Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

5 things to know about motorcycle defects

With Groundhog Day in the rear-view mirror, better weather for riding your motorcycle is in sight.

How can you be sure, however, that your motorcycle doesn't have a defect that could increase the risk of an accident? And if you did get into an accident that may have been caused by a defect, what claims could you bring?

Here are five things to know as you consider these questions.

1. Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers are strictly liable for injuries caused by product defects.

Strict liability for dangerous and defective products emerged in the 1960s. It has been a gamechanger in the law because strict liability does not require a showing of negligence.

2. Strict liability for a defectively manufactured part is not the only way to recover compensation for injuries suffered in an accident caused by a defect.

If a manufacturer or seller made unsupported safety claims or failed to make a required disclosure, you may have a claim for misrepresentation. If there was faulty servicing by a repair shop, you may have a cause of action against the shop.

3. You don't have to pick only one claim upon which to pursue compensation.

Long ago, the common law used to impose very narrow limits on the types of claims someone could bring. Today, however, it is possible to include more than one type of claim in the same lawsuit.

4. Manufacturers have ongoing obligations to fix defective parts.

Product recalls play an important role in making consumers aware of defects. In the case of motorcycles, recalls are required when a defect poses an unreasonable risk of accidents.

5. It is possible to get updates on motorcycle recalls.

This can be done by downloading a mobile app or signing up for email alerts. You can also follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Facebook or Twitter.

What else do you need to know?

No matter how well informed you are about recalls, a defect or faulty servicing can still cause an accident before it is detected.

We encourage you to learn more about your rights and options in the free white paper we published several weeks ago. It is called Motorcycle Defects: Claims and Accountability.

In this paper, we discuss in more detail topics that include:

  • Steps you can take to try to protect yourself against motorcycle defects
  • Claims you can bring for injuries caused by defects or negligent repairs

We urge you to review the white paper for relevant information that applies to your situation. Defects, unfortunately, never go out of season - and it's best to be as informed as you can in dealing with them.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.