According to the National Safety Council, nearly 100,000 skateboard accident victims are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year. About half of those people are between the ages of 15 and 24. The overwhelming majority of them are males.
Skateboarding for Sport
We’ve all seen skateboarders trying to execute daredevil tricks in parks, on handicapped ramps and in front of buildings. They’re participating in skateboarding for sport. The general rule in California is that if a person is skateboarding for sport, he or she is assuming the risk of being injured or even killed. On that basis, the individual or his or her family members would be barred from bringing a negligence lawsuit for damages.
Skateboarding for Transportation
Some people use a skateboard as a form of transportation to travel to and from school, work or other destinations. That’s when a different set of rules applies. Skateboarders have a legal duty to use due care and caution for their own personal safety, but if a motorist encounters a skateboarder on or near a roadway, that motorist also has a duty to use due care and caution for the safety of the skateboarder. If there is an accident, the driver of a vehicle can be held liable for a skateboarder’s injuries and damages. Here are some of the types of injuries that skateboarders might suffer upon being hit by a vehicle:
- Wrist fractures and shoulder damage from extending one or both arms when trying to break a fall.
- Leg and hip fractures along with knee damage.
- Facial fractures, including the nose and jaw.
- Severe dental injuries.
- Damage to vital organs.
- Traumatic or surgical amputation of a limb.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord damage.
Prejudice Against Skateboarders
Drivers and their insurers may view skateboarders as engaging in reckless frivolity and frolic, but most people who ride skateboards are constantly aware of the dangers they face when they’re around vehicles. Drivers and insurance adjusters will often misstate the facts surrounding an accident with a skateboarder in efforts to push some or all of the fault for the accident over onto that victim. This type of prejudice must be attacked by an experienced and effective personal injury lawyer from the onset of a claim or lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accidents with Skateboarders
Careless pedestrians, joggers or bicyclists can also cause accidents with skateboarders. It only takes a thoughtless second or two for somebody to walk, run, or ride directly into the path of a skateboarder. When a person is using a skateboard as a mode of transportation, even road hazards like loose or missing drain covers can result in liability. A skateboard itself might even have one or more defectively dangerous design or manufacturing defects that can cause its manufacturer to be held liable.
Contact a Skateboard Lawyer
A serious skateboarding accident that was caused as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else can leave you with enormous outstanding medical bills, permanent disability and a lifetime of pain and suffering. Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law at (415) 466-8717 to arrange for a free consultation and case review as soon as possible after being seriously injured in a skateboard accident. In certain cases, short and strict time limits apply, so contact us at your earliest possible convenience.