Yes, you can sue the manufacturer of your motorcycle if a defect or error contributed to your accident. This is called product liability. Examples include faulty brakes, tire defects, or fundamental design flaws that contribute to or directly cause a crash.
You can consult with a Dallas motorcycle accident attorney, who can conduct an independent investigation into the crash’s circumstances to determine if manufacturing negligence played a role.
When Can You Sue a Motorcycle Manufacturer Who Contributed to an Accident?
You may be able to sue a motorcycle manufacturer if your case meets the following requirements:
- The party owed you a duty of care. For instance, a motorcycle manufacturer that creates vehicles or parts has an obligation to ensure they are safe and work correctly.
- The party violated their duty of care. This can happen if the manufacturer makes mistakes, fails to check for issues with the design, mislabels or poorly markets the product, or covers up hazards.
- The violation directly caused an accident, injuring you. You suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that the defect caused or worsened.
- You suffered monetary damages because of your injuries. The motorcycle manufacturer should pay for their portion of your accident, providing compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Other damages could include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and other financial losses.
If this describes your accident, you could sue the manufacturer of your motorcycle for a fair settlement for your losses.
Defective parts are common duty of care violations. These result from issues like understaffing at the plant, causing oversights, lack of quality checks, or human error. Even a perfectly good part could cause a problem if installed incorrectly.
Motorcycles are complex machines, so if any of the following are flawed or installed incorrectly, you could have an accident:
Flaws make it harder to control your bike if an accident occurs, worsen the effects of one, or cause one if a part fails.
Your motorcycle might be the only one to feature that manufacturing defect or be one of many produced with that error. Defective product lawyers can research whether your bike had a known flaw that caused injuries or if you were the sole victim of manufacturing negligence.
Sometimes, the issue isn’t a mistake during manufacturing and building your motorcycle but a problem with the overall concept or design of the bike or its parts.
An example of a design flaw in the automotive industry is the Ford Pinto. In that case, the company minimized the dangers the design flaw caused. Likewise, if the motorcycle company that produced your bike knew or should have known about a dangerous design, it is responsible for your damages.
Design flaws can mean you are one of many people who suffered an accident and injuries. An attorney can investigate your motorcycle and its history to determine if its design is poor.
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How Do You Prove a Manufacturer Contributed to Your Motorcycle Crash?
The four elements of negligence mentioned earlier are also the four points you must prove in a case against the motorcycle manufacturer. Evidence must tie together all four points.
Examples of that evidence include:
- Photos of the crash site, the motorcycle, and its parts
- Traffic camera or security camera video footage
- Witness testimony about the accident
- Police accident detailing the officer’s perspective
- Reconstruction of the accident by experts
- Research into the manufacturer’s history
- Related cases with similar product defects
- Any investigations into the manufacturer by regulators
- Testimony from people the manufacturer employs
In other words, proving the motorcycle manufacturer contributed to your crash involves a combination of evidence from the scene, from witnesses, and an investigation into the company. Other specialized evidence might come into play based on your accident’s unique circumstances.
A product liability lawyer will gather this evidence and oversee the investigation. Attorneys who handle these cases have experience in noticing and following clues, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything important.
Motorcycle Experts Can Analyze and Testify
Motorcycle experts, in general, and your type of bike, in particular, can discern how the machine should have operated and what failed during your crash. Their analysis and testimony can prove vital in these cases, preventing manufacturers from taking advantage of you not knowing about the technicalities in your case.
Can You Sue a Motorcycle Manufacturer in Addition to Another Negligent Party?
Yes. You might find several factors that caused your accident, not just a manufacturing error. For instance, if someone else was also negligent, like a passenger vehicle or truck driver, you could seek to hold them accountable in a separate suit.
Driver negligence that can cause motorcycle collisions includes:
- Driving while impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, medications, or drowsiness.
- Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.
- Driving while distracted by texting, eating, grooming, or daydreaming.
- Illegal behaviors like running lights or turning from a no-turn lane.
- Failing to check for motorcyclists before turning or changing lanes.
Third Parties Who Are Liable
You might also have a lawsuit against someone who wasn’t a driver, like:
- Trucking companies that failed to maintain trucks or load cargo correctly.
- Transportation companies like taxi services, limo rentals, or rideshares.
- Property owners who failed to maintain roads, lights, or signs.
- Construction companies that didn’t follow safety precautions or lacked signage.
Other Parties That Handled Your Motorcycle
A defective part could mean you don’t sue the manufacturer but another party that touched your bike. For instance, a tire defect could mean the tire manufacturer, not the motorcycle manufacturer, is at fault.
Auto shops and dealerships could also have made mistakes installing, repairing, or maintaining your motorcycle.
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Our Product Liability Lawyer Can Guide You Through a Motorcycle Accident Case
A personal injury lawyer can do more than just clarify if you can sue the manufacturer of your motorcycle after it contributed to your accident. Loncar Lyon Jenkins can identify how long you have to file, what damages you could recover, and a personalized case strategy.
We will do everything for you, from conducting an accident investigation and filing paperwork to connecting with experts to negotiating a financial settlement. Contact us today for a free case review.