Motorcycle ownership in Arizona is on the rise, especially in Tucson. But as the number of motorcycles manufactured and sold to hit the road continues to climb, so does the number of two-wheelers that pose safety risks due to manufacturing defects.

If you own a motorcycle that has been recalled and have suffered injuries relating to that defect, a Tucson motorcycle recalls lawyer can advise you of your rights against the manufacturer. Motorcycle manufacturers must comply with strict standards instituted and governed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and they owe you the duty of ensuring your bike is safe to ride.

Common Types of Defects

Motorcycle defects and recalls often involve issues with the vehicle’s braking system. Fully functional brakes are vital for a safe motorcycle, and a faulty system could easily cause an accident. Other parts of the bike could also require a recall if defective, such as the motorcycle’s wheels, rims, or shock absorbers.

A recall for one of these issues could prevent an accident by allowing a motorcyclist to fix their vehicle before they are harmed. If the motorcycle has a serious defect but is never recalled, the owner could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer if the defect causes an accident.

NHTSA Procedures for Motorcycle Recalls

When it is discovered that a motorcycle is defective, manufacturers will often recall the product to avoid liability in the event of an accident. This is because a faulty part or system can result in catastrophic harm to riders.

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 states that vehicle manufacturers, including motorcycle manufacturers, remediate defective products at no cost to consumers. When either the NHTSA mandates a recall or a motorcycle manufacturer voluntarily issues one, the manufacturer is required to file a public report with the NHTSA that details the specific safety issue, the motorcycles impacted, what caused the recall, how the manufacturer will remedy the defect, and the timeline for the recall.

Consumers who purchased the defective motorcycles will receive notification regarding the recall, and the recall is also included within the NHTSA’s online database. Even if a motorcycle manufacturer issues a recall and corrects any possible defect, it may still be liable to owners or passengers who experience injuries as a result of the defective product. A Tucson lawyer who focuses their practice on recalled motorcycles and products liability can help victims seek compensation for their injuries and other losses.

Products Liability Claims for Defective Motorcycles

Under Arizona law, a plaintiff may bring a products liability claim for injuries sustained as a result of a recalled motorcycle under one of two theories: negligence and strict liability. Because it is easier to prove and depending on the circumstances, a Tucson attorney with experience in motorcycle recalls often will recommend that the injured party make a strict liability claim. Additionally, there are three categories under which a plaintiff may make a products liability claim: defective design, defects in manufacturing, and the failure to warn of dangers or provide sufficient instructions.

Negligence Claims

To prove negligence, a plaintiff usually must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injuries the plaintiff suffered. In a products liability case, though, manufacturers owe a duty of reasonable care to any potential people who may use the product.

Strict Liability Claims

To succeed on the theory of strict liability, a plaintiff must only prove that:

  • The product was in an unreasonably dangerous condition at the time of sale
  • The dangerous condition existed when it left the defendant’s control
  • The dangerous condition caused the injuries that the plaintiff suffered

However, these elements can still be difficult to establish in a particular claim, so it is important for a plaintiff to seek legal representation to help them gather the appropriate evidence.

Working With an Attorney Regarding Motorcycle Recalls in Tucson

If a motorcycle manufacturer is found to be liable under a products liability claim, it may be responsible for providing compensation to the plaintiff. These damages are available for losses such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, future medical care, pain and suffering, lost income, and emotional distress. If the plaintiff contributed to the injury, however, the compensation for which they are eligible could be reduced by their percentage of fault under the pure comparative fault doctrine.

If you face injuries resulting from a defective motorcycle, a Tucson motorcycle recalls lawyer could evaluate your case and determine your likelihood of succeeding on the merits. If they agree you have a strong claim, they can advise you regarding the parties that may be liable and how to best strategize your case. Call today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team and learn more.

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