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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Surprising Causes of Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle Manufacturers & Liability

Although most motorcycle accidents are the result of someone’s careless or reckless actions, sometimes the cause is a problem with the machinery. At first it may not be obvious. But later the rider may recount having difficulty stopping the bike or experiencing the engine unexpectedly stalling. It may be discovered that a recall had been issued on the bike that seems related to the accident. It’s important to consider motorcycle manufacturer liability. If you are filing a personal injury claim on behalf of someone else, then looking into defective parts and manufacturer responsibility should be part of your due diligence.

Manufacturer Accident Liability: Is this the cause of your crash?

Some cases are easier to prove than others. If it’s believed equipment -- such as the brakes, engine or tires -- were faulty, it’s imperative to have a mechanical expert examine the bike. It’s a good idea to search the Internet or call a dealership after an accident to inquire about recalls if you think a bike defect may have contributed to your crash.

There are generally two circumstances in which motorcycle manufacturer liability can be identified as the cause of a motorcycle wreck. One is when it’s proven the design of the bike was unreasonably dangerous.

Let’s say the frame wasn’t stable because of the way it was made, and that causes the rider to lose control. Fans of Harley-Davidson motorcycles may be familiar with the “Harley death wobble” problem, for instance. As long as it can be shown the frame directly caused the crash, the manufacturer would be liable for damages suffered.

Another circumstance in which manufacturer liability would apply is if the parts or the bike were manufactured defectively. In other words, the design was correct, but something went wrong in the production. For instance, the material used in a fuel tank wasn’t durable and cracks formed. As a result, fuel may leak. In the event of an accident, it could ignite a fire.

How to Establish Motorcycle Manufacturer Liability

Proving a design or manufacturing defect caused an accident can be challenging. It’s important to write down (as soon as possible), everything that happened leading up to and during the accident. Even what appears to be something insignificant could be an indication of a mechanical problem.

Another important step is to have the bike checked out by a reputable motorcycle mechanic. Make sure there is paperwork that clearly outlines any problems with the equipment.

Look to see if recalls have ever been issued on the bike. If so, keep that information handy.

It’s also a good idea to seek legal counsel. An attorney who is familiar with manufacturer accident liability has the resources to investigate the possibility of a design or manufacturing defect. Of course, it’s beneficial to have legal representation, no matter the cause, if the rider has suffered serious injuries.

Damages for an Accident Caused by Motorcycle Manufacturer Liability

If motorcycle manufacturer liability can be identified, then compensation may be available for the medical costs incurred and wages that have been lost while out of work. If the injuries were serious, disabling or life-threatening, then other damages could address pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, disfigurement and more.

You can read further about accident injuries in Atlanta using Jason Shultz’s free eBook, but the best way to learn if a case is viable, who can be held accountable and the types of compensation that may be sought is to talk with an attorney. Don’t delay -- time is of the essence when it comes to collecting evidence and other aspects of the claims process. Pick up the phone and call 404-474-0804.  


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