Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. In some cases, a motorcycle part could be defective, resulting in a rider losing control of their bike.
If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle crash caused by defective parts, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, your claim may be different and more complicated than most motorcycle accident claims.
Common Types of Defective Motorcycle Parts
Motorcycle manufacturers have a duty to design and manufacture parts that are safe and lack defects. Unfortunately, they breach this duty in numerous ways. Even worse, they often fail to notify motorcycle owners or to replace the defective parts once they become aware of the problem—usually after there are other injury accidents caused by the defect—until the government forces them to do so.
Common defective parts that have led to motorcycle accidents include the following.
Improperly-designed and manufactured brakes can make it impossible for a rider to slow down or stop to avoid a collision. This endangers other motorists as well as the motorcyclist, who can suffer catastrophic injuries because they only have their helmet and clothes to protect them.
Tire defects cause the tread to separate from the tire, which can dramatically increase the risk of a blowout. No matter how careful a rider is, they could lose control of their bike, veer into nearby lanes, or skid while trying to slow down.
Cracks are often the most common frame defects. Even small fissures can cause the machine to malfunction. In addition, cracks in the frame expose parts to the elements, which compounds issues with rust and wear that create more hazards.
If there's a defect in an engine part, the motorcycle can unexpectedly break down and stop running. This is especially dangerous when it happens while a rider is traveling on the highway or in heavy traffic, when other drivers have no way of anticipating the motorcycle will suddenly stop moving.
This defect allows gasoline to leak out of the fuel tank. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists don't discover this problem until the machine catches fire and they suffer devastating burns and other injuries in an accident.
Who's Responsible for Injury Compensation When a Defect Caused Your Motorcycle Accident?
If a part wasn't designed or manufactured properly and this resulted in an accident with injuries, you need to file a products liability claim. Products liability is a legal theory that allows consumers who were injured due to an unsafe product to hold entities that placed the defective product into the “stream of commerce” legally liable for their injuries. When a motorcycle part is defective, one or more of these parties could be liable to compensate you:
- Manufacturer. The motorcycle manufacturer is typically responsible when a part is defective. It may aggressively defend against your claim because it could be vulnerable in other cases if the part is found to be dangerous.
- Parts manufacturer. Many motorcycle and other vehicle manufacturers contract with third parties to design and manufacture parts for their products. If this entity manufactured the defective part, it could also face liability.
- Seller or repair facility. The seller of the motorcycle could be legally responsible to compensate you if an original part was unsafe. If the defective part was installed by a repair facility, you might have a claim against this company.
- Shipper. If a shipper or another middleman were in the chain of distribution, you should file a claim with their insurance company as well as any other liable parties.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Motorcycle Accident?