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Friday, May 13, 2016

Motorcycle Crash Victim Sues Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Dealer and Texas Department of Transportation

Who can be held legally responsible for negligence that causes a fatal accident?

When the police chief of Corpus Christ, Texas was killed in a motorcycle accident, all eyes turned to possible causes. A report issued shortly after the crash focused on a teen driver, whose pick-up truck drifted into the wrong lane, grazing the victim's helmet and causing another vehicle to take evasive action. No alcohol or drugs were involved, cellphone use was ruled out, and speed and weather conditions were not a factor. The juvenile driver was not criminally charged.

Can the Motorcycle Manufacturer Be Held Liable?

In a new lawsuit, the family of the accident victim is holding the Harley-Davidson Company and the Texas Department of Transportation responsible, as well as the Harley-Davidson dealership that sold the victim his motorcycle.

In its lawsuit against the motorcycle manufacturer, the family blames the company for selling the victim a motorcycle that lacked an anti-lock brake system. The ABS system was an optional feature and not installed on the bike the victim purchased.

Should the Dealer Have Warned the Victim?

In addition to suing the motorcycle maker, the family is suing the motorcycle dealership for violating its duty to warn the purchaser of the risks of riding a motorcycle not equipped with an ABS system.

Can the State Be Sued Over the Condition of the Highway?

The family is suing the Texas Department of Transportation for failing to maintain the roadway properly where the accident occurred. Following the accident, the TXDOT announced they would add "rumble strips" to the section of highway in question. These can alert drowsy drivers and prevent crossover accidents and head-on collisions on undivided highways.

When an accident occurs, there can be many contributing factors and it is sometimes hard to know who is at fault. For those affected, a personal injury attorney with experience in accident litigation can advise on whether a lawsuit can succeed and whom it should target.

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