Bicycle Defect Lawyer for Product Liability Lawsuits
Bicycles are a great way to get from point A to point B, but if you're unlucky and involved in a bike accident because of a defect in the bike's design or manufacture, your body may never be the same.
Were you involved in a bicycle accident and believe the crash was the result of a defective part? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured bicyclists harmed through another's negligence.
Call a Chicago product liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for legal advice and free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Causes Bike Accidents?
When you hear about a bike accident, you may assume that a bike rider crashed into a car or vice versa. If you live in a metropolitan area like Chicago, you may be reminded of "dooring" accidents or bike crashes on turns or intersections.
The reality is that a majority of bicycle accidents are solo accidents only involving the bike rider. These solo accidents occur when a bicycle is made with a defective component and falls apart or malfunctions and somehow causes injury to an individual.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assist you if you have been injured in a bicycle accident due to a defective part.
Whether you are a bike rider or a pedestrian, please speak with one of our lawyers to learn more about how we can assist you with getting compensation for your injuries. Complete our online contact form for a free case review with an attorney experienced with bicycle products liability lawsuits.
Bicycle Accident Serious Injuries
According to Cleveland Clinic, bicycle accidents leave victims with severe injuries that may include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic Brain Injuries, including concussions and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Eye injuries
- Fractured hips, ankles, and knees
- Cut and lacerations that require stitches
- Possible loss of a limb, such as an arm or a leg
- Internal injuries resulting from crashing into your handlebars or going over the handlebars and landing on your head
If you were wearing reflective gear or proper safety equipment like a helmet when your bicycle accident occurred, it might not be an indication of the severity of the injury. However, even with proper safety gear, severe injuries can and do occur, and the cost of your accident-related injuries can be extensive.
Cases Involving Children's Bikes
If you were injured by a defective bicycle as a child or teenager, you might not remember to file a product liability lawsuit until years later. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we specialize in cases involving children's products and have helped many plaintiffs injured as children or teenagers.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provides legal information to the parents of minors harmed by defective products. Parents are frequently unaware that they can file a lawsuit on their child for injuries caused by another party's negligence.
If you believe a defective product injured your child, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to discuss your legal options.
Strict Liability Claims and Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
According to law, any bike manufacturer that designed, manufactures, distributes, or sells any defective product, component, or part of the bicycle could be held liable for damages, including injury sustained by those using the bike as intended.
By filing strict liability claims, victims are not required to prove the extent of their injuries, but only that the defective part or component originated during the designing or manufacturing process.
To do that, the victim or their bicycle accident attorney will hire expert witnesses to provide testimony and analysis of what occurred when adults and children use the defective bicycles and their dangerous components.
By filing a bicycle accident lawsuit, the victim can recover damages that include:
- Hospital costs
- Medical bills for care and therapy
- Rehabilitation services
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Wheelchair and other medical equipment expenses
- Compensation for disfigurement or physical impairment resulting from the accident
- Temporary or permanent disability
In nearly all cases, the victim will receive additional compensation for pain and suffering. This type of compensation can help pay for your mental health care needs, vital to a full recovery after a serious bike accident.
Liability of Parties in Cases Involving Defective Bicycle Parts
If a bicycle contains a defective component, multiple parties can be liable. Therefore, you must understand the liability of various parties involved in your bike accident case because you may be able to maximize the compensation award for your case by suing multiple parties.
If a bike contains a defective component responsible for causing an injury, an individual will likely file a strict products liability action. In strict products liability cases, the plaintiff may sue the manufacturer and any distributors of the product. In addition, any party engaged in supplying the product may be liable for any injuries suffered due to a defect in the bike.
Other liable parties may include a wholesaler, retailer, "middleman" assembler, or another parts manufacturer. Before you assert a strict products liability claim against a bicycle manufacturer, you must speak with a product liability attorney about the strategy of your case.
For example, an attorney may want to sue multiple parties in your bike accident case or even assert a class action lawsuit.
If a defective bike component has injured numerous individuals, a recall for that bike may even exist. An attorney can assist you in learning more about any recalls that may impact the settlement of your claim.
