Has Part of Your Motorcycle Been Recalled?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, in 2014, motorcycle fatalities occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. Decades of research have repeatedly demonstrated that motorcycles are less safe than other vehicles. While insurance company investigations generally focus on which driver was at fault for causing accidents, in some circumstances no drivers were at fault.
Defective motorcycles or motorcycle parts can make manufacturers legally responsible (liable) for causing accidents. This also makes manufacturers legally obligated to compensate victims for any resulting injuries. After any motorcycle accident, injury victims must protect their legal rights. The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in securing fair compensation for motorcycle injury victims. Contact our office today to learn why Florida riders trust the Dolman Law Group.
Who Is Liable for a Defective Motorcycle?
Any party who is responsible for placing a negligently designed or manufactured motorcycle on the market can also be responsible for injuries that occur as a result of the defects. The parties in this “stream of commerce” can include designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. It generally extends to any people or companies that engage in such commerce on a regular basis as a part of their businesses. (It does not, for example, apply to private parties who resell a single motorcycle.) An injury victim can sue any or all of these businesses for injuries that occur as a result of the defects.
Why Businesses Choose to Initiate Recalls
A recall is not the equivalent of a legal admission of guilt—in fact, many recalls and settlements specifically contain clauses by which companies explicitly make no admissions of guilt. In most courts, evidence of subsequent remedial measures (such as recalls) is inadmissible as evidence of wrongdoing. Because of this, the importance of a recall is practical, not legal. Recalls attempt to correct defective products and prevent accidents and injuries before they occur. Recalls do not create legal rights or give customers legal advantages. Recalls aim to save lives. Because of this, owners need to be aware of any recalls that may apply to their vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a searchable online recall page. Owners can look for applicable recalls simply by entering their vehicle identification numbers.
How Riders Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
When shopping for a motorcycle, buyers should carefully consider those features that reduce the likelihood of accidents. For example, engine size is directly related to a bike’s speed, and many motorcycle buyers immediately gravitate toward the largest engines available. But this can present tremendous danger for inexperienced or returning riders who are not prepared to handle powerful motorcycles. Buyers should carefully test drive different engine sizes to ensure they can safely manage the speed of their motorcycles. In addition, manufacturers introduce new and improved safety features with every model year. Carefully consider all options, and evaluate the cost of these features versus the benefits they provide (a reduced risk of accident, injury, and death).
Of course, all the safety features in the world cannot protect a rider from unsafe driving habits. Safe riding habits begin before a rider ever hits the road. Check all motorcycle parts and safety equipment before riding. Change tires regularly to prevent skidding and sliding. Perform regular maintenance, such as oil changes and alignments. Always wear a helmet. Use gloves, chaps, boots, and other safety gear as appropriate. All riders—regardless of their skill levels—should complete motorcycle safety courses. Practice braking extensively. Accelerate slowly, and never exceed the speed at which you feel in control of your motorcycle. Continue to monitor your speed once you hit the road. Be particularly mindful of your speed at intersections, when encountering curves on the road, or on uneven surfaces.
Motorcycle riders must also be aware of other surroundings. Debris in the road is particularly dangerous for motorcycles, which do not have the physical protection, stability, or shock absorption of passenger vehicles. Watch for patches of gravel, puddles of water, oil on the road, tree branches, and other debris. Animals on the side of the road can be even more dangerous than debris. Wild animals, in particular, tend to act unpredictably and can unexpectedly dart into the path of a motorcycle.
The Right Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney for You
Under Florida law, motorcycle accident victims have legal rights to compensation for their injuries. The Dolman Law Group has decades of experience protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims in the Clearwater area. Call (727) 451-6900 or write us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, aggressive motorcycle accident attorney. We will identify all causes of your accident, and all parties who are responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765