You see them everywhere – skateboarderss zipping around in spiraling circles, jumping over umpteem obstacles, and zooming past pedestrians. What a lot of people may not realize is that there are many skateboarders who have also become commuters.
The answer to the question of who is liable in a skateboard accident is, “it depends”.
Liability resides with the party who was careless and negligent. When I take a case in my personal injury practice, it is because someone has been injured in an accident caused by any number of things due to someone else’s fault.
In the case of a skateboard accident, the best way to answer the question of liability is to look at the circumstances. Who was injured – the skateboarder, a pedestrian, a person in a motor vehicle? Who caused the accident that created the injury? When these two questions are answered, we come closer to determining liability.
Skateboard accident scenarios
Let’s explore a few scenarios of a skateboard accident to determine possible liability. Before we start though, let’s get one thing out of the way. If the skateboard accident was the skateboarder’s fault and he or she is a minor (under 18 years of age), there is a real good chance that his or her parents may have to pay up or use their own insurance policies. A skateboarder causing an accident over the age of 18 will likely be held personally responsible.
- A person is skatingboarding on his way to work and hits a female pedestrian, knocking her to the ground. She falls on her side and breaks her arm.
- A teenage boy is skateboarding in the street and staying to the correct side of the road when he is hit by a passing truck. He suffers major injuries.
- A skateboarder is doing an ollie (a skateboard trip where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider’s hands), falls and sustains a head injury.
A quick analysis, without real details, would indicate the skateboarder in #1 scenario is negligent for going too fast in a pedestrian area. In #2, it appears that the truck would be liable for not seeing the teenager. There is no third-party liability in the last scenario, as the skateboarder caused the injury to himself.
Just as in any other type of accident, responsibility will be determined by the circumstances and it will be up to the injured party to prove negligence.
If you are a skateboarder, or a parent of a skateboarder, I highly recommend safety equipment use, such as helmets and knee pads. Be sure to follow the laws, just as cyclists must do, and use common sense when skateboarding around pedestrians and traffic.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a skateboard accident, give me a call. Consultations are free and we can help you determine if you have a legitimate claim.
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Little Rock, AR 72206
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