New Jersey Defective Motorcycle Attorney
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Injured Due to Defective Motorcycles and Parts? We Can Help!
A defective motorcycle or part can create a very dangerous situation on the road. If a component fails while you are riding, you can find yourself losing control of the motorcycle. Some motorcycle defects can have fatal consequences if they cause critical components to fail such as brakes.
Over 500 motorcycles from 27 brands both American and foreign have been recalled over the past five years. Some of the recalls were for minor defects while others were serious defects that can cause major accidents. For instance, one recent recall addresses a bad seal that may allow water to seep into a part of the electronics. If the electronic part gets wet, the engine could stall. A stalled engine while riding could cause the driver to lose control of the motorcycle. Another bike was recalled recently because a brake line was positioned in such a way that it could contact the tire. The friction from the tire could put a hole in the line and ultimately cause brake failure. Even at low speeds, this could be fatal.
While motorcycle manufacturers are required to do everything in their power to alert the public to safety issues and recalls, the problem usually only becomes apparent after it has caused injury or wrongful death already. Even if the manufacturer handles a recall flawlessly, there is a very real chance that not everyone who it affects will learn of the defect before an incident. Manufacturers of course offer free repairs or replacements on defective parts or bikes, but, if a motorcyclist does not get the word in time, the offer of free service is useless.
Recent Motorcycle Recalls
About 57,000 motorcycles worldwide were recently recalled by Harley-Davidson, including numerous 2017 models. According to the manufacturer, a clamp on an engine oil cooler line may not have been installed properly on certain models. The recall happened after Harley-Davidson received nine reports of oil lines coming off, which resulted in at least two crashes and one injury. It was a voluntary recall issued by Harley-Davidson and dealers have been instructed to inspect clamps on recalled models and fix them without charge.
- Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles recalled some 2017 motorcycles, including certain S ZF6.5 and S ZF13.0 models. This recall was issued because turn signals stopped working but did not notify the biker that anything was wrong. Without realizing it, a biker could have failed to indicate a turn, putting himself and others in danger. There was a previous recall by Zero Motorcycles in 2017 due to an issue with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and hydraulic control unit (HCU) systems in certain S, DS, and FXS models; these motorcycles had the wrong vehicle information, causing the ABS controls to act incorrectly, creating the risk of a serious crash.
BMW recently issued a recall on more than 14,000 motorcycles manufactured between 2014 and 2017, including R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure models. This recall was in response to issues with the fork system of these motorcycles. According to BMW, in moments of extreme stress a gap developed where the fork connects with the steering bar. If this happens, the steering and handling will be negatively impacting, increasing the chance of a crash. BMW received over 100 customer complaints worldwide about fork and steering issues, which ultimately led to the recall.
Are Bike Mods Legal in New Jersey?
The answer to that question depends on the type of mod applied to a motorcycle. In many instances they are legal, but certain modifications are illegal. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your motorcycle must be able to pass emissions testing, no matter what you do to it, so any changes that cause it to fail will make your bike illegal on the road. There are also noise ordinances in place in New Jersey, so your motorcycle must have an appropriate muffler to not violate these laws.
You must also ensure that your motorcycle is properly illuminated and easy to distinguish for others at night. You cannot add lights that might make your motorcycle appear to be some other kind of vehicle, or remove your headlights and taillights. You also cannot use red, amber, and blue LED strobe or rotating lights on your motorcycle without a permit - since these lights are reserved for emergency vehicles. Ultimately, if you are concerned about mods you want to add to your bike, speak with a mechanic and an experienced lawyer to make sure the changes you have planned are legal.
Injuries and Damages from Defective Motorcycles
In most cases, defective motorcycles and parts increase the likelihood of a collision, either with another driver or as a single-vehicle crash. Motorcyclists have a disproportionately high number of fatalities due to how exposed they are compared to other motorists. Common injuries include traumatic brain damage, fractured bones, and limb amputation.
In some instances, defective motorcycles can result in unexpected injuries. For example, failures in fuel lines and other systems could lead to overheating so extreme that part or all of the motorcycle bursts into flames. Serious burns cause terrible pain and often require lengthy and very expensive medical treatment.
Sadly, fatalities can also occur due to faults in design or construction, which can make the manufacturer liable for funeral expenses, lost potential wages, and the emotional distress and trauma of spouses and other loved ones.
Get Help from a Top Defective Motorcycle Attorney in NJ
Our New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience it takes to go up against insurance companies, motorcycle manufacturers and parts manufacturers successfully. We will investigate every possible avenue to ensure you receive the highest possible settlement or award for your defective motorcycle injury case. We take a very limited number of cases so that we can give our undivided attention to our clients. Clients of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. get the greatest care and direct communication with the partners. We invest a lot of time and energy into every case to ensure we deliver the best results possible. Call us today at (609) 240-0040 for a case evaluation.
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