Recalls and Dangerous Bicycles

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Bicycles may seem an innocuous product and an unlikely subject for recalls. However, they are not—like any other mechanical device or vehicle (bicycles are both), defective bicycles can injure users. Frame, wheels, handles, or brakes could all fail, resulting in falls and collisions. For example, in 2009, Trek bicycles with JD suspension forks were recalled because the fork could lose alignment, causing the wheel to turn or buckle unexpectedly. Also in 2009, Nirve Cannibal Bicycles were recalled because the stem could crack, spilling the rider to the ground. Other recalls, for example, have involved Dyacraft’s Triax PK7 and Vertical PK7 bicycles (frame cracking), Mirraco bicycles (bad wields on front forks), and any bicycle using a SRAM Force Road brake caliper (brakes could detach).

Liability of Manufacturer for Bicycles

Ideally, when there is a recall, riders will get the word in time to have the bicycle repaired or to return it for a refund. But that doesn’t always happen—recalls are generally instituted because people were injured. When that happens, there will usually be legal recourse for the injured: manufacturers are liable for the consumer product hazards they create through defective design or manufacturing.

Getting Help: Legal Rights and Attorney Assistance

The first thing, of course, is to get the medical attention you need. After that, you should look to seeking the compensation you deserve. As part of that, document the problem; identify and get the names of witnesses and medical personnel; keep all the pieces of the bicycle; and do not sign anything a manufacturer or store puts in front of you before consulting with an attorney.

Businesses have lawyers to look out for their interests; so should you. An experienced product liability attorney will know how to value your claim—what you should, in fairness and under the law, receive—and how to go about recovering from manufacturers. With luck, a lawyer can bring his negotiation skill to bear on the manufacture and its insurer and obtain fair compensation without going to court. But if nothing can be worked out and you have to sue to recover for your injuries, a product liability attorney will be able to file a complaint and bring a lawsuit on your behalf.

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