Proving Liability When a Used Bicycle Malfunction Causes a Bike Accident

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According Colorado laws, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, so a cyclist is bound by law to follow the rules of the road. In cases of a bicycle accident with a car at an intersection, liability is determined based on who had the right of way and whether either party violated traffic laws. However, many bicycle accidents are also solo accidents that may be caused by a mechanical failure of one or more components of a used bicycle.

Bike Accidents Involving Defects

Even a bicycle that's been used for years may reveal a mechanical failure, say, when the cyclist attempts a particular maneuver. The cyclist may discover the defect in the product at this time only.

If the malfunction caused an accident and resulted in an injury or any other loss, then the manufacturer of the bike, its supplier and/or any other entity who has made the product available can be held liable for the incident. So apart from the manufacturer of the bicycle, the cyclist may file for personal injury damages claims against other parties in the chain of distribution if they acted negligently.

If purchased secondhand, the bicyclist may explore whether the previous owner or the bike shop that sold the bike created and/or knew of the hazard, yet failed to inform the buyer. These parties could become potential defendants if the cyclist chooses to pursue a claim.

Types of Liability for Bike Accidents

There can be several types of liabilities if a used bicycle malfunctions and causes an accident. There can be a design defect that makes the bicycle inherently dangerous to ride, for example. A manufacturing defect, on the other hand, may stem from a flaw in the process of manufacturing or assembling the product.

A bike accident victim may file for damages if another party created a hazard after the manufacturing process. Further, if a bike or a particular part is recalled and the retailer still sells it to the public, the retailer could be liable in a claim as well.

In all the above instances, the injured cyclist can claim compensation from the respective party at fault. Product liability claims are difficult to prove because complex pieces of information need to be gathered and analyzed to form a convincing case. Plaintiffs should seek the advice of a bicycle accident attorney in Arvada to help them prepare their cases and represent them in court or at the negotiating table.

Legal Help for Bicycle Accident Victims

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 700 fatalities resulted from bicycle-motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2011, while there were close to 40,000 injuries. These are indeed disconcerting statistics, and it is only natural for a cyclist to wonder how to prove liability in such cases.
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