Santa Barbara Skateboarding Accident Attorneys
Skateboarding was born in Southern California, and 70 years later, the activity is as popular as ever in the region. But skateboarding is also a dangerous activity, even with California’s mandatory helmet law for riders under 18 years of age. Skateboarding injuries can be as minor as a scraped knee or as deadly as a traumatic brain injury.
The biggest danger to skateboarders are the motor vehicles they often share the road with. Skateboarders are relatively small, so many drivers don’t see them. This often results in collisions that cause severe injuries.
If you or your child has been injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, missed work, and more. But don’t expect the driver’s insurance company to offer you the payout you deserve - that’s not part of their business plan. To get compensation worthy of your losses, you’re going to need an experienced personal injury lawyer.
There is no understating the danger motor vehicles pose to skateboarders. In 2014, 28 people were killed while skateboarding in the United States. Of those 28, 23 were hit by motor vehicles. Since skateboarders have no protection - other than helmets or knee and elbow pads - the injuries they sustain when hit by a car or truck are severe.
Some of the common vehicle vs. skateboard injuries include the following:
- Road rash: This type of injury may require skin grafts and plastic surgery, and can leave disfiguring scars.
- Broken and crushed bones: Bones of the hands, elbows, and knees are particularly vulnerable.
- Internal organ damage: These injuries are often hard to detect, and can become deadly.
- Broken/loss of teeth: This can cause long-term dental problems, be very painful, and require thousands of dollars to fix.
- Concussions: Even if the rider is wearing a helmet, concussions can still occur.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Injuries to the brain are dangerous, and even a minor impact can be life-altering.
- Spinal cord injuries: Can result in partial or complete paralysis.
The California Driver’s Handbook defines a pedestrian as "…a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates, skateboard, etc., other than a bicycle…." Since skateboarders are pedestrians, they are afforded all the protections that pedestrians are afforded in California. We’ll share an example with you from our own case files.
In 2017, our client was riding his "razor" scooter on the sidewalk in Santa Barbara while a driver, who was preparing to exit a parking lot, brought his vehicle to a stop in the parking lot immediately before the sidewalk began. Our client made eye contact with the driver, and proceeded to pass in front of the vehicle. The driver suddenly moved forward into the sidewalk, colliding with our client and running over him with both the front and rear passenger-side tires before entering the street!
Is the driver liable? Certainly. Vehicle Code § 21804 provides: "The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic, as defined in section 620, approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield that right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety." (Emphasis added.)
Vehicle Code § 620 provides: "The term ‘traffic’ includes pedestrians, ridden animals, vehicles, street cars, and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using any highway for purposes of travel." (Emphasis added.) As such, the driver had a duty to yield the right-of-way to our client, and acted negligently when he failed to do so.
If you or your child has been injured in a skateboarding accident, you will face mounting medical bills and other monetary losses. By filing a personal injury claim against the responsible driver, you can recover for the following damages:
- Current and future medical bills.
- Pain and suffering.
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Household and vehicle modifications to accommodate your injuries (wheelchair ramps, etc.).
- Permanent injury or disability.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Emotional trauma and mental anguish.
- Lost wages.
- Loss of career or earning capacity.
- Property loss or damage.
- Wrongful death damages in the event you’ve lost a loved one.
If you or a family member has been injured in a skateboarding accident, your life is going to be temporarily turned upside down. There’s going to be time spent at the hospital, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and other obligations. An experienced personal injury attorney can take care of the tedious legal matters while you concentrate on healing. Your attorney will deal with the liable party’s insurance company, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been injured in Southern California, contact the experienced Santa Barbara skateboarding injury lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC. We take a personal interest in our clients, and will see your case through to the end. Call (805) 962-2022 for a free consultation. If there is compensation available for you, we’ll pursue it aggressively.
Skateboard Accident Case Results
- $40,000 Settlement - Premises Liability - Skateboard Hit Uneven Cement
∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case. View more case results here.
- Skateboarding Safety - American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- Skateboarding Safety - National Safety Council