It’s not at all unusual for a bicyclist to take his or her bike to a professional for repairs. Like with other service providers, the bicyclist trusts that the shop personnel will perform repairs in a responsible and workmanlike manner. There are times though when quality work isn’t performed, and bicyclists are injured or die as a result of negligent bike maintenance and repairs.
If you believe that a bike shop’s improper repair of your bike caused you to lose control of it and injure yourself, you’ll probably need to prove the elements of negligence in order to obtain compensation for your injuries. Those elements are that:
- The bicycle shop owed you a duty of care
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of that duty caused your accident
- The accident was the proximate cause of your injuries
- You suffered legally recognized damages
To prevail in your case, you have to prove each and every one of those elements. If you fail to prove just one, your case fails in its entirety.
Bicyclists are exposed to injury
In the event of a crash, bicyclists don’t have crumple zones, seat belts or air bags to protect them. Other than maybe a helmet, they’re completely exposed to injury. Some common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Pelvis and hip fractures
- Hand, arm and leg fractures
- Clavicle fractures
Making your case
You’ll need a record of your accident, and the most reliable record of it will be a police report. Without a police report, it’s probably your word against the bicycle mechanic’s. That’s not enough when your burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. That investigating police officer might be your second best witness.
Preserving the evidence
In the course of your claim against the bicycle shop, your best evidence against it might be your bike itself. That’s why you should wait to repair it until your claim against the shop is resolved. Our expert can determine what repairs were negligently performed from the bike wreckage within the requisite reasonable degree of certainty. Necessary evidence could get lost, damaged or destroyed if you take it in for repairs. If that happens, you have no case.
What if repairs weren’t negligently made, but the part was defective?
A product liability case is the second theory of liability that should be investigated. If a product is dangerously defective, and it causes injuries or death to a user, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers can be held for the injuries or deaths that they cause. There are three different types of product liability claims. Those are:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Marketing defects
These defects come are born from the drawing board and blueprints before the manufacturing process even begins. Every product in the line has the same dangerous defect.
With manufacturing defects, the design is solid, but mistakes are made during the manufacturing process. Those might only affect a handful of the products out of thousands.
These involve failure to provide sufficient instructions or warnings involving inherent dangers of a product that aren’t obvious to a user who needs to use special precautions.
If you prevail on a negligence theory or a product liability theory, you’ll be entitled to damages. Those can consist of:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Any permanent disability
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Funeral and burial costs in the event of a wrongful death
If you or somebody close to you were injured in any type of a bicycle accident, contact our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys right away. We’ll be pleased to discuss your accident and injuries with you in a free consultation with no obligations at all. Your job will be to reach maximum medical improvement while we attend to the legal aspects of your case. Since we take these cases on a contingency fee basis, no legal fees are due until such time as we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. There’s no reason not to call us after a bicycle accident.