We know that faulty cycling equipment can cause serious damage and injury
‘We have experience of succeeding with claims where components have failed and also where bicycles have been serviced or repaired negligently so that the components did not work effectively.’
If you have suffered a cycling accident as a result of defective cycling equipment such as the bike frame or brakes you should consider obtaining legal advice on the merits of bringing a personal injury claim for compensation. There are a number of ways this can be done:
Sales of Goods Act 1979
Sellers and suppliers of goods might be contractually liable under the Act. There is an implied term that goods are of “satisfactory quality” for the purpose for which those goods are ordinarily used.
For example, the frame of a mountain bike would not be expected to fail during reasonable off road use or the brakes on a road bike would be expected to work assuming they have been reasonably well maintained.
There is no need to prove fault on the part of the seller or supplier. If the equipment or component is defective, liability follows. Claims brought under the Act can be pursued by the injured cyclist against the person or business that sold or supplied the goods but not against the manufacturer or wholesaler with whom there was no contract.
An injured cyclist may have a claim for personal injuries and consequential losses against a negligent manufacturer or assembler of a product. It is unlikely that the injured cyclist will have a contractual claim against the person or company that manufactured and/or assembled the bicycle but that does not necessarily matter.
In order to succeed, the injured cyclist must prove that the other party was at fault i.e. that they did not take such care as was reasonable in the circumstances. For example, manufacturers of a defective tyre have been found liable for injuries suffered as a result of a tyre exploding, despite the lack of specific evidence as to how the defect had arisen.
We recently succeeded with a claim where a mountain bike frame collapsed and fell apart after a small jump. The negligence of the manufacturer caused the injury.
Consumer Protection Act 1987
Claims on behalf of injured cyclists under the Consumer Protection Act succeed without the need to establish fault providing the product is defective. There are statutory defences available to the Defendant. A product is considered to be “defective” if the safety of the product “is not such as persons are generally entitled to expect”. Much like the Sale of Goods Act, the onus is on the injured cyclist to prove that the product was defective (rather than a negligence claim where it is necessary to prove the other party was at fault).
Sometimes it can take time to identify the Defendant. A claim for a defective bike may initially be pursued against the supplier/retailer but the retailer is only liable if they fail to state who they bought the product from, be it an importer, producer or those who hold themselves out as producers.
This can be particularly important if a bicycle or piece of cycling equipment was manufactured abroad. Claims under this Act can only be brought against producers in England and the European Economic Area in English Courts provided the damage occurred in England. The same approach applies to claims against foreign importers.
Contact our specialist cycling accident solicitors.
Some of these claims are excluded where it is a purely economic loss rather than a claim for personal injuries with associated losses.
In cases where it is alleged that a product is defective or that the service or maintenance of a bicycle was negligent, it is very important to keep the relevant items for inspection along with any evidence of payment etc.
“What the team is known for: Somerset-based practice that comes recommended for its focus on spinal cord and brain injuries. Also offers niche expertise in areas such as fatal accidents and animal cases. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They are all very approachable and friendly, and I think that’s the culture that exists throughout the firm. They are a close-knit team.” “They have that mentality of looking after the client first as opposed to their own interests. They always do what’s best for the client.” Notable practitioners: Stuart Brazington (Band 1) offers particular expertise in serious spinal cord and brain injury cases. According to one interviewee, he “knows his cases extremely well” and “has good judgement about which points are likely to be important.” Mark Hambleton (Associate to watch) covers a broad range of personal injury matters, including animal cases, sports injuries and motorcycle accidents. Sources describe him as “always very impressive” and note that he’s “very good with clients.”” Chambers 2017 Somerset
“What the team is known for: Outstanding personal injury practice adept at handling an impressive breadth of claims, including equine matters, industrial disease cases and cycling accidents. Notable expertise in chronic pain and fatal accident cases, as well as offering significant experience in catastrophic injury claims. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They were all empathetic but businesslike, and this formed absolutely the right mixture. Their advice was delivered to me in exactly the right way.” “They were brilliant and supportive.” Work highlights Acted for a professional jockey in a claim arising from a racing accident in Australia that resulted in complete paraplegia. The case was partially tried at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Advised the widow of a man killed by a bullock, bringing precedent-setting liability claims under the Animals Act. Notable practitioners: Ian Carrier (Band 1) offers extensive expertise in catastrophic injuries, with a particular focus on spinal and brain claims. Impressed clients describe him as “very experienced and knowledgeable,” and note that he “has a genuine interest in you as a person.” He is also praised for his creative approach to complex cases. Tracy Norris-Evans (Band 1) draws on a wealth of experience in severe injury claims, including paediatric cases and those involving complex neurological issues. She frequently acts as a trustee in high-value settlements. According to one impressed source, Helen Childs (Band 2) was “absolutely superb from the outset” and had “phenomenal attention to detail.” She is held in high regard for her focus on major asbestos-related claims.” Chambers 2017 Oxford and Surrounds
“Royds Withy King sits on the panels for the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum and Headway. Department head Louise Hart handles amputation, orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, PTSD and facial injury matters. Stuart Brazington is also recommended.” Legal 500 2016 South West
“Royds Withy King, Tracy Norris-Evans is renowned for brain injury and paediatric work, and ‘shrewd lawyer and tactician’ Richard Brooks specialises in claims involving animals. Also recommended are Ian Carrier, who is adept in spinal injury claims; and Helen Childs, who leads the industrial diseases practice.” Legal 500 2016 South East