Motorcycle Design or Manufacturing Defects

There are more than 6.5 million registered motorcycles in the U.S., and motorcycles continue to a be an attractive alternative to regular vehicles. However, without the protective shell offered by a motor vehicle, motorcyclists are at an increased risk for serious injuries and fatal accidents. About 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared to only 20 percent for motor vehicles. In the state of New Jersey alone, about 2,5000 motorcyclists are involved in crashes every year, contributing to about 70 fatalities and 2,000 injuries annually.

Motorcyclists have a number of safety risks to account for on the road, but design or manufacturing defects should never be one of them. When a defective motorcycle or motorcycle component is defective, it puts thousands of motorcyclists at risk, not to mention the other vehicles on the road. Whether it is a defect in the original blueprint of the motorcycle or a defect somewhere in the manufacturing process, the guilty party should be held liable for producing a faulty product.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an accident caused by a motorcycle design or manufacturing defect, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have spent more than 80 years fighting for just compensation for the injured in New Jersey and New York. We have successfully collected more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we have the resources to fight for you. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers today.

Product Liability Laws

Products liability law holds any or all parties in the chain of manufacturing liable for damage caused by their product. Depending on the type of defect and the circumstances of the faulty production, liable parties could include the designer, manufacturer, distributor, supplier, or even the retailer who sells the motorcycle directly to consumers.

Products liability can be a complicated area of the law, but at the end of the day, it boils down to consumer expectations. A product must meet the reasonable expectations of a consumer, and if it fails to do so and causes harm in the process, there could be grounds for a personal injury case against someone in the manufacturing chain.

There are three main types of defects that can give rise to a product liability case:

  • Design defect: A defectively designed motorcycle has a flaw in its original blueprint that caused it to be unreasonably dangerous for users. To prove defective design, the plaintiff must be able to show the product was inherently flawed; in other words, even if the product was used as instructed, it would still be dangerous. This could range from a motorcycle that is too lightweight to drive safely to a fuel tank that is prone to overheating. Claiming a design defect sometimes requires that the plaintiff show negligence in the defective design (i.e. that the designer of the product showed some sort of disregard for safety during the design of the motorcycle). However, in other cases, the manufacturer can be found liable if the plaintiff proves there was a safe, cost-effective alternative that would have made the motorcycle safe.
  • Manufacturing defect: A defectively manufactured motorcycle is produced in a way that does not match the original design. In these cases, the manufacturer failed in some way to produce the motorcycles according to the pre-determined design, resulting in an unsafe final product. This type of defect is typically the easiest to prove because an attorney only needs the internal design standards or specifications to prove that the final product was manufactured differently.
  • Marketing defect: A defectively marketed motorcycle is one that does not have proper warning labels or instructions for safe use. Failing to warn consumers of hidden safety hazards (i.e. “the motorcycle can overheat if used for 4 or more hours”) can open up the manufacturer to product liability. In certain cases, a manufacturer will misrepresent a product to minimize risks, increase sales, or meet other goals; this misrepresentation of the facts can qualify as product liability if it leads to injuries or other damages.

Complex cases like defective manufacturing lawsuits often take more time and resources than “typical” personal injury cases. As such, it is important to note that there is a two-year statute of limitations in product liability cases in the state of New Jersey. In other words, once you discover the product defect (or reasonably should have discovered the defect), you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer, seller, distributor, or other guilty party. Failure to bring your suit within two years means you will forfeit your right to compensation.

It is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident that you believe was caused by a defective motorcycle. Corporate attorneys and insurance companies often fight product liability cases tooth and nail because once one consumer has collected damages for a defective motorcycle, the door is open for similar cases. These highly publicized product defects and the ensuing recalls can lead to a number of personal injury lawsuits or even class-action lawsuits that cost the company a very large sum of money. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time your lawyer will have to find engineering reports, design specifications, witnesses, manufacturing information, and other information that is essential to proving your case.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer

Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are here to help you recover your losses. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, using our resources to investigate the source of the product defect, collect medical evidence, and interview witnesses to the accident. With more than 80 years’ worth of experience fighting for the injured in New Jersey and New York, we have the resources and experience to fight for you. We have collected more than $300 million for clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Our years of experience have given us the tools and resources to stand up to large corporations, auto manufacturers, and opposing attorneys alike. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of a motorcycle design or manufacturing defect, contact us today for a free consultation. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.