California Laws and Regulations on Riding Hoverboards
California hoverboard or electrically motorized board riders should be aware that there California laws that govern its use. Some of these California hoverboard laws include but are not limited to:
- Hoverboard riders are permitted to ride on public highways and roadways designated at 35 mph or less;
- Hoverboard riders must be at least 16 years or older to ride on public highways/roadways;
- Riders are not allowed to operate hoverboards on a highway, bikeway, or any other public bicycle path, sidewalk, or trail, at speeds over 15 mph;
- Hoverboard users are required to wear a helmet; and
- It is illegal to operate a hoverboard while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any drug
California Hoverboard Product Liability
Under California law, hoverboard sellers and manufacturers are legally liable for injuries caused by unsafe and dangerous products.
According to CACI 1200, product liability claims fall under a strict liability framework and the plaintiff is not required to prove the defendant’s negligence or dangerous intent.
What Does Plaintiff Need to Prove in Hoverboard Products Liability Cases?
Generally, in hoverboard products liability cases, the plaintiff has to establish the following elements:
- Hoverboard was manufactured, sold, or distributed by the defendant
- Hoverboard had a manufacturing defect, was defectively designed, did not have proper instructions, or failed to warn consumers about its dangers
- Defect or failure to warn consumers caused harm to the plaintiff.
California Hoverboard Product Liability Actions
California Hoverboard product liability actions can be brought under 3 product liability theories, which include:
- Design Defect, which asserts that the product’s design was an initial factor causing the injury to the consumer
- Manufacturing Defect, which asserts the product deviated from design specifications and that defect was a main and initial factor causing the injury to the consumer
- Failure to Warn, which asserts risks known to the defendant but not clear to a consumer and the defendant’s failure to provide a reasonable warning or notice, which was an initial factor causing the injury to the consumer
According to CACI Instructions design defect cases are divided into two separate categories:
- CACI 1203: Consumer Expectation Test
The product didn’t perform as safely as the consumer would have expected it to perform when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable way and this failure was the initial factor causing the injury to the consumer.
- CACI 1204: Risk/Benefit Test
Plaintiff first proves that the product’s design was an initial factor causing the injury. After that, the defendant must prove that the feasibility and drawbacks of an alternative design mean the benefits of the chosen design outweigh the risks.
Hoverboard Product Liability Cases
For example, in case a person is riding a hoverboard and the battery explodes, causing injuries, then the manufacturer can be legally responsible for the damages.
However, hoverboard manufacture may avoid being found liable, if, for instance, the hoverboard rider did something to the hoverboard which caused the battery to explode or used the board in a way other than its intended purpose. While, the manufacture may be free from liability if the hoverboard was used the wrong way, in some cases the manufacturer may be liable for failing to warn consumers about the proper way of using the hoverboard.
Hoverboard Products Liability Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a hoverboard fire or in any other consumer product-related injury, we invite you to contact KAASS Law for a free consultation at (310) 943-1171. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, and French.