How Technology Has Impacted Personal Injury Laws

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By KFB Law

Most people would agree that technology improves our lives. From high-tech cooking devices to computers and smartphones, new technology can enhance daily experiences, save time, and provide entertainment.

Hidden behind the advantages of high-tech devices is the potential danger involved in operating them. Cell phones, for example, have become notorious for causing automobile crashes due to driver inattention, and many states have instituted hands-free driving laws in response.

The widespread use of cell phones is the most dangerous distraction on the road. Self-driving cars can lull a driver into believing they do not need to pay attention to their tasks. Drones can pose significant hazards to persons and property.

Certain toys and vehicles like rechargeable hoverboards are still causing house fires and damage, even several years after first being introduced. This article will examine the potential personal injury risk of several technological advancements.

Cell Phones as a Distraction

The use of cell phones while driving is a serious problem on our roads. Every day in the United States, 9 people are killed and upward of 1,000 people injured in crashes involving distracted driving.

When a driver looks down to send or read a text, that takes their eyes off the road for a precious 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that means they have traveled the length of a football field.

The National Safety Council believes that crashes caused by driver inattention are under-reported. They estimate that as many as 27 percent of all vehicle crashes could involve distracted driving.

Cell phones can also cause distractions when a person is walking. Keeping their heads down and paying attention to texting or checking email, a person may

Dangerous Toys

Another high-tech product that causes significant numbers of personal injuries is the toy hoverboard. The hoverboard is a good representative of the dangers posed by improper use of technological gadgets. While hoverboards were in the news a number of years ago, they are still in use today and still causing injuries.

Children are the most frequently injured by hoverboards, but these products can also overheat while they are charging, causing fires and burns. These products cause injuries from falls and entanglement.

A 2018 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that about 26,000 youths received emergency room treatment for injuries related to hoverboards. This data is drawn from the two-year period of 2015 and 2016, when the toys were at their peak of popularity.

Fires caused by hoverboards are rarer than falls, but they can cause devastation to a home and a family. In March 2017, a tragic house fire caused by a hoverboard killed two children aged 3 and 10.


While the dangers posed by hoverboards were well-known in the United States several years ago, many people do not realize that these questionable “toys” are still on the market and actively used today. These toys can cause serious bodily injury from falls and entanglement. They can also cause fire damage and burns, particularly when the units are charging.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 40 percent of children injured by a hoverboard suffer from fractures, with another 17 percent experiencing bruises. 13 percent of children presented with strains or sprains. It is worth noting that other wheeled toys like bicycles and skateboards show similar and sometimes higher rates of injury.

The primary danger of a hoverboard is the risk of fire. Newer hoverboards that comply with the UL 2272 safety standards are less likely to catch fire while they are charging. Parents should be careful to stop using older hoverboards, including buying used models.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, hoverboards have caused 250 incidents related to overheating or fires since 2015. A tragic fire caused by a hoverboard in March 2017 claimed the lives of a 2-year-old and a 10-year-old. Hoverboards have caused a cumulative $4 million in property damages.

Caution is Required

Whenever high-tech products are being used, people must pay attention to their surroundings. They must also make sure that toys like hoverboards are charged and maintained properly, with children taught to operate them safely.

Personal injury law can cover all of these situations. Turning to a Tampa personal injury attorney can help you resolve situations that have caused you and your family pain and suffering.

Proving Liability

The basics of personal injury law dictate whether an injured person has the right to pursue a claim against an individual or company. Lawsuits involving self-driving cars have generally named the car manufacturer as the responsible party. It’s important to note, however, that there may also be negligence on the part of the driver. Drone and hoverboard injury cases can hold the device owner, or the owner of the home where the device is used, responsible for compensation.

All liability claims rest on creating a standard of fault. Insurance companies are motivated to deny claims whenever possible. Texting and driving, in particular, is a charge that can cause your liability to increase. In some cases, the insurance company can go after a person’s texting and telephone records as well as their social media pages. They may be able to find information that could point to an admission of fault for the accident.

Personal injury attorneys are available to help residents of Tampa and other parts of Florida receive compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering, and time they must take off from work. If you have a question about whether technology caused a legal liability, rely on your attorney to help you navigate your case.

If you have concerns or questions about your case, contact us or give us a call at (813) 543-6838 to speak with one of our expert attorneys.