What Happens if My Bicycle Brakes Don’t Work? The Crossroads of Product Liability and Personal Injury
When you hear of biking accidents, the immediate assumption would be that the cyclist in question is the guilty party. Crashing into people, cars, or structures in high speed is not new, and most of the time, is a result of carelessness. However, there are times in cycling accidents where no matter how trained or careful a cyclist is, unfortunate circumstances may still occur. Breaks can suddenly malfunction, gears can accidentally break, and other parts of your bike can abruptly be damaged.
In such cases, it is necessary to consider your rights as a consumer. There are times when you must not completely take responsibility when accidents occur. If you are a cyclist, it is important to know where to draw the line between product liability and personal injury. Experienced lawyers in California can help you discern the crossroads between the two.
Strict Product Liability Law in California
If you think that your accident may be caused by a defect in manufacturing or neglect on the part of the manufacturer, you may be entitled to a product liability claim. In the state of California, product liability claims are based on the theory of strict liability. This theory suggests that plaintiffs must not be required to demonstrate negligence on the part of the defendant when filing a case.
Strict liability may seem unfair, but it ultimately seeks to balance the disparity of financial and legal resources between plaintiffs and big-name brands or retailers. Under California’s strict liability laws, there are three types of product liability claims:
Manufacturing Defect Claims
In this type of claim, the plaintiff asserts that the company has manufactured the product poorly compared to other similar products. The accident must be a result of the defect in the manufacturing process, and that defect was already present when it left the custody of the defendant.
Design Defect Claims
The design defect claim suggests that the product, along with other similar products, were all designed poorly. This means that the issues in the manufacturing and production process are present in all products, and not just on the product under the possession of the plaintiff. This type of claim is harder to defend, especially because it requires extensive knowledge from experts of both parties.
To win in a design defect claim, the product must fail both the consumer expectations test and the risk-utility test.
Failure to Warn Claims
In California, companies must responsibly warn their consumers of the possible risks that come with the utility of their products. These warnings are expected to make consumers careful when handling the manufacturers’ products. However, companies are only expected to warn consumers of the risks that they would not have otherwise presumed.
For Inquiries on California Product Liability and Personal Injury Claims, Consult with Fleming Law!
If you get involved with biking or cycling accidents while using a defective biking product, you may be entitled to a product liability claim from its manufacturer. Make sure that you know your rights and privileges as a customer. If you think that poor manufacturing or lack of warning is the reason for your accident, contact a reliable California Product Liability attorney like Matt Fleming as soon as possible.