Suing a Bicycle Manufacturer for an Injury
More and more individuals are realizing the healthful benefits of bicycling, resulting in more intense bicycle rides. And while the wind rushing through one’s hair on a weekend ride or as part of the daily commute is a freeing experience, bicycles can still present their share of problems. Most are built sturdy enough to complete the trip in one piece, but, in some cases, problems with the bicycle may result in an accident, causing injury to the bicyclist. If this occurs, retaining the services of an experienced products liability attorney can be crucial to receiving compensation for the costs of the bicyclist’s injuries. Recently, a Minnesota man was bicycling through an intersection in San Diego when a mechanical fault in his bicycle caused him to fly off the bicycle and crash into the road. Although he suffered nine broken ribs and a broken helmet, luckily his helmet prevented a more tragic injury. A brief discussion of bicycle safety, as well as when an injured bicyclist can bring action against a manufacturer, will follow below.
Operating a Bicycle on the Roads
In many states, Florida included, for safety reasons, most bicyclists are required to operate their bikes on the road as opposed to sidewalks. In doing so, however, bicyclists must be extra vigilant, as they are sharing space with much larger vehicles that both outweigh the bicyclist many times over and also do not necessarily see them. In an effort to keep cyclists safer, the State of Florida has developed a primer on bicycle safety, both for motorists and bicyclists. One of the words of advice to bicyclists is to be sure that all aspects of the bicycle are in working order.
Products Liability Actions Against a Bicycle Manufacturer
If all aspects of a bicycle are not in working order, as in the case cited above, the bicyclist can suffer varying degrees of injury, from simple scrapes and bruises to severe head injuries and, in some cases, death. Regardless of whether the accident was a solo accident or a collision, however, some accidents can be attributed to the mechanical failure of one or more of the bicycle’s components due to a product defect.
When a product such as a bicycle is deemed to include defective parts, and that defective part results in an injury or other loss, all parties engaged in the business of designing, manufacturing, supplying, and advertising the product for use or consumption by the public can be held liable. Generally, there are three types of product defects that may incur liability in a products liability case:
- Design defects, which occur if the product, or a component, was designed improperly. When the defect is the result of a design-based fault, the fault will be manifest in every product.
- Manufacturing defects occur during the manufacturing or assembly process. Unlike design defects, a manufacturing defect will typically occur in a select number of products.
- Finally, some products liability actions are based upon a failure to warn, in which case the product is provided to the general public without proper instructions for use.
An experienced products liability attorney can help to ascertain which type of products liability claim is applicable in a given situation, and, more importantly, which entity should be held liable for any injuries caused by the defect.
Seek Legal Advice
If you, or someone you love, have been involved in a bicycle accident, and you believe the fault of the accident to be a defect in the bicycle itself, contact the attorneys at Pita Weber & Del Prado as soon as possible. We have years of experience in personal injury matters, including product liability issues such as bicycle defects. After a full analysis of the situation, if we believe that the accident was caused by a design defect in the bicycle, we will develop a strategy for pursuing an action against the manufacturer and/or the designer in an effort to get you or your loved one the most money possible. Contact our Miami office today for an initial consultation.