Just like motor vehicles, motorcycles are built to a standard duty of care to protect a rider. However, every year thousands of people are involved in motorcycle accidents that cost them injuries or their own life. Many of these are caused by rider error or a negligent driver, but many others are caused by a defect in the motorcycle’s design or manufacture. Every year, motorcycle defects occur in the United States, which is what prompts a recall. Now you can find out more about these sometimes-deadly defects and what you can do if you have been injured.
The Risks Associated With Motorcycles
Every time you get on a motorcycle, there is a risk that you could be involved in a serious accident. For instance, the statistics say that motorcyclists are approximately 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car. They are also 5 times as likely to be injured in an accident. The fatality rate of motorcycle accidents has more than doubled since 1999. There are many hazards on the roads for motorcycle riders, such as visual recognition, road hazards, speeding accidents, and lack of riding skills. Though many accidents will stem from other causes, defects still occur and must be treated seriously.
The Duty of Motorcycle Manufacturers
When a motorcycle or part is found to be defective, a recall will typically be issued by either the manufacturer itself or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The manufacturer must then take care to file a report that states the safety-related defect with a federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle or equipment, the major events that resulted in the recall, a description of the remedy, and a schedule for the recall.
It is important for motorcycle manufacturers to take many steps to notify owners of recalled motorcycles or their equipment. They must merge their own records of vehicle purchasers with current vehicle registration information on file with the state’s DMV. They must also notify the distribution chain involved with the equipment if certain equipment was found to be defective. It is a federal law for manufacturers to take these steps without cost to consumers.
Product Liability Stemming From Motorcycle Defects
In many cases, the products that fail in motorcycle accidents are typically associated with the brakes, chain, shock absorbers, toe clips, or rear wheels. Motorcycle accidents due to vehicle failure make up only 3% of all motorcycle accidents in the U.S., making them a bit rarer than other motorcycle accidents. Still, they continue to happen today. You must be prepared in the event that one of these accidents happens to you, which is where a product liability case comes in.
Defective or dangerous products that cause injuries are covered under “product liability law,” which determines who is responsible for defective products and sets specific rules for how to handle these unique cases. Product liability holds a manufacturer liable for placing a defective product into a consumer’s hands. However, there could be many responsible parties for your accident based on the distribution chain. Liability could placed with anybody involved in this distribution, such as the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, a party that assembled a product, the wholesaler, or the retail store that sold the product to the consumer.
There are actually three types of defects that you may run into when you are talking about product liability, including the following:
Design Defects: These defects are present in a product even before they are manufactured. If the design is inherently safe, you have a design defect.
Manufacturing Defects: These occur when the product is being manufactured or assembled.
Marketing Defects: These are flaws in the way that a product is marketed, such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.
Manufacturers may attempt to use defenses in your case, such as the fact that the plaintiff did not identify the supplier of the product that caused the injury, or that they altered the product after it left the control of the manufacturer, then causing the accident and injuries. Product liability sets many rules for you to recover so, as long as you have evidence or how your accident and injuries occurred, you have a claim. We will help you every step of the way on your road to recovery. We have the tools necessary to help you with your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for more.