What If My Motorcycle Accident Was Caused By a Defective Part?
What happens when a defective part causes a motorcycle accident? A crash can, of course, lead to serious and even fatal injuries that in many cases deserve compensation. From a legal standpoint, though, a defective product case can be difficult to resolve.
Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are constantly at risk of getting hurt when they ride a bike. In spite of wearing of safety gear, complying with all traffic rules, and driving carefully, accidents still occur. Rider often face serious injuries like road rash, fractured bones, spine and head trauma, and even death.
Equipment defects that usually lead to motorcycle accidents
Faulty motorcycle parts and flawed design can have a dangerous outcome for the bike’s owner and its passengers. Just one defective motorcycle part can cause a loss of control that can lead to a crash.
A number of equipment failures and defects can cause motorcycle accidents. The most common ones are:
Flawed motorcycle design
Defective motorcycle design is often at fault. Designers or engineers failed to detect an underlying danger in their work. Motorcycles with flawed designs are often difficult to control, resulting in life-threatening accidents.
Brake failure poses a great risk to the motorcycle rider as well as other motorists. Defective brakes and improper brake installation can make it hard for a bike to slow down or come to a full stop. Depending on what caused the brakes to fail, the motorcycle company, the parts manufacturer, or the bike shop that installed the brakes may be held liable.
Defective fuel system
Because a bike’s fuel system is in the open and in close contact to the driver’s lower body, a defective system can cause burns to the legs and lower extremities.
Tire defects are a major problem with cars and trucks but defective tires pose an even bigger problem to motorcycles. When treads get detached from the tire, the rider can lose control of steering and crash.
Safety gear like helmets can also have a poor design and hide some defects that can cause or fail to prevent injuries.
Other manufacturing defects
Good quality working parts are vital in the proper functioning of the motorcycle. If a part is of poor quality, improperly installed, or missing, the problem can result in a bike malfunction that can lead to serious crashes. Other equipment defects, besides the ones mentioned, include:
- Poor engine design
- Defective clutches
- Stuck throttles
- Defective handlebars
- Chain failures
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Defective pedals
What is meant by product liability law?
Defective or substandard products cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. every year. A legal field known as product liability law governs who is responsible for injuries caused by defective or substandard products. While these rules sometimes make it easier for accident victims to recover damages, this body of law is distinct from ordinary injury law.
Unlike ordinary vehicular accidents, motorcycle accidents resulting from defective parts and design come under the umbrella of product liability law. Product liability means that a manufacturer or vendor can be held liable if a defective product reaches the hands of a consumer. Liability for a defective product that causes injury falls on all vendors along the product’s distribution chain.
Who is to blame for motorcycle defects that result in an accident?
Instead of spending more on quality parts, bike manufacturers might engage in the use of cheaper or low-standard parts to save on production costs. This decision is likely to make manufacturers liable for accidents resulting from their cost-cutting measures.
Motorcycle crashes caused by poorly machined parts or a badly thought out design present a higher risk to users. In these cases, the company that designed the motorcycle can also be held responsible.
There are also instances where the garage or mechanic responsible for the bike’s maintenance can be held liable. They can get involved if an accident was caused by an improperly maintained motorcycle or incorrectly installed parts.
Discussing your case with a skilled attorney who is experienced with defective product liability laws is important to determine if you have a case.
Damages available for motorcycle accident victims
Victims of motorcycle accidents caused by defective parts have the right to seek compensation for a variety of damages. The most common types of include:
Medical expenses. Accident victims can receive compensation to cover the cost of all medical treatments – past, present, and future – associated with their injuries.
Mental anguish. Many victims suffer depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and feelings of despair as a result of their motorcycle accident. They can receive compensation for treatments regarding the improvement of their mental condition caused by the accident.
Pain and suffering. The court will review how badly the injury has affected the victim’s life. Victims who are forced to alter their way of living because of their injuries can receive compensation. The type and severity of injuries sustained are often taken into consideration.
Lost wages. Victims who missed workdays for their medical treatments or hospital recovery time can get back the wages they’ve lost for each day of work missed.
Lost earnings. Some victims are not able to go back to work due to the severity of their injuries. In these cases, victims can receive compensation equal to the wages they would have earned for the duration of their career had the accident not happened.
Loss of consortium. Compensation will be awarded if the victim’s injuries are severe enough to affect their relationship with their spouse and children.
Punitive damages. These damages are awarded to the victim as punishment to the guilty party for gross negligence that resulted in the injury or death of the user.
Consult an attorney for help
Determining who is liable for a motorcycle accident caused by a defective part is often difficult. Contact an experienced product liability or accident attorney if a defective part on your motorcycle caused you serious injury.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases. Robert and his team have dealt with semi truck accidents, wrongful death cases, brain & spine injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases with soaring success.
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