come in handy in reading and telling the motor what to do to balance the rider's movement and balance. For example, all Onewheel models have a "pushback" that warns the rider whenever they are about to reach the maximum speed. When the rider approaches unsafe speeds, the pushback lifts the nose of the Onewheel, alerting the rider that they should slow down.
There is an option to use an app to display the miles traveled, the battery charges, and regulate the different operation modes for the rider. An app also gives a rider the freedom to control other device functions and personalize how the skateboard responds to their unique riding style.
When riding Onewheel electric skateboards, riders can propel themselves to speeds of up to 20mph by using their body positioning, body weight, and balance. Future motion is a company established in 2013, made the Onewheel e-skateboard its first product. This product has garnered many followers in the last few years, and the company has sold thousands of Onewheel devices.
Determining If A Onewheel Was Defective
When filing a product liability claim after suffering injuries in a Onewheel accident, you need to establish whether the device was defective. Even though many people consider the Onewheel to be a fun device meant to help people move around, many accidents resulting from the skateboard prove that it is not entirely safe. Many riders have been victims of a Onewheel nosedive instead of what was meant to be a leisurely Onewheel ride. A nosedive Onewheel accident occurs if the skateboard's motor shuts off when the device is in use, slamming forward into the ground. This, in turn, causes the rider to nosedive from the skateboard, sustaining severe injuries.
Onewheel Skateboard Accidents On The Rise
Over the last several years, electric skateboards have continued to gain immense popularity. These skateboards are popping up in many cities and across the globe. They rank among the most popular personal transport devices. How safe are the Onewheel electric skateboards? There is no doubt that electric skateboards can be ridden safely. However, the problem results due to their high attraction to beginners. Many inexperienced riders are tempted to try electric skateboards without proper experience.
The majority of electric skateboards have a lot of power, which makes them accelerate and move fast. The other factor that makes the Onewheel electric skateboard risky is that riders use these devices on hard pavements. Therefore, in case of a Onewheel accident, the driver is likely to incur severe injuries. However, if people master the proper riding skills and wear protective gear, the Onewheel electric skateboard would be much safer.
The Onewheel electric skateboard fascinates many riders, most of whom have no prior experience on a skateboard. Many new riders move at speeds that even experienced skateboarders would not try. Even if the Onewheel electric skateboard resembles a gadget, its speed and power could match an electric car. The unfortunate thing is that, unlike an electric car, a Onewheel electric skateboard has no protective casing, and in case of an accident, the rider absorbs the full impact. Even in the beginner-riding mode, a Onewheel skateboard can surprise you with unexpected acceleration and torque.
How safe a Onewheel skateboard is will depend on several factors, including whether the rider is aware of the various risk factors. A rider has a role to play in preventing a skateboard accident and avoiding liability in case of an accident. A necessary precaution that every rider should take is ensuring that they ride the skateboard at a safe speed.
The Pushback Feature
The Onewheel electric skateboard contains a pushback feature. This feature causes the motor to cut out when the skateboard climbs or descends a hill, reaches maximum speed, or when the battery is almost empty. The role of the pushback feature is to warn the rider and alert them of impending danger. The irony is that even if the role of the pushback feature is to enhance the rider's safety, it often limits a rider making it hard for them to maintain balance, often causing severe injuries. This feature often makes it challenging for riders to remain upright and steer correctly, making them nosedive from the device. If you suffer injuries in a nosedive accident, an experienced attorney will investigate the accident and help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.
Some of the factors that an attorney might consider when preparing your case include:
- Whether Future Motion upheld its duty of care in designing, manufacturing, and marketing the Onewheel skateboard
- Whether the Future Motion Inc warned consumers and informed them of the risk of injury, even when riders use the skateboard in the proper manner
- Your attorney will also consider if the skateboard manufacturer misleads consumers, especially during marketing, making them believe that the skateboard is a safe device.
Injuries That You May Sustain In A Nosedive Accident
What are some of the common injuries that you may sustain in a nosedive accident?
The injuries you sustain will vary depending on the device's speed at the time of the accident. You are likely to sustain severe injuries if the skateboard was moving at a speed of 20mph or higher at the time of the crash. The typical injuries that you may sustain in a nosedive accident include:
- Broken legs and arms
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken collarbones
- Neck injuries
In 2019, a man suffered severe brain injuries from a nosedive accident and died in Texas. As a result, Texas lawyers filed a lawsuit against Future Motion Inc. The lawyers filed a civil product liability lawsuit against the skateboard manufacturer, claiming defects in the Onewheel skateboard in Santa Cruz County Superior court on behalf of the victim's surviving spouse and son. The lawsuit sought compensation for emotional injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost financial support, and punitive damages.
