Motorcycle Product Liability and Defects

People purchase motorcycles for a variety of reasons ranging from everyday transportation to recreation and adventure.

While purchasing reasons vary, all motorcyclists expect the motorcycle that they purchase to be safe and free from defects and mechanical flaws.

However, this is not always the case. Design defects and shoddy manufacturing can cause a motorcycle to malfunction and result in serious injury to the rider as well as passengers. In the most severe cases, a malfunctioning motorcycle can result in death.

Motorcycle makers and companies that manufacture motorcycle parts are responsible for placing products into the hands of consumers without defects. The motorcycle injury attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers in Boston will make sure that a negligent motorcycle manufacturer pays the price for any defect-related injuries you may suffer.

Our product liability attorneys have the skills and experience to obtain the money and justice you deserve.

Our law firm has proudly advocated for the Massachusetts motorcycling community for more than two decades. We have the resources to take on and win against big motorcycle manufacturers including Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Honda and Ducati.

Motorcycle manufacturers have deep pockets and vigorously contest all claims against them to protect their reputations. Product liability and defect cases are complicated. That’s why you need a skilled and aggressive lawyer on your side fighting to make sure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Our law office offers complimentary consultations. There is no charge to you until we win your case.

Our motorcycle product liability attorneys are ready to review your product liability case and provide legal advice on how to best proceed with a claim against a motorcycle manufacturer and other negligent parties.

Motorcycle Product Liability and Defect Cases Can Result in Multi-Million Dollar Awards

Motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, or in the worst case scenario, death.

It’s not unusual for a motorcycle product liability and defect case to end in a multi-million dollar award or settlement.

Here are some examples of some verdicts and settlements in these cases:

  • A design defect in the kickstand of a Honda motorcycle caused the vehicle to spin out of control, and the resulting accident rendered the driver a quadriplegic. Result: $19.8 million jury award
  • A design defect related to a Suzuki’s front brakes caused serious injury to a motorcyclist. Result: $12.5 million jury award
  • A motorcycle manufacturer and local motorcycle dealer were accused of negligently assembling and preparing a new motorcycle causing an accident that resulted in a motorcyclist’s leg amputation. Result: $1.3 million settlement

As you can see, there is a lot at stake in these cases and legal representation is key to receiving sufficient compensation to properly address your injuries and damages.

The motorcycle product liability attorneys at the Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation of your claim and help you recover money for your medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

In the majority of motorcycle product liability and defect cases, expert witnesses are needed to prove that the motorcycle had a design or manufacturing defect. Our law firm works with the top motorcycle experts in the nation and will call on these experts to help prove and win your case.

In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for product liability cases is three years. That means you have three years from the date of your injury to file a product liability claim in court.

However, it’s best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An investigation of your accident will need to be conducted and evidence will need to be collected. Any delays can negatively impact your case and affect any compensation that you receive.

Common Types of Motorcycle Defects

There are many parts on a motorcycle that can fail or malfunction and cause serious injury or death. Even the most skilled and experienced motorcyclist is at risk when a motorcycle suddenly malfunctions.

Some common motorcycle defects include:

  • Bad brakes. Brakes are perhaps the most important safety feature on any vehicle, including motorcycles. When they fail or don’t work as expected, the resulting accident can be catastrophic.
  • Tire defects. A defective tire can cause blowouts, swerving or skidding, and cause a motorcyclist to lose control.
  • Fuel system and tank defects. A malfunctioning fuel system can cause a dangerous and even deadly explosion. Motorcyclists can be tossed from their vehicles and suffer head trauma and serious and painful burns.

Other motorcycle parts that are prone to failure are the engine, chain, shock absorbers, toe clips and accelerator pedals.

Common Injuries Sustained in Defective Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists injured in a accident caused by a defective bike are likely to suffer one or more of the following injuries:

  • Lacerations
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Scarring
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

If you’ve suffered an injury because of a defective motorcycle, obtain medical attention as soon as possible. Make sure you collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Use your cellphone to document the defect, your injuries and the accident scene and contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What Is Motorcycle Product Liability?

Product liability is an area of the law that pertains to defective or dangerous products that cause injury to consumers. Simply put, manufacturers are liable for placing defective products into the hands of consumers.

However, in a product liability case, numerous parties can be held responsible for injuries caused by a faulty product like a motorcycle or motorcycle parts. Plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits often sue multiple parties in the “distribution chain”. Plaintiffs are likely to sue the product manufacturer, the manufacturer of any component parts that caused or contributed to the accident, the party that assembled the product, the wholesaler and the store that sold the product.

There are three types of product liability claims.

  1. Design defect. Plaintiffs in these cases argue that a product is defective based on its design. Design defects are present in a product before it is manufactured. Plaintiffs are likely to allege that there was a safer alternative design available at the time that would have prevented the injury.
  2. Manufacturing defect. Plaintiffs in these cases argue that a product is unsafe because of the way in which the product was manufactured or assembled. The manufacturer might have used inferior manufacturing materials or failed to ensure that bolts and other fasteners were properly secured.
  3. Marketing defect. Plaintiffs in these cases claim that there are problems with the way a product was marketed. Oftentimes these claims involve inadequate product warnings or insufficient instructions.

Most product liability cases assert design, manufacturing and marketing defect claims.

In a motorcycle product liability and defect case, you must prove that the motorcycle was defective, the defect caused your injury and you were using the motorcycle as it was intended.

Typical defenses asserted by manufacturers include the assertion thatthe design or defect didn’t cause the injury, the motorcyclist was negligent and/or the motorcyclist “assumed the risk”.

Motorcycle Helmet and Gear Product Liability and Defects

Motorcycle helmets and gear can also contain defects and cause injury to motorcycle riders. Motorcycle helmets are required to meet safety and design specifications established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Compliant helmets should be affixed with a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker.

Knock-off helmets might have the sticker but not the required safety features.

It’s likely that a defective helmet won’t provide proper protection to a motorcyclist when involved in a crash and could increase the chance of a traumatic brain injury.

Manufacturers Have a Duty to Recall Motorcycles and Motorcycle Parts with Defects

What happens when it’s discovered that a motorcycle or motorcycle part is defective? The manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will issue a recall.

Motorcycle manufacturers are responsible for notifying owners of the recall and paying to repair the vehicle to makeit safe for use.

Even the most respected motorcycle makers in the world have issued safety recalls for their products, including Harley-Davidson, Honda, BMW and Ducati.

If your motorcycle was recalled because of a safety issue that caused injury, the manufacturer might be on the hook for those injuries and damages.

While a recall indicates that there is a safety issue with a product, it doesn’t mean that you have an open and shut case against the motorcycle manufacturer. The product recall is one piece of evidence that a motorcycle product liability lawyer will use to build a case against the manufacturer, parts maker and any other potentially responsible parties such as the dealership where you purchased your vehicle.

To learn more about how our motorcycle accident attorneys can help you with your product liability motorcycle accident case, contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers today at (617) 777-7777 or use our online form.

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