Motorcycle Defects

One of the potential claims arising out of a motorcycle accident is that the accident was caused by some unreasonably dangerous or defective condition of the motorcycle itself.  This is called a product liability claim.

Under Tennessee law, every motorcycle manufacturer has a duty not to sell motorcycles that are defective or unreasonably dangerous. From time to time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the vehicle’s manufacturer will issue a safety recall of certain motorcycles that have been determined to create some sort of hazard. The hazard may be minor or major.

For example, Kawsaki has recalled 2,560 model year 2011 Ninja ZX-10r/ZX-10R ABS motorcycles because it is possible for a portion of the wiring harness to become pinched between the rear sub-frame and the rear fender or between the rear sub-frame and the bolt holding the seat cover. If this happens, there can be damage to the harness and wiring, which in turn can result in a short between wires and the frame or within wires, all of which could result in the engine stopping suddenly. If the motorcycle stalls while being ridden, there could be a crash resulting in injury or death.

You can check this National Highway Traffic Safety Administration webpage to see if there are any investigations into defects for a particular model of motorcycle.

In addition, the defect may be in a component part such as a tire. It is possible for all types of tires to be made with a defect that can make the tire unsafe. A defect in a motorcycle tire that causes the tire to fail will have severe and perhaps deadly consequences for the motorcyclist and his or her passenger.

There are countless other examples. What is important for you to know is that if you suspect a problem with your motorcycle contributed to cause a wreck it is essential that you: (a) keep all of the parts of the motorcycle; (b) not attempt to do any testing of the parts on your own; and (c) hire one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible.

First, it is important to keep all of the parts of the motorcycle because it will be very difficult to prove the existence of a defect without having the motorcycle and its component parts. For example, if the rear wheel blew out causing you to lose control, it is important to keep the wheel as well as the rest of the bike. Do not allow the wheel to be lost. Do not repair the bike and do not let the bike be sold for salvage. Keep the bike and as many parts of it as you can find in a secure, dry place. Do not let it be exposed to the elements or animals.

Second, do not attempt to conduct your own test of the component or components of the bike you believe failed. The simple fact of testing may alter or destroy evidence, and doing so may impact your right to recover damages. Keep the evidence in the exact same condition as it was when you found it.

Third, one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can guide you through this process. Such a lawyer will know who to hire to conduct an appropriate test and how the testing can be done to avoid any claims that the evidence has been unfairly altered. Our experienced motorcycle lawyers can interview witnesses and gather other information essential to prove what happened and how the wreck could have been avoided.

The lawyers at the Law Offices of John Day, P.C. have represented bikers and motorcycle passengers for more than 70 years. We are bikers ourselves and we understand how to investigate cases involving a potential claim for negligent motorcycle repair and how to avoid a claim by an insurance company that evidence has been altered or destroyed. We are available for a free consultation and, if we believe your case has merit, will accept representation on a no recovery, no fee basis.  Contact us online or call us anytime of day at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787

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