The manufacturers of motorcycles owe their customers a duty of care to produce safe designs and properly assembled bikes. When manufacturers breach this duty through negligence, the results can be catastrophic and even deadly. We hear about motorcycle recalls in the news, but not all defective bikes grab national media attention. The truth is motorcycle defects exist, whether or not there is a massive recall.
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident and believe a manufacturer’s defect was the cause, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer and/or the dealership that sold the bike.
Types of Compensation Available in a Defective Motorcycle Accident
As with any type of motorcycle accident, you should be able to seek compensation for the following types of damages.
- Medical expenses related to the injuries suffered in the crash
- Lost wages from time taken off work due to your accident or caring for an injured loved one
- Emotional damages (pain and suffering)
Additionally, some cases of motorcycle defect accidents may allow you to seek punitive damages. According to the Ohio Code, a jury may only award punitive damages if it finds that the motorcycle manufacturer knowingly allowed the production of the defective motorcycle and did so under malicious or fraudulent pretenses. The jury must have already awarded you the above compensatory damages, and the punitive damages cannot exceed two times the amount of compensatory damages.
How do I pursue damages after a defective motorcycle crash?
In order to collect compensation, you must prove that a defective motorcycle caused the accident. Evidence for your claim can include:
- Proof of the damages such as pictures of your wrecked bike and injuries
- Medical records related to your treatment
- Statements showing your lost wages and other financial losses
Preserving your motorcycle in its damaged state is extremely important if you believe a manufacturer’s defect caused your accident. An expert will need to inspect the bike to determine if a defect was to blame for the accident. Make sure you contact the towing company that removed your bike from the accident scene to ensure they store it until an inspection can take place.
If the defect is a known issue and the manufacturer has issued a recall, you may also be able to file a claim against the motorcycle dealership that sold you the bike if you purchased the bike after the date of the recall notice. Before filing a claim, it is best to discuss your case with an Ohio motorcycle accident attorney to determine all of the liable parties in your case.
According to Ohio Statute § 2307.72 on product liability, you need to be able to prove that:
- The manufacturer produced the bike
- The bike was defective (in design, because it did not do what the manufacturer claimed in would, or due to “inadequate warning or instruction”)
- You used the bike as intended
- The defective bike caused your injuries
Before You File a Claim against the Motorcycle Manufacturer, Contact an Attorney
Filing a claim for damages against a motorcycle manufacturer means you are filing a lawsuit against a large company. Manufacturers have huge legal teams that handle these types of cases on a regular basis – they will have extensive legal representation, and so should you.
Attorney David Bressman has already helped several Ohio residents with motorcycle accident and defective product claims against large companies. Contact Bressman Law to schedule a FREE consultation and learn how we can help you with your motorcycle defect accident case. Call today – 877-538-1116.