Are Custom-Built Motorcycles Covered Under Product Liability Laws?April 28, 2017 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury | Share
On June 13, 2004, a motorcyclist was riding his three-month-old custom-built Venom ProStreet motorcycle manufactured by Big Bear American Made Choppers, Inc. in Alton, New Hampshire when the front fender assembly failed causing the nearly 10 pound fender to come into contact with, and lock, the front tire of the motorcycle. The rider then lost control of the motorcycle, crashed into another motorcycle, and was thrown into a ravine where he sustained severe arm and leg injuries. After more than two years of surgeries, the motorcyclist’s right leg was amputated above the knee.
According to court records, the Alton Police Department, with assistance from New Hampshire State Troopers, conducted an investigation after the accident which revealed that two of the four ¼"-20 screws intended to hold the motorcycle's front fender to the bike had fallen out prior to the accident. Eye witnesses saw a tire imprint on the underside of the front fender, and a distinct skid signature left on the roadway. The police concluded that a defect in the motorcycle caused the accident.
RiderGroups.com, an internet provider of motorcycle news and tips, says that motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic accident and more than 5 times more likely to be seriously injured.
With their numerous parts, should motorcycles have a defect in any one of them a rider can lose control, have an accident and sustain serious injuries.
Consumers are protected by product liability laws whether the motorcycle is mass-produced or custom-built. These laws cover defects such as poor design, faulty manufacturing techniques, lack of adequate instructions and a failure to provide adequate warning of dangers.
Custom-built motorcycles may be anyone’s dream, and they are usually well-built using non-defective products. However, when they are not, there is recourse under product liability laws.
Sometimes a safety recall is made on a defective motorcycle or part of a motorcycle. These safety recalls may be voluntarily initiated by the manufacturer or can be required by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Then, under a safety recall the manufacturer is responsible for notifying motorcycle owners and providing a remedy such as repair, repurchase, or replacement of the product.
Motorcycle owners under Florida law, may file negligence, breach of warranty or product liability claims if the following holds true if he/she is injured or suffered a loss due to some error in the product such as:
- Manufacturing defect(s) - An error in assembly or the manufacturing process of a product which caused the product to become unsafe for a consumer.
- Design defect - An error in the original design of a product that causes the product to be dangerous and creates a hazard for users.
- Failure to warn - This is a defect in terms of the way a manufacturer instructs consumers to use its product or products. If the correct use of the product may injure consumers and fails to mention this, it is negligence on the manufacturer’s part.
“If you have been injured because of a motorcycle defect, contact the experienced attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney,Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.