The court records indicated that the lawsuit revolved around the man’s wrongful death due to a defective device. The man suffered injuries and died while riding the skateboard in a neighborhood park. According to the lawsuit, the victim was riding on a paved surface when the Onewheel skateboard shut down and nosedived. As a result, the front of the skateboard slammed forward and threw the man onto the hard pavement. The man suffered extensive head and brain injuries and did not make it even after being airlifted to a local hospital for emergency surgery.
Design Defects And Failure To Warn
As outlined in the civil product liability lawsuit, Texas's man injuries resulted from a poorly designed and manufactured Onewheel skateboard. The case also cited failure to warn, strict liability, negligent design, and other violations of the law by misleading consumers and making them believe that the Onewheel was safe. The lawsuit outlined that the manufacturer downplayed the risks associated with the skateboard.
In the plaintiff's claim, the lawyers outlined that the pushback feature designed to warn riders and help them avoid dangerous conditions instead hindered the rider's ability to balance, leading to what felt like a sudden motor cut out or shut off. This sudden and unexpected nosedive throws the rider off the skateboard and onto the pavement.
The skateboard also contains a regeneration pushback. The role of regenerative pushback is to prevent battery damage as the Onewheel gathers kinetic energy while descending. However, this feature protects the battery at the expense of the rider's safety. It is difficult for the rider to determine when the shut-off will occur. These indiscernible and unexpected events often cause the rider to be ejected from the skateboard leading to extreme injuries and, at times, death.
How To Reduce Liability In A Onewheel Accident
Onewheels are popular among people looking for an electric skateboard with a difference. Onewheel skateboards appeal to many riders because they emulate the feeling of snowboarding and surfing. However, riding a Onewheel comes with some inherent risks. Many beginner riders experience a steep learning curve when using Onewheel skateboards, often causing many riders difficulties. In addition, Onewheel electric skateboards are known for their common nosedives. If a rider fails to take necessary precautions, they may suffer severe injuries in case of a nosedive. Below are some tips that keep riders safe and help them avoid liability in case of a nosedive accident:
Wearing The Right Riding Gear
The most important tip while riding a Onewheel is wearing the proper protective gear. While riding on hard pavement, the protective gear serves as your last line of defense from the hard pavement. Because the Onewheel skateboard is balanced on a single wheel, it is easier for the rider to be thrown from the board. Therefore, it is advisable to wear protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves, thick pants, a durable jacket, and other protective clothing. In this case, the manufacturer can't deny liability and claim that the injuries suffered in a nosedive accident could have been avoided if you were wearing the proper protective clothing.
Start With Beginner Mode
The Onewheel electric skateboard allows riders to switch between different riding modes using the Onewheel app. You have the freedom to choose the ideal riding mode that suits your preferred riding application. Riders will also select a riding mode depending on other factors including the need for off-road action or when riding in areas with steep inclines. The problem arises when the rider chooses the incorrect mode, meaning that the skateboard might be unresponsive or too responsive. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you know every mode well to help you determine the settings that match your riding style. If you are just getting started with the Onewheel, it is advisable to stick to the beginner mode, which has moderate acceleration and responsiveness. The beginner mode is more forgiving than other riding modes and will keep you out of trouble.
When setting the riding mode on a Onewheel skateboard, a rider should be careful. Getting the settings wrong could spell disaster. Avoid choosing the custom mode unless you are well versed with riding a Onewheel.
Avoid Maximum Speeds
Irrespective of the riding mode your Onewheel is in, you should avoid riding at the maximum speed. Doing this will prevent nosedives that often occur when riders push too hard, increasing the riding speeds. You might put too much weight on the front of the Onewheel deck if you push too hard to reach maximum speeds. The board might end up overbalancing in the forward direction, making the skateboard's nosedive on the riding surface, throwing the rider onto the ground. This often happens to many Onewheel riders.
Even the most experienced Onewheel riders experience nosedives. You can avoid liability by ensuring that you remain off the maximum speed. When you do this, you won’t push your Onewheel’s nose too close to the ground. It is imperative to avoid extreme speeds if you ride into a strong wind, traveling uphill, or going over cracks and bumps. The motor will adjust and make any necessary corrections if you do not push it to its limits. When you push the motor to its limit, it will have little capability to self-correct, and an accident is highly likely to occur.
