Motorcycle Products Liability
You were riding your motorcycle, and all of a sudden something went wrong. Your bike went down, and while you want to figure out what happened so that you can learn from your mistake, you have relived the accident countless times. In fact, you cannot point to a single lapse in concentration or judgment that suggests that you were to blame.
If this sounds familiar, your accident could have resulted from a motorcycle defect. While most motorcycles that come off of assembly lines in the U.S. and abroad meet the necessary standards for safety, many do not. Motorcycle defects are a reality, and when a motorcycle is defective, the consequences can be devastating. Even the safest and most-experienced riders can be helpless to avoid a crash when something with their bike goes wrong. When riders are seriously injured due to design or manufacturing defects, the companies that are supposed to stand behind their motorcycles deserve to be held accountable.
Motorcycle Defect FACTS
Q: When is a motorcycle component considered “defective?”
Broadly speaking, there are three ways that a motorcycle component (or any other product) can be deemed defective. The first is as a result of an issue with its design. If a part is unreasonably dangerous when manufactured as intended, this is what is known as a “design defect.” In contrast, the second type of defect, a “manufacturing defect,” exists when an issue arises during the manufacturing process.
The third type of defect is known as a “failure to warn.” Manufacturers and sellers are required to include warning labels on products that may be dangerous when used as intended. While most motorcycle owners’ manuals are filled with warnings and disclaimers, it is still possible for riders in some circumstances to have defect claims based upon failure to warn.
Q: What is the law of “products liability?”
While motorcycle accident claims based upon driver error are governed by the law of negligence, defect claims are governed by the law of products liability. Products liability law establishes a strict liability standard for manufacturers and sellers -- proof of fault is not required in order to establish a claim for compensation. However, motorcycle defect claims tend to be highly complex, and if you suspect that your wreck may have resulted from a defect, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Q: Can I file a product liability claim based upon a defective aftermarket part?
Yes. Product liability claims are not limited to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and components. If an aftermarket product defect caused you to crash, you may have a claim against the aftermarket manufacturer.
Q: How long do I have to file a products liability claim?
In Florida, the general statute of limitations for product liability claims is four years. However, there are other timeframes that can come into play -- particularly for older bikes. In addition, it is important to conduct an investigation and collect the available evidence as soon as possible. You do not want to delay any longer than necessary in speaking with an attorney about your claim.
Speak With The Villages® Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Tim Babiarz
For more information about your rights after a motorcycle accident, contact the Babiarz Law Firm, PA. With offices in The Villages®, we represent riders injured in motorcycle accidents throughout Central Florida. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please call (352) 205-7599 or inquire online today.