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If a Bike Part Caused Your Crash, Take Action

By Lependorf & Silverstein on September 17, 2018

Bicycling is becoming more and more popular in America. People are choosing bikes as the eco-friendly method of traveling to work, to the store for groceries, and to get their daily dose of exercise. Biking is relatively safe, but bikers can wipe out and get hurt.

The most serious biking injuries are seen when a bike collides with a car. Obviously, the car is a much tougher opponent, and in such a collision, the bicyclist is lucky to get out with no broken bones or other, more serious injuries.

But what happens when a bicyclist’s injury is caused by a defective bike part? Can a bicycle manufacturer or repair shop be held liable if their product caused someone’s injury? The answer is yes.

For defective products, having an experienced NJ product liability lawyer is crucial to your case. We go to work to identify all the parties that were involved in the distribution of the faulty product, and get started on getting your compensation.

How Most Bike Injuries Happen

“Bicycle-related injuries account for approximately 900 deaths, 23,000 hospital admissions, 580,000 emergency department visits and more than 1.2 million physician visits per year in the United States, resulting in an estimated cost of more than $8 billion annually,” according to an article on American Family Physician. With these statistics, it’s obvious that bike riding isn’t completely without risk.

Many accidents happen due to rider errors. So a rider has more chance of getting injured if he goes too fast, does stunts, or doesn’t have a lot of biking experience. Another big cause is bicyclists being hit by cars. There are also many accidents caused by environmental factors, such as potholes, loose gravel, an uneven road, etc.

Defective bike parts are more rarely to blame for a biking injury, but shouldn’t be excused on those grounds.

Who’s Liable If a Part Caused the Bike Accident?

When defective products hurt someone, anyone involved in supplying the product to consumers might be held responsible—whether that’s the manufacturer, the assembling crew, the distributor, the retailer, or the repair shop.

Most liability cases with defective products fall under:

  • Design defects: the injury was caused by an error in the design. A design defect makes the product inherently dangerous to use.
  • Manufacturing defects: the injury was caused because of a defect in the manufacture of the product. The main difference between a design defect and a manufacturing defect is that the product would be safe if it wasn’t for the manufacturing defect, while a design defect makes the product structurally dangerous.

Even if you were using a bike that wasn’t yours, you can still file a lawsuit if you were injured due to a defective part. If the defective bike part that caused or contributed to your injury was made by a foreign manufacturer, you can still pursue a case. If a company does business in this country, they are subject to our court system and must follows our safety laws.

Injured in a Bike Collision? Don’t Forget To…

Hitting the ground is painful, and we know it can cause serious injuries. It’s important to remember to keep your head and remain calm so you can take necessary steps to protect yourself. Here are some steps you should take after being involved in a bike accident:

  • Get medical help. Medical records are always useful if you do decide to pursue a legal claim. They present indisputable proof of your injury from an unbiased medical professional.
  • Take photos. Documenting your injuries, the scene of the accident, and the conditions of the road is crucial. If you can, take numerous photos right after your accident, from different angles and with good lighting. Afterward, keep record of how the crash affected your day-to-day life—did you have to skip work? Purchase pain medication? Were you unable to go to your child’s outdoor school event? Write it down.
  • Save the evidence. If you think you were injured by a defective bike part, don’t throw it out! Preserve it as evidence. The part in question will probably be inspected by an expert and can add a lot of credibility to your claim.

You can hold a bicycle manufacturer or repair shop liable for a defective bike part that caused or contributed to your injury. And the experienced NJ bike accident lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., can help. As avid bicyclists ourselves, we know both sides: the pain you feel after eating the dirt, and the evidence you need to be successful in your claim. Call (609) 240-0040 to discuss your case with us for free.

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Posted in: Bicycle Accident

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty years.

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