Theories Behind Bicycle Product Liability Lawsuits for Injured Cyclists
The governing law for a strict products liability claim will depend on the state in which you live. State law may have subtle differences in how it defines the legal elements required for proving a strict product liability claim, such as the type of defect in your bike.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are three types of product defects in bicycle accident cases:
- Design Defect: An injury results due to the overall poor design of a bike that creates safety issues
- Manufacturing Defect: An injury results due to a defect in bike component parts
- Failure to Warn Defect: An injury results from the lack of proper warning that should have accompanied the bicycle at the time of sale
- Improper Assembly: When a bike shop improperly assembles a bicycle or performs improper maintenance, and a rider is injured, a cause of action may be maintained under various theories, including product liability law
In most cases, a solo bike accident case will involve a manufacturing or design defect. For example, bicycle companies may have failed to test a bike before releasing it onto the market, resulting in a poor bike design.
Inspecting the Bike Parts Causing Your Injuries
If you have been injured in a solo bicycle accident, you must act fast. It would be best to preserve all evidence relating to your cases, such as photos of injuries, defective parts, witness statements, and medical records.
These documents may be essential in proving your case if you must go to trial. An insurance company may also need to analyze these documents to increase a compensation award during the settlement phase. You should also maintain a daily journal to keep track of your physical symptoms and recovery process.
It would be best to consider calling a lawyer as soon as possible after a bike crash. Bicycle accident attorneys may want to arrive on the scene of your accident to analyze any extenuating factors in your case, such as road conditions.
A seasoned bicycle accident attorney will also work with engineers, design specialists, and other experts to determine why a bike part has failed. A bicycle accident attorney can pursue a full-out investigation that helps build your case.
What to Do When Injured in an Accident by a Defective Part
Injured persons involved in a bike crash should seek medical treatment immediately. Ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis of your injuries and follow the doctor's treatment plan. In most cases, a bicycle accident does not result in life-threatening injuries. Still, it is important to be seen by a medical professional for your peace of mind and safety.
In addition to seeking medical treatment, call the police department to report any accident resulting in evidence destruction or property damage. Depending on the state you live in, the police department may also need to file an accident report before you can file a claim with your insurance company.
The victim should also take photographs at the scene of their bike crash, which may be critical in the future when it comes time for reconstructing events or identifying injuries. For example, take photos of any skid marks on the road, damaged vehicles, and damaged bikes.
The victim should also record the other driver's insurance information, such as their name, address, driver license number, driver license state of issuance.
Moreover, vehicle registration number, type of car insured (make/model), policy number(s), date coverage begins, and date coverage ends. In addition, it may be advisable to take down a few of the driver's contact information, such as their home and cell phone number.
If possible, obtain a license plate number and state of issuance, insurance company name, and policy number of all other involved drivers. If the victim was taken to the hospital by ambulance, they should save any receipts from the hospital or doctor to prove medical treatment was performed.
Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company
After the police have arrived on the scene of a solo bike accident, it may be advisable for the victim to file an accident report with their own insurance company before they leave.
The victim should obtain the investigating officer's name, position, and phone number. It is also possible that the reporting officer will file an accident report on the victim's behalf.
The next step in filing a claim with an insurance company is to contact your agent and discuss the incident at hand. Your agent should recommend what information must be gathered before you can file a claim, which may include medical records, police reports, photos of the scene, and any other evidence. A bicycle injury lawyer may help gather the necessary evidence for your case.
The most important thing to gather is photographic evidence, which can help prove fault and damages later. Video footage may also be useful if available. If you are injured, you should seek medical attention immediately after you file your accident report.
What Is the Average Bicycle Damage Settlement?
The amount of compensation you can receive after filing an injury claim involving defective bike parts will depend on the severity of your injuries, any permanent disabilities, and any other expenses related to your accident. The value of your claim must be assigned a dollar amount by either you or your attorney.
While you may receive a settlement offer during the negotiation process, the actual amount of compensation you will be awarded for your damages will likely be different. Bicycle accident lawyers can work with experienced personal injury attorneys to determine an accurate value for your claim.
