Who’s Liable when Defective Parts Contribute to a Bike Accident?

San Francisco Concussion and Bicycle Accident Attorneys

While bicycle accidents are often the result of inattention on the part of car drivers, defective or malfunctioning bike parts can be a contributing factor as well. Problems with quick-release mechanisms, poor alloys, defective carbon fiber parts or weakened frames and forks can make bicycle accidents worse than they might otherwise have been. The issue is not unimportant since, in California, bicycle manufacturers, designers, distributors and retailers can be held liable for injuries caused by defective products. The same holds for bicycle safety helmets that fail to perform as indicated.

Retailers and Defective Products from a Bicycle Manufacturer

If a bicyclist was unable to stop in time or avoid a car headed for him or her due to an improperly assembled or manufactured bicycle, the retailer and bike maker may both be liable for some of your losses. Here, a cracked fork, brake malfunction, pedals that snap off or handle bars that aren’t secured properly can act as a contributing factor to an accident.

The Importance of Investigating a Bicycle Accident

Due to the damage suffered to most bikes in bicycle accidents, it may not be obvious at first if a defective bike part was a contributing factor to your accident. However, if you remember having difficultly stopping, if your pedal or chain snapped, or if part of your fork or frame bent unexpectedly, you may have legal grounds for holding others beside the driver who hit you financially liable for your injuries.

Bike Recalls Are More Common than People Realize

Bicycles are not immune from manufacturing and design defects. You may have had a bicycle accident made worse by an already defective bike and not realized it. In fact, in the past year there have been a number of bicycle recalls —

• October 2010: 200 bicycles with the EC90 Zero seat posts were recalled by Easton Sports.

• November 2010: 370 Model Year Anthem Giant Bicycles were recalled by Newbury Park, California-based Giant Bicycles due to risk of a frame crack.

• November 2010: 9,300 BB30 Gossamer crank sets were recalled by Full Speed Ahead due to concerns pertaining to the bolt shoulder.

• December 2010: 200 Redline D640 bicycles were recalled by Seattle Bike Supply due to concerns regarding the head tube and frame.

• January 2011: 6,500 Salsa Handlebar Stems were recalled by Salsa Cycles due to concerns regarding cracking and breaking.

• February 2011: 160 Novara Fusion bicycles were recalled by REI due to concerns regarding the alloy steerer tube.

• February 2011: 1,550 Felt Adult bicycles link to www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11139.html were recalled due to concerns regarding the integrity of the bicycle’s fork.

Head and Spinal Cord Injuries Due to Bicycle Accidents

If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle accident on the streets of San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto or Mountain View, contact San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today. We can evaluate your case and determine if an investigation into possible defective parts is needed to recover the damages you deserve.

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