When it comes to bicycle accidents, people will tend to think that either the cyclist or a driver was at fault and there is no in-between ground. After all, accidents due to careless motorists or cyclists crashing into objects accidentally are common in every city. However, there are times when an accident is completely out of a cyclist’s control, like when they are riding and their brakes fail to engage. In these cases, often the law meets at a crossroad of product liability and personal injury suits.
When the brakes fail to engage on a bicycle, if there was another at fault for the accident, then you can pursue both a personal injury claim and a product liability claim. This does mean twice the work but can also mean double the chance at compensation for your accident. However, if you were the only one injured, then you need to consider your rights as the consumer because there is no other option to pay for your accident.
A bicycle injury can manifest itself as a product liability claim for the following reasons:
- Manufacturing Defects – In this sort of claim, the injured cyclist will allege that the company that manufactured the bicycle or even just the brakes did not do so in the same quality standards as their competitors. In order for this to be a valid claim, the cyclist and their lawyer must prove the poor construction of the bicycle or breaks as well as prove it was defective when sold.
- Design Defects – Similar to manufacturing defects, this sort of claim seeks to prove that the way the bicycle brakes were designed were innately flawed and dangerous. If the cyclist and their lawyer can dig up evidence of other brake failures by the same model of bicycle brakes, then the problem lies not in the manufacturing, but in the design of the product itself.
- Failure to Warn – It is a product creators duty to warn consumers of potentially dangerous risks that come with their products. For example, any bicycle brake has the potential to lock up or fail to engage if certain conditions are met, but if the bicycle manufacturer failed to put a warning about that, then you can pursue them with a failure to warn claim because it is likely they cyclist won’t know otherwise.
Personal Injury Claim or Product Liability
If you were involved in a bicycle accident that was technically the fault of another, but could have been avoided if your brakes worked properly, you can engage in both a personal injury case and a product liability claim. This will involve filing a personal injury claim with the other involved party and their insurance company as well as filing a separate claim against the manufacturer of the bicycle or the brakes.
As an example, if you hit a car door, the motorist would have been responsible for checking for cyclists before opening. However, if you were traveling at a moderate speed and your brakes did not engage, that accident could have been avoided. In this case, you can pursue both claims for compensation from your accident.
Unfortunately, as one would expect, two claims means twice the work. In order for the best chance of success at both claims, you need a lawyer by your side that can help you. If you have been in a bicycle accident, no matter whether it was the fault of another or a defect of your bicycle, then contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is dedicated to helping injured individuals get the compensation that they need to recover from their accident.