The Statute of Limitations and Filing a Bike Case
Typically, state law allows the injured victim or surviving family member a restricted time to file a compensation case after a bicycle defect accident.
In Illinois, the time limit is one year for most personal injury cases. If the victim dies, their family members have two years to file a wrongful death claim. This period may be extended in some situations, however.
Some states may also require that you give written notice of your accident or injury to the liable party within a certain amount of days. Failure to provide notice can result in a complete dismissal of your injury case.
If you fail to file within the designated time, you will forfeit your right to sue for damages. As such, it may be wise to contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident or injury.
Bicycle Defect Accidents FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with an insurance company after being involved in a bicycle accident. A product liability attorney has answered some of those questions below.
Contact our legal team today at (888) 424-5757, or use the contact form for additional information.
Can I Sue a Bicyclist for Causing an Accident?
In many cases, solo bicyclists may be immune from product liability lawsuits if they were injured due to defective parts on their bike. However, if you were injured in an accident due to another cyclist or runner's reckless or negligent actions, you will need to sue this individual for damages instead.
However, if you can prove that the cyclist's recklessness or negligence led to your damages, you may be able to hold the bicyclist liable for your injuries. A solo bicyclist would not normally maintain their bike, especially if they are an amateur.
How Should I Handle Negotiations With an Insurance Company?
It would be best if you tried to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident involving a bicycle part. Bicycle accident lawyers will try to determine what parts failed in your accident, and they may contact the bicycle manufacturer for additional information.
A lawyer may also be able to provide you with an estimated value of your claim so that insurance companies can provide you with accurate settlement offers. Insurance companies are eager to settle cases quickly to avoid high legal fees, which is why you may be able to negotiate a fair settlement amount if you act quickly enough.
Can You Claim for a Bicycle Accident to Be Compensated for Your Damages and Injuries?
Were you injured in a bicycle accident, and you can prove that the defective part was directly responsible for your injuries, you may be able to pursue full compensation for your damages. It includes medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury.
For more information about how much compensation is available after a case involving a defective bike part, contact our legal team today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form.
What Does It Mean to Defect a Bike?
Under strict liability laws, anyone involved in the manufacturing or selling defective products can be held liable for any resulting damages. It means that even if someone was only indirectly responsible for your injuries, they might still be required to pay you full compensation, depending on state laws.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, if an injury victim proves that a bicycle part was unreasonably dangerous, the manufacturer will be required to compensate the victim for their damages. Victims can file a product liability lawsuit with or without the assistance of an attorney.
What Do I Need to Prove in a Defective Bicycle Case?
The company that manufactured your bike parts will be required to provide evidence and defective design plans for why their products failed after they injured you. Bicycle accident lawyers may be able to assist you in putting together a case that is strong enough to hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries.
A lawyer can also help you understand what claims you need to file, and they will be able to determine better which evidence may provide proof of liability. This information will be useful if the manufacturer decides to oppose your claim or file its counterclaims.
What Happens If a Car Hits a Bicycle?
If a car strikes a bicycle and the cyclist is not at fault, then the accident victim should attempt to claim compensation from either their own or the other driver's insurance company. In some cases, both drivers may have been partially responsible for damages.
To win a case against an insurance agency, you will need to provide evidence that negligent motorists led to your injuries. Cycling accident lawyers will help you build a strong claim, and they may also try to negotiate a settlement amount if the insurance agency is willing to make a deal.
Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries based on the bicyclist's speed and how much weight their bicycle can hold. The bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand how to build a strong case for your claim. Call today to learn more about how you can work with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.
Contact a Bicycle Defect Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can speak with you about the circumstances of your bike accident case. Our attorneys have compassion for injured bike riders and pedestrians. Our law firm also has a specialized approach to handling bike accident cases.
Call a personal injury lawyer at our law office at (888) 424-5757 today to set up a free case evaluation or to receive answers to your questions on determining liability and legal recourse.
We accept all personal injury cases to recover compensation through a contingency fee agreement. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your bike crash case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.