Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler November 12, 2015

Segways are fun. Segways are popular. Segways also are dangerous, and you could suffer a serious injury while riding one.

What is a Segway?

A Segway is an electric-powered two-wheeled device for personal transport and holds only a rider and no passengers. As for how to ride a Segway, the rider balances while standing up and holding onto a chest-high handle or bar. The handle does not control speed or braking, only balance.

Much like an electric wheelchair, a Segway is considered a “personal motorized mobility device,” an “electric personal assistive mobility device” or a “personal assistive mobility device.” It’s also known as a personal transport, or PT.

A gyroscope helps to balance the vehicle, which moves in the direction that the rider leans. A Segway can travel as fast as 12.5 miles per hour. To stop, you lean backward and shift your weight, perhaps by straightening your arms, pulling back your shoulders and thrusting out your rear.

Launched in 2001, Segways are becoming increasingly popular for transportation in congested cities, particularly for recreational purposes or for tours. But they’re also used by businesses and even in security and law enforcement.

Though a Segway may offer a smooth ride, like any transportation device it can be involved in spills, crashes or accidents.

Segway Accidents

A Segway isn’t like any other form of transportation, such as a bicycle, and riding one takes practice. That’s why new riders are more likely to have Segway accidents than experienced riders, sometimes falling backward off of the device.

Also, a Segway isn’t as much in your own control as would be a bicycle. If a Segway malfunctions, perhaps with brakes not functioning, riders could be seriously injured.

Segways also will not jump over bumps in your path like a skateboard. A Segway can easily pass over a small bump, but for a large bump riders must steer around the impediment. If riders do not spot bumps ahead of them, they could hit them at full speed and fall.

Also, the Segway’s handle can whip upward and strike the rider in the face when it rebalances the device. Riders also can lose control of a Segway when it moves at its highest speeds. Segway controls are very sensitive, responding best to subtle moves by the rider. Sudden, jerky moves could cause a tumble.

Segway riders also can crash into other persons or vehicles when they appear unexpectedly. In other words, Segways can have accidents in about as many ways as a more conventional vehicle.

As a matter of fact, the inventor of Segway, Jimi Heselden, 62, died when his Segway plunged off of an 80-foot cliff.

Many YouTube videos also show Segway falls and accidents.

Segway Injuries

Riders who fall off of a Segway at a high speed or collide into another person, vehicle or object can suffer a variety of injuries, including:

  • Fractured bones
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Wrist damage
  • Brain injuries
  • Facial injuries

Riders are advised to wear protective gear such as helmets, just as motorcycle and bicycle riders often do. It’s also advisable to wear protective coverings for the arms and hands. Otherwise, Segway accidents are apt to cause even worse injuries.

Segway Legal Status

Technically, a Segway is considered a “consumer product” and is regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Unlike other forms of motorized vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not regulate Segway use. Laws regarding Segways normally are enacted on the local and state levels.

Most states have enacted laws allowing use of a Segway on bike paths, sidewalks and some roadways, although some cities exclude the devices. Segways are allowed in Texas.

Segways can be used on private property. Segways’ owner has managed to lobby many cities and states to allow the devices to be used on public property.

Segway Lawsuits, Recalls

Some people who have suffered Segway injuries have filed lawsuits against the seller or maker of the device.

The device’s manufacturer also issued a Segway recall in 2006 for over 23,000 units when it learned that a software defect could make the wheels suddenly reverse and go in the opposite direction.

If someone in your family was injured by riding a Segway, or perhaps was hurt when struck by a Segway ridden by someone else, notify Jim Adler & Associates. We’ll help you explore your chances for a successful injury claim or lawsuit, starting with a free case evaluation.

You may need a Segway accident lawyer or product liability attorney to steer you toward the proper moves for your case. Contact us today, and let us help.

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Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
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Lorenzo Preston
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