A sport bike, or “sportbike”, is a motorcycle optimized for performance and speed and generally not used for day-to-day commuting. Rather, they are designed for use in competitive racing.
Because sport bikes are optimized for speed and performance, sport bikes are capable of reaching higher speeds and handling tighter maneuvers than regular motorcycles. Therefore, sport bikes are even more likely than regular motorcycles to be involved in serious and potentially deadly sport bike accidents.
Accidents involving sport bikes can be more dangerous, because the bikes may be traveling at higher speeds than those at which regular motorcycles travel. In addition, greater skill is required to drive a sport bike. Sport bike accidents may occur in a racing competition or sporting setting, although they can happen in other contexts as well.
What Are the Injuries That a Person Can Suffer in a Sport Bike Accident?
As with all accidents, sport bike accidents come about in a number of ways. For example, another driver may operate their bike carelessly. Or, a person’s bike may be a defective product that malfunctions in some way. Common injuries a person may sustain because of a sportbike accident include:
- Bone fractures;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Soft tissue damage;
- Loss of a limb;
- Catastrophic injury;
- Paralysis because of a spine, neck, or back injury;
- Cuts or lacerations; and/or
Can I Sue If My Sport Bike Accident Was Someone Else’s Fault?
A lawsuit to recover damages may be a possibility, depending on the facts of the accident. When another biker operates a sport bike recklessly and causes an accident, it may be considered negligence. The measure of whether a biker’s actions are negligent depends on how they compare to the actions of an ordinary person in the same or similar circumstances.
There are specific elements of negligence that the victim of it must prove in order to succeed with a lawsuit. The person who brings a lawsuit based on negligence is the “plaintiff” in legal terminology and the person sued is the “defendant.”
- Duty: The defendant must owe a duty of care to the plaintiff. We all owe a duty of care to others in most of our daily activities. This is especially true when we operate motor vehicles; we owe a duty to other drivers and pedestrians in the area around us. So, for example, in a racing competition, the drivers all owe a duty to follow the racing rules;
- Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to act as required by the duty of care;
- Causation: The defendant’s breach caused personal injury and/or property damage to the plaintiff;
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered economic losses as a result of their injury or damage to their property as a result of the defendant’s negligence. A plaintiff can also recover an amount for their pain and suffering, and in some rare cases, they might recover punitive damages also.
Can I Sue If the Bike Was Defective?
A sport bike might be thought of as an inherently dangerous product. However, the manufacturer and distributors still have a duty to place a product on the market that is free of defects.
A defective product is a product that causes injury to a person because of a design, manufacturing or labeling defect. To prove that a product is defective, a plaintiff must show the following:
- The speed bike was in some way defective and the defect caused it to malfunction and cause an accident. For example, it had faulty brakes that did not operate as required;
- The defective product caused injury to a victim who was using the sport bike as it was intended to be used;
- The condition of the defective product was not changed substantially from the way it was when it was sold originally.
A lawsuit involving a sport bike accident can result in an award of money damages. The damages award would compensate a victim for such economic losses as medical bills, lost wages and property damage. The amount of damages awarded in court would depend on the severity of the losses and other factors, such as the law regarding damages of the state in which the lawsuit proceeds.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Sport Bike Accident Claims?
As in other personal injury claims, the injured party may sometimes be entitled to receive a legal remedy for their injuries. In most cases, this takes the form of an award of money damages, as detailed above.
The damages typically compensate a plaintiff for their actual economic losses, such as the cost of paying bills for doctors, hospitalization, medication, surgery, physical therapy and other medical care. Damages also compensate for losses associated with property damage, such as the cost of repairing the plaintiff’s sport bike, if it was damaged in the accident. And, finally plaintiffs might recover amounts for pain and suffering, and on some occasions, punitive damages.
In cases where the injury is caused by a defective product, other remedies may be appropriate. For instance, the defective sport bike might be subject to a recall and pulled from retail stores. Or, the manufacturer might offer a free repair of the defect, if that is possible.
If a person was killed in an accident involving a sport bike and the accident was caused by the negligence of another person or a product defect, then the family members of the deceased person may file a lawsuit for wrongful death. A surviving spouse, children, dependent parents and others would be the plaintiff, or plaintiffs, in a wrongful death lawsuit.
These plaintiffs would be able to recover damages to compensate them for the medical care given to their deceased family member, for a funeral and burial, loss of earnings, loss of inheritance due to the untimely death of the deceased family member. They would also be able to recover damages to compensate them for their own pain and suffering and, again, possibly, punitive damages if it could be shown that the defendant’s conduct was intentional, malicious, or especially reprehensible in some way.
Are There Any Defenses to Liability in a Sport Bike Accident Lawsuit?
In some cases, the defendant may be able to claim a defense to negligence, which might reduce or even eliminate their liability in the lawsuit. One example of a common defense that could be raised in a sport bike accident case is that of “assumption of risk”.
A defendant can claim assumption of risk when the plaintiff knows of the risks associated with a particular activity or product, and yet continues to take part in the activity or use the product. For instance, if the injured person knew that a specific sport bike was defective, and yet still continued to drive it, they might not be able to recover damages if the defect causes an accident.
Another defense may be that of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence can be claimed when the plaintiff’s own actions or conduct contributed to the accident that caused their injuries. An example of this would be where the evidence shows that the plaintiff was intoxicated or speeding at the time of the collision.
So, the plaintiff’s own negligent conduct contributed to the accident and resulting injury. Depending on the jurisdiction, if the defendant asserts a defense successfully, it can negatively affect the plaintiff’s ability to collect damages.
Should I Talk to a Lawyer about a Sport Bike Accident?
If you have been injured in a sport bike accident, you should consult an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in order to determine if you have a case for product liability or negligence. An attorney in your area can help analyze the facts of the case.
They can research whether possible defects in the sport bike were a factor in causing the accident. A lawyer can also negotiate with insurance companies and file a lawsuit and can guide you during the process from start to finish.