The skaters of your youth have turned into adult commuters and they are riding their decks through crowded city streets, which has piqued your interest in skateboard liability. What does this mean in the case of injury and who can be sued in a skateboard crash?
Just as in any other type of accident, liability for an injury stemming from a skateboard crash will be considered under the law of negligence. Negligence has four elements which must be proven for an injury claim to succeed. Let’s review them here.
The four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and compensable harm (sometimes called damages). All four elements must be present for a negligence case to succeed, meaning — for example — that even if a defendant is at fault, a plaintiff cannot win if there was no injury.
Assuming, you are the plaintiff suing a skater, first you must show that the skater owed you a duty of care. The duty of care owed would be that of the a reasonable skater in same or similar circumstances.
What does that mean? An illustrative example may help you to see. If the skater you’re suing did an Ollie (a slightly tricky skating jump) onto a crowded sidewalk during rush hour, that is probably unreasonable and likely considered a breach of the duty of care owed. Thus, two elements of negligence are satisfied.
Next, you have to show that the defendant skater’s actions caused your injury and that there were no unforeseeable intervening circumstances. Say the skater argues that a car was coming, forcing the move to the sidewalk. Arguably, that is foreseeable and does not necessarily negate causation. But if a big truck going the wrong way down the street is what prompts the skater to Ollie onto your feet, then causation is not as clear (you could name the trucker in the suit, too, though).
Finally, you must show harm or damages. Is your claim compensable? Were you injured in such a way that an award from the court can make things right? Damages claims usually cover medical care, time for lost work and wages, and other costs associated with your injury.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you or someone you know was injured in a skating accident, or injured by a negligent skater, speak to a lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your claim.
- Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury)
- Standard of Care and the “Reasonable Person” (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Contributory and Comparative Negligence (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Defenses to Negligence Claims (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)