Check The Battery Levels
The Onewheel is likely to lose its ability to correct a rider error, increasing the risk of a nosedive if the battery goes too low or entirely runs out of power. The rule of thumb is that you should not allow your Onewheel battery to go below 10 to 20%. This way, the board will have enough power to help you if you make a slight misjudgment. Often, many riders become overwhelmed by the thrill of riding, taking their thoughts off everything, including the battery levels. When the Onewheel is extremely low on battery, it will perform an aggressive pushback, indicating that it is time to get off the Onewheel and charge it. If you ignore signs of a low battery, the Onewheel might shut down suddenly, which is extremely risky, especially when riding at high speeds.
Another essential precaution when riding a Onewheel is ensuring that you keep your weight centered on the wheel. You should avoid leaning far forward because this increases the risk of a nosedive.
Filing A Product Liability Claim After A Onewheel Accident
A product liability claim is a formal court proceeding when a victim sues a manufacturer over injuries suffered due to a dangerous or defective product. Victims or the victim's relatives file these lawsuits to hold liable manufacturers accountable for putting a faulty product on the market. Every year, defective products cause thousands of injuries in the United States.
How does a product liability claim work?
Usually, if a person has grounds to file a product liability claim, they may first try to negotiate with the product manufacturer before filing a formal claim in court. In most cases, the victim’s lawyer tries to settle the case out of court. However, the case proceeds to court if an outside settlement fails and the manufacturer refuses to pay a reasonable amount to compensate the victim for their injuries. After filing a formal lawsuit, the judge determines how much compensation the victim deserves. If you feel that you have grounds to file a product liability claim, you should contact an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
It is crucial to ensure that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after suffering injuries. The statute of limitations for federal product liability claims is two years from the occurrence of the damage. A company or manufacturer may be held liable if they place goods in the hands of consumers, yet these goods have design and manufacturing defects. Most product liability in the United States revolves around situations where an item was expected to be safe, but it ended up causing an injury or death of another person.
Several parties in the production chain may be liable, including the product manufacturer, assembler, or the store that sold the product. Product liability claims are based on negligence and strict liability. Product liability claims are often intricate, requiring a deep investigation by experts, including product liability lawyers.
Winning A Product Liability Claim
The first step towards winning a product liability claim is ensuring that you work with a skilled and experienced product liability lawyer. When choosing a product liability lawyer, you should not decide based on official seals, fancy websites, or online reviews because most of these are often fabricated. Instead, it would be best if you went for a reputable product liability lawyer who isn’t involved in unethical practices or disciplinary proceedings.
You should ensure that you act fast because product liability claims have a time limit from the time of the injury to file a claim. The longer you wait, the more complicated it will be for the lawyer to prove the manufacturer’s negligence and help you seek monetary compensation. The majority of product liability cases take extended time and litigation.
Damages Available In Product Liability Claims
Defective products, including Onewheel electric skateboards, cause severe injuries every year. Even if victims deserve compensation, it is not always easy to get what they deserve. Product liability claims revolve around strict liability or negligence. Victims can receive compensatory damages to cover the losses resulting from the defective product. The damages that you may recover after suffering injuries in a Onewheel accident are:
The victim will receive compensation for medical expenses incurred in seeking treatment for the injuries sustained in the nosedive accident. Compensation for medical care will cover pharmaceutical bills, hospital bills, and physical therapy costs, among others.
The victim will also receive compensation for lost income due to the time spent away from work because of the injuries. In addition, the victim also receives compensation for disability costs and property damage that could have resulted from the accident.
The non-economic damages include permanent disfigurement if the victim suffers permanent scarring on specific body parts because of the accident. You may also receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is compensation for pain, suffering, anguish, and loss of enjoyment resulting from your injuries. Loss of consortium compensation is also available to cover the negative consequences of the damage to your relationship with your spouse or an intimate partner.
Victims can also receive punitive damages if they prove that the product manufacturer or supplier demonstrated an extreme disregard for the safety of consumers. The judge or the jury handling the product liability claim will be responsible for determining whether the manufacturer or supplier should pay punitive damages.
Find A Product Liability Attorney Near Me
If you have suffered injuries in a Onewheel accident, it is advisable to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will determine the extent of your injuries and help you file a claim to seek compensation. At Consumer Alert Now, we have highly experienced product liability lawyers representing victims throughout the United States. Our attorneys are not afraid to go against insurance companies and large corporations to seek compensation for victims. Contact us at 800-511-0747 and speak to one of our attorneys.