Jun 152012

A: The answer depends on a few important factors, such as what actually caused the bike frame to break and the nature and extent of damages. Under the law, a plaintiff in a products liability action must prove that:

1. the product was defective,
2. the defect caused the accident, and
3. damages.

There are three kinds of product liability defects: design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure to warn. In this situation, a bike frame breaking while being ridden is most likely due to a design defect or a manufacturing defect. The difference between the two lies in when the defect occurred – when it was designed (design defect) or when the bike was actually made (manufacturing defect).

In any products liability case, it is very important that the product be preserved, so that it can be tested by an appropriate expert. In this scenario, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to proceed without having the bike tested by an expert who could establish the nature of the defect.

In addition, because products liability cases are costly, there must be damages sufficient to warrant moving forward. Expert fees can easily exceed $10,000 and that does not include trial testimony costs. Even if a bike is defective and causes an accident, but there are no damages or injuries, there would be no case.

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Published: June 14, 2012

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