With an estimated 8 million bikes on the road in America, motorcycle riding is clearly a popular pastime, but it carries some significant risks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,668 motorcyclists lost their lives and another 88,000 suffered injuries in accidents during a single recent year. Fatalities among motorcyclists occurred close to 26 times more often than fatalities among motor vehicle occupants. Motorcycle riders can make a big difference in their overall risk factors by adopting safe riding practices. However, no one can avoid 100 percent of all accidents this way. Some motorcycle accidents involve factors beyond the rider’s control.
Cases which involve defective motorcycle parts add to the risk of serious personal injury or even wrongful death.
Examples of Potentially Defective Motorcycle Parts
One possible cause of a motorcycle accident is a defective part or malfunction in a critical system of the vehicle. Too often, poorly designed or manufactured parts compromise the effectiveness of the brakes, steering, tire traction, or other aspect of the bike. In other accidents, safety gear, such as helmets, performs inadequately, making what would have been a minor injury something worse.
When defective parts or gear cause an unsafe situation, there’s often product liability involved because an accident may not have happened without the structural or functional failure of a defective product, or the injuries may not have been severe if the part had performed as it should.
A few examples of potentially dangerous motorcycle parts and gear that may be defective include:
- Tires and wheels
- Fuel systems and gas tanks
- Steering mechanisms
- Handlebars and forks
- Engines, transmissions, and clutches
- Pedals and foot rests
- Throttles and other controls
- Aftermarket parts and accessories
- Helmets, boots, and other apparel
How Defective Parts Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
When motorcycle parts are defective, this causes the bike to improperly function, leading to an accident or an injury that is worse than it would have been if the part had performed properly.
- Faulty brakes can prohibit a rider from being able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- A defective fuel system could lead to a leak or rupture that could cause a fire.
- A malfunctioning steering mechanism could prevent a rider from being able to swerve to avoid an accident.
Serious bike accidents can be disabling and cause a lot of hardship. Accidents that require reconstructive surgery often include long rehabilitation times and complex procedures, such as pin setting and joint replacement that can drag on for months. This can eat away at personal finances and cause loss of livelihood as well as impairing pain levels. All of these things can leave injured riders feeling like they have no recourse.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Motorcycle Parts?
When defective parts or gear lead to an unsafe situation, product liability may be the underlying cause, as the injury may not have happened without the structural or functional failure of a defective motorcycle part. A few of the factors that can be used to determine whether an accident or injury was caused by a defective motorcycle part include:
- Does the part work as it was manufactured and intended to work?
- Is there a design flaw which has caused the part to work ineffectively or be potentially dangerous?
- Were proper instructions and warnings included with the part, so the operator knew how to use it, or warnings against circumstances in which caution was necessary?
When a motorcycle part is found to be defective, any party involved in the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of the product may be held liable for the injuries or losses sustained. In certain instances, if a component of the part is what caused the defect, that manufacturer could be held liable.
Get Help from Our Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
At Sevenish Law Firm, we’re experienced in looking out for the rights of the motorcycle rider. We know about the dangers of the road because we’re riders, too. We also know that bikers who have been hurt by events beyond their control often need to go up against big companies in product liability claims when defective parts cause personal injury.
Our founder, Randy Sevenish is experienced in law enforcement and is familiar with looking at all angles of a cycle crash to determine just why and how an accident occurred.
We have gone up against big business for individual riders for many years, protecting Indiana accident victims since 1985.
If you have been a victim of a serious injury caused by a defective motorcycle part, contact our Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers. Let Sevenish Law Firm go to work for you to get you what you deserve under the law.