People who ride motorcycles generally know the risks involved with hitting the road on the back of a bike. If they’re sensible, they wear helmets and other protective gear because they know the possibility exists that they could be seriously injured in the event of a crash. However, sometimes a rider can end up hurt because of a defect in the motorcycle itself, and that’s something a motorcycle rider can’t really prevent.
Unlike a car or truck driver, a motorcycle rider is exposed to the environment and the elements. That means when a crash happens, there’s little to protect the rider and injuries can be extensive and very serious. A rider who gets into a crash may face lengthy hospital stays, surgeries and other medical procedures, and weeks or months of recovery. Medical bills can be expensive, and when you’re seriously hurt you may be unable to work for a while. You may be worried not only about the mounting cost of your medical care, but also how you’re going to pay every day bills like rent and utilities.
When you get injured because of a defect in the motorcycle or one of its parts, you may have a product liability claim against the company who made the motorcycle, the company who made the parts, or the dealer that sold you the bike. If someone else is found liable for your injuries, you may be able to recover payment of your medical costs, lost wages, loss of normal life, pain and suffering, and disability and disfigurement.
Common Motorcycle Defects
Motorcycles have numerous parts, and a defect in anything from the smallest bolt to the engine could cause you to have an accident and become hurt. Some of the most common defects that lead to motorcycle injuries include:
- Defective Brakes — When brakes fail, consequences for motorcycle riders can be disastrous. A brake failure may result in an inability to slow or stop when needed, and that can lead to a collision.
- Defective Tires or Wheels — When wheels or tires don’t work as they should, that could result in loss of the rider’s ability to control the motorcycle. The motorcycle could wobble, swerve, or skid across lanes. A tire blowout could cause the motorcycle to crash.
- Defective Handlebar — The handlebar is the motorcycle’s steering mechanism. When the handlebar is defective, the rider may not be able to properly steer the motorcycle and may lose control and crash.
- Defective Fuel Line or Tank — Defective fuel lines or fuel tanks create a serious fire risk that could cause severe burns to the rider.
- Defective Engine — When engine parts malfunction, the motorcycle may suddenly stall and cause the rider to crash.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Even a crash that only involves the motorcycle and no other vehicles can be devastating for a rider. Riders may experience a range of debilitating and painful injuries that include:
- Broken arms, legs, or ribs
- Skull or facial fractures
- Disfiguring facial lacerations
- Concussion or brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs
- Torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
How a Chicago Product Liability Lawyer Can Help
If you’re thinking about pursuing a claim against a motorcycle or parts manufacturer, or the dealer who sold you a defective motorcycle, an experienced Chicago product liability lawyer will be an important ally. Cases involving defective motorcycles can involve complex and technical information and legal principles that your lawyer can help you understand and navigate. A good product liability lawyer will have a network of experts who can provide testimony to support your claim, and can negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in court.