4 Jan 2012

Skateboarding injury claims soar

11:41 am on 4 January 2012

The Accident Compensation Corporation intends to focus on skateboarding and scooter riding this year as claims for injuries related to their use have soared.

ACC says claims from skateboarders and self-propelled scooter riders have risen more than 50% in the five years to July 2011, from 6265 claims in 2006-07 to 9752 in 2020-11, at a cost to the taxpayer of $28 million.

Keith McClea, ACC's general manager of insurance and prevention services, says there have been 453 claims for head injuries - some of which involve people so badly hurt they will have to be looked after for the rest of their lives.

Dr McClea urges skateboarders and scooter riders to wear a helmet.

ACC says as a result of inquiries by Radio New Zealand it will look at such activities as a priority because the number of claims and their cost are more substantial than it previously realised.