Can I Sue For a Bike Accident Caused By Defective Parts?

In the past twenty years we have seen a surge in popularity in bicycling as a form of exercise, leisure, and a greener mode of transportation. In fact, bicycling has gone up a whopping 37 percent since 2019. While this rise in a healthy mode of transportation is great, this increased usage also means an amplified risk of accidents, not just from road or traffic conditions, but from the bicycles themselves. Product defects are a less common cause of bike accidents but they can be equally as devastating. When an accident is caused by such defects it is important to understand what your next steps should be, and how you can navigate the complex legal landscape around a product defect.

Identifying the Defect

The first step in a product liability case is to establish that a defect in the bicycle is what caused the accident. It is crucial to understand in a  product liability case that defects can vary widely, from flaws in the design to manufacturing errors, or even inadequate warnings. Common defective parts that could lead to an accident include faulty brakes, gears that malfunction or frames that may break under normal usage conditions.

Types of Defects and Legal claims

In product liability law, there are three primary types of defects that can be assigned liability to the manufacturer, these are:

  1. Design Defects: These are inherent flaws in the product’s design that make it unsafe for the rider to operate. An example of this could be a faulty gear shifter that jams whenever you try to change gears.
  2. Manufacturing Defects: These occur when there is an error made during the manufacturing process, deviating from the design in ways that may compromise the safety of the bicycle. For example a weld on a bicycle frame might not be completed correctly leading it to break in regular riding conditions.
  3. Failure to Warn: This involves the failure of the manufacturer to provide sufficient instructions or warnings about the risks associated when using this product. This could be not labeling that the bike’s brakes may not perform at a certain top speed, or that there is a specific weight limit for the bike frame.

Proving any of these defects will require demonstrating that the defect existed at the time of the accident, and that it directly caused your injuries.

Gathering Evidence

In a product liability case preserving and gathering evidence is crucial in building a strong case. This can be extremely difficult to handle on your own and contacting a skilled bike accident lawyer can help with this. An attorney will search and gather any evidence that is important to your case. This typically includes:

  • The damaged bicycle or defective parts
  • Photographs or video from the accident scene.
  • Medical records that document your injuries from the accident. 

Assessing Rider Responsibility

In a product liability claim the manufacturer may try to assign fault to you as the rider. This is why it is crucial to assess any potential responsibility that you may have had in the accident. For example, if you were aware of the defect but you chose to ride the bike anyway. An insurance company could see this as negligence on your behalf and argue that they are not completely responsible for your injuries. Laws on comparative or contributory negligence vary from state to state, here in Utah faults can be assigned as percentage portions that will directly affect the compensation that can be received based on your share of the fault. 

Legal Expertise and Representation

Handling a product liability case requires specific legal expertise, and contacting the best bike accident lawyers in Utah can help your case. Here is how our team of experts at LifeLaw Personal Injury can help you:

  • Assessing Liability: We will work to determine all parties who may hold any portion of liability for the defective product, this can include the manufacturer of the bicycle, distributors, as well as the retailer.
  • Preserving Evidence: Our team of bike accident attorneys will ensure that all critical evidence is preserved and presented effectively for your case. This includes collecting all medical records and expert testimonies to create the strongest case possible on your behalf.
  • Engaging Experts: LifeLaw will get into contact with industry experts who can provide expert testimony on the nature of the defect as well as the impact that it would have on your accident.
  • Negotiating Settlements: Our team of Salt Lake City bike accident attorneys will negotiate with all parties involved, including insurance companies, to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for the injuries that you suffered from. 
  • Litigation: Should the negotiations not yield a satisfactory outcome, LifeLaw is prepared to represent you in court to ensure that justice is served, and you get the compensation you deserve.

If you have suffered injuries or been in a bicycle accident due to defective parts, you need a lawyer who not only understands the intricacies of product liability law, but also has the dedication to advocate for your rights and well-being. At LifeLaw our attorneys possess an expert knowledge of cycling. One of our attorneys, David Francis, was a member of the U.S Men’s Cycling Team for three years alongside teammates Lance Armstrong, Jonathan Vaughters, and George Hincapie. This in depth understanding of the world of bicycling allows LifeLaw to provide you with the best possible service and understanding for any bicycle injury. Contact us today for a free consultation and to explore your legal options. Let us help you navigate through this challenging time and work towards getting you the compensation that you deserve.