Every product—even those that carry an inherent level of danger such as motorcycles—must perform their intended function safely when a user operates the bike in the proper manner. This places a legal obligation on motorcycle manufacturers to properly test their products as well as to issue immediate recalls for safety issues.

Motorcycle defects and recalls in Bellevue can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. These claims typically allege damages based on a theory of product liability. If you can prove that a manufacturer released a defective product into the market resulting in your injury, you may have a right to collect significant compensation.

When Does a Defective Product Become a Legal Liability?

The purpose of every manufacturer of products is to make money for their company. However, they also have a legal duty to produce a product that performs safely when a customer uses it as intended. A failure to meet this duty is called product liability.

According to the Revised Code of Washington § 7.72.030, the maker of a product is liable for a customer’s injuries if:

  1. The product is not safe due to a defective design
  2. The maker did not provide proper instructions for safe use
  3. The maker did not provide updated instructions for safe use if a maker learns of a defect that may cause harm
  4. The product does not conform to an express or implied warranty for safe use

Even if there is little doubt that a motorcycle or its components were defective, the maker may still argue that an injured biker assumed the risk associated with riding a motorcycle. However, plaintiffs may counterargue that their use of the bike conformed to all acceptable known uses for that product. A knowledgeable attorney like Chong Ye can provide more information about motorcycle defects and potential claims for damages in Bellevue.

When Might a Recall be Necessary?

There are times when the maker of a product recognizes that their product is causing consumers harm. This typically happens when a court has already held that maker liable for injuries resulting from a defective product. In these cases, the maker may issue a recall for the defective parts or for the entire motorcycle.

Whether the defective part is subject to a recall can both harm and benefit a plaintiff’s case for damages. On the one hand, the issuance of a recall is evidence that the maker admits that there is a safety concern with the item. While this does not guarantee a successful claim in court, it is powerful proof that there is, in fact, a problem.

However, makers of products who issue recalls will often mail notices to consumers. This is especially true in the case of motor vehicles. If a plaintiff receives a notice of a safety recall, does nothing about it, and continues to ride the bike, that defective part’s failure might not serve as the basis for a successful product liability case. A skilled legal professional in Bellevue can fully investigate the cause of a product’s failure and use evidence of a recall as proof of liability.

Motorcycle Defects and Recalls in Bellevue May be the Basis for a Personal Injury Case

A defective product on an already dangerous vehicle, such as a motorcycle, can lead to catastrophic injuries. However, just because a part may have been defective does not mean that you are entitled to financial recovery. The maker of a defective part may attempt to raise affirmative defenses arguing that you did not use the product as intended, that you accepted the risk with using the product, or that you ignored a safety recall.

Responsible makers will issue mandatory recalls when safety becomes an issue with a motorcycle. These serve to put an owner on notice that the bike is no longer safe to use. Typically, makers will offer a fix at no cost to the consumer, but even this step may not totally eliminate a maker’s responsibility. If you suffer an injury from a defective product, even after the company issues a recall, you may still collect damages if you did not have proper notice of that recall. A diligent attorney like Chong Ye can help you pursue claims based on Bellevue motorcycle defects and recalls. Contact The Ye Law Firm today to schedule a time to visit on the phone or remotely to discuss your claim.