Dirt bikes are a special type of motorcycle that is used for off-road purposes, often for racing or other sporting events. The bikes are often fitted with features that make it ideal for off-road use, such as special tires and mud guards.
They are sometimes also modified for speed, power, and other elements when used for competitive purposes. Some dirt bikes are used in extreme sports and games, where they are used for extreme jumps and tricks.
Dirt bike accidents can occur in many ways and through many causes. For instance, they can include accidents such as:
- Crashing into another rider;
- Crashing into stationary objects, such as walls, poles, or trees; or
- Accidents caused by the rider falling from high heights (often related to jumps and other stunts).
A dirt bike accident can often occur because the rider was operating the bike recklessly. In this sort of situation, the dirt bike rider is at fault for their own injuries. However, dirt bike accidents can be caused by another rider. That other rider may ride aggressively, taking a blind corner at high speeds, or engaging in other risky behavior.
Can I File a Lawsuit If Another Rider Caused My Injuries?
A plaintiff may sometimes file a negligence claim against another rider who they believed cause their injuries. Negligence is the theory of exercising care an ordinary person would under similar or same circumstances.
In other words, if the reckless rider engaged in risky behavior on a bike, and that risky behavior led to the accident, then the rider would be liable for the accident.
What Must I Prove to Win a Negligence Lawsuit?
In order to have a successful negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove specific elements:
- Duty: the rider must have a duty of care to the other participants (such as following the safety rules for a race);
- Breach of Duty: the rider violated their duty of care (for instance, by bumping another rider);
- Causation: the breach of duty was the actual cause of the injuries; and
- Damages: the injuries can be calculated in terms of a dollar amount.
What are Injuries That Can Result from a Dirt Bike Accident?
Dirt bike accidents are often high impact, involving machinery (the dirt bike) and high speed. Especially if there are other riders involved or a jump/sharp turn, the injuries can include:
- Cranial bleeding;
- Compound fractures;
- Broken vertebrae;
- Deep puncture wounds;
- Facial injuries;
- Lacerated internal organs;
- Severe concussions;
- Broken wrists;
- Broken ankles;
- Broken legs;
- Broken back; and/or
- Closed head injuries.
Do I Have a Case If the Bike Was Defective?
An injured dirt bike rider may be able to sue the manufacturer, distributor, or designer of the bike if a defect present in the bike was the cause of the accident. A defective product is any product that causes injury to an individual because of a defect present in the:
- Design; and/or
To have a successful claim, a plaintiff must show:
- The dirt bike had an unreasonably dangerous defect;
- The defect caused the injury while the bike was being used in the way it was intended by the manufacturer or designer; and
- The plaintiff had not changed or altered the bike since purchasing it.
A common example of a defective dirt bike is where there is a manufacturing defect with the bike’s brakes, making it unable to stop during usage. Here, the manufacturer might be held liable for the person’s injuries under a manufacturing defect legal claim.’
Is there Anything that Might Affect My Damages Award?
In some lawsuits, the injured party’s own actions might affect the amount of damages they receive. Depending on the case, their damages could be lessened if their own conduct contributed to their injuries. For instance, their damages might be affected if:
- The injured person was guilty of the same type of conduct as the defendant (for instance, if both parties were speeding);
- The injured person did not use the motorcycle or dirt bike in the way it was intended; and
- The injured person modified the motorcycle after it was purchased.
Even if the part that is modified was not the part that failed, you can still be barred from suing for the defective part. If the failed part was moved during the modification, like removed and put back on (unaltered), it can still be considered enough of a change that would interfere with the integrity of the dirt bike.
Keep in mind that the amount of damages may depend on various factors, including state and local laws.
Do I Need a Lawyer Regarding My Dirt Bike Accident?
It is best to contact a local personal injury lawyer about your accident. The lawyer will evaluate the accident and injuries and tell you how to proceed. Your attorney can provide you with representation and guidance for your case.