Harley Davidson Wobble Lawsuits: Damages Could Be Substantial

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Harley Davidson motorcycle owners are experiencing a condition that has been coined “The Harley wobble” – a dangerous situation in which the rear of the motorcycle sways, or “wobbles” – increasing the risk of serious injury or death.

Current litigation

Several lawsuits have already been filed against Harley Davidson alleging defective design, negligence and a failure to warn. According to Kevin Liebeck, a California attorney whose practice represents plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability actions, “Harley knows about the problem, dealers also know about it and they should be warning consumers about it. The relationship is a bit collusive – or I should say there’s a tacit conspicuous silence between Harley and its dealers.”

“Dealers tend to relay this message to customers, ‘People smarter than you and me and everybody else have looked at that and have declared it to be kosher and so, it is. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain and go ride your motorcycle.’ It’s rather astounding.”

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Potential damages

While the potential damages for cases surrounding the Harley wobble depend on which state’s law is applicable, Liebeck says that potential damages might include:

  • Special damages. Most victims can expect to receive special damages such as past, present and future loss of earnings. In addition, if somebody is injured in such a fashion that they are out of work for several months recovering and then subsequently are unable to go back to their old job, certainly their loss of earnings from that are compensable.
  • Medical bills. Medical bills, past and future, can also be part of their compensation. In addition to that, there may be issues of life care, i.e., somebody is now in a wheelchair and is going to require modifications to their living environment or they’re no longer going to be able to live in the home they were previously living in by virtue of the fact that their injuries cause them to be unable to ever access the second floor of their home and they live in a two-story home.
  • General damages. General damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, might also be available.
  • Loss of consortium. If somebody is married, there is commonly a claim called loss of consortium, i.e., the loss of household services to their spouse and their loss of comfort and society. The damage is also to their spouse, because the spouse is going to bear the brunt of many of the problems that come out of this, including the distribution of the responsibilities around the house that they used to have is now different and the relationship is injured.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages, those meant to punish, may also be available depending upon the circumstances of the case.

If you’ve been injured on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, contact an motorcycle accident attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.

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