Bike Racks on Cars Pose Dangerous Risks
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 2.3 million injuries occurred in nearly 5.7 million auto accidents in 2013 alone. Many of these accidents involved one vehicle colliding with another vehicle due to driver negligence, road hazards, or similar causes. However, some car accidents occur for reasons that drivers may never consider to be a significant risk, such as the racks that motorists use to transport bicycles on their cars.
Bike racks come in several different varieties, such as racks that are strapped onto a vehicle's trunk, those that are mounted on a trailer hitch, and racks that are mounted on a vehicle's roof. While these racks all serve a helpful purpose for bicyclists, they also have one primary disadvantage: they have the potential to be defective and malfunction.
Imagine traveling on the highway behind a car with two bicycles on its rack. Suddenly, one of these bicycles comes detached from the rack and flies toward your car, crashing into the hood and the windshield. Having a bike suddenly crash into your car can easily cause you to lose control of your vehicle, swerve out of your lane, and crash into another vehicle or object. Additionally, the bike can even smash through your vehicle's windshield and cause catastrophic injuries. Following such a serious accident, it is only natural to ask: who may be held responsible for the failure of a bike rack?
Negligence of the Vehicle Owner
In some situations, the owner of the vehicle fails to properly install the bike rack on the car or fails to adequately secure his or her bicycles onto the rack. Car owners who use bike racks have the duty to make sure the bikes are secure to reasonably prevent injuries to others whenever possible. If a bike owner's negligence leads to an accident, injured victims may hold that owner liable for their medical bills and other losses.
Products Liability Claims
At times, a manufacturer will sell a bike rack that has been defectively designed or manufactured and, therefore, has inherent defects that cause a bike to fall off. If it is determined that the bike rack was defective, you will have to bring a legal claim against the negligent company in order to recover for your injuries.
Call a Wisconsin Auto Accident Attorney to Schedule Your Case Evaluation
While many auto accident cases are fairly straightforward, others may involve a complicated set of circumstances that can present challenges in identifying the correct negligent party. At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., our skilled Appleton personal injury attorneys and Green Bay personal injury attorneys understand how to thoroughly investigate the circumstances leading to your accident to make sure that you bring a legal claim against the appropriate party and can recover for your losses. If you have suffered injuries in any type of auto accident, please contact one of our office locations in Appleton, New London, Green Bay, and Oshkosh to discuss whether you have a viable claim. Do not hesitate to call today at 920-739-7366 for help.