Although bicycle accidents are commonly thought of as involving a bike rider being hit by a motor vehicle, some bike accidents occur due to a defect in the bicycle itself. A defect in a bicycle can either cause a rider to wipe out or crash all by themselves, or it may leave them unable to avoid a crash or collision. If you have been injured in a bike crash that may have been caused by a defect in your bicycle, you need to know what rights you have to recover compensation for your injuries. 

Common Bicycle Defects

A bicycle may be deemed defective in one of three ways:

  • Design defect -- The bicycle’s design or specifications are inherently dangerous or unsafe, or safer alternative designs could feasibly be used.
  • Manufacturing defect -- The bicycle deviated from the standard design due to inadequate materials or errors made during the manufacturing or assembly process.
  • Failure-to-warn, or marketing defect -- The bicycle failed to come with proper instructions as to its safe use or warnings regarding the risks of use.

Some of the most common component defects that bicycles experience include:

  • Carbon forks or carbon fiber frames
  • Brakes
  • Wheels
  • Quick-release mechanisms on wheels
  • Chains
  • Gears

Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by Bike Defects

If a bicycle’s defects cause an accident that injures the rider or other parties, any party in the chain of commerce that put the defective bicycle in the consumer’s hands can be held liable for losses that result from the accident. Parties that may be legal liability for a bicycle defect include:

  • Manufacturers of parts used on the bike
  • Manufacturer or assembler of the bicycle
  • Wholesalers or distributors
  • The bicycle shop or other retailer that sold the bike

What to Do If You Were Injured in an Accident Caused by a Defect with Your Bicycle

After you have been injured in an accident caused by a defect in your bicycle, steps you should take to protect your legal rights and options to pursue a financial recovery include:

  • Make sure to exchange information with any drivers that may have been involved in the accident.
  • Take photos or video of the accident scene right after the crash.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible to get examined for any injuries you may have suffered. Follow any treatment instructions or recommendations that your doctor gives you.
  • Keep the bicycle you were riding. Do not have it repaired until it has been examined by an engineer to determine the nature of the defect.
  • Preserve copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts from any expenses you incur. Also make sure to have copies of your pay stub or income statement to validate your income if you miss work after the accident. 
  • Avoid discussing the accident or your insurance claims or lawsuits with anyone except your attorney.

Finally, you should arrange to speak with a bicycle accident attorney or products liability lawyer to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options for seeking financial recovery for your injuries.

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Bicycle Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a bicycle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm represent clients injured because of bicycle accidents in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.