Injured When Bicycle Crank Arm Disengages

It’s a warm day and you are enjoying some fresh air as you go for a bicycle ride.  Traveling along a shared use path with other bicyclists and pedestrians around you, you round a bend and suddenly lose control of your bicycle. Confused, you wonder if you are doing something wrong, but no matter how hard you try to steer to avoid colliding with a nearby cyclist, you are unable to prevent the crash.

After getting over the initial shock of the crash, you look over at your bicycle and realize that the crank arm came loose or disengaged.

When crank arms or other parts of a bicycle fail to function as designed, a cyclist and any other party injured may have a legal claim against the responsible party.

At first, it is not always clear who may be a legally responsible party.  A bicycle manufacturer, for example, could be liable for making a bicycle with a defective part or design.  A bicycle mechanic could be liable for negligent work on the bicycle.  A bicycle operator could be liable for negligently using his bicycle.

Sometimes checking consumer product recalls can quickly determine what party is responsible for the injury, particularly if a recall is listed for your bicycle.  A good place to check for recalls is at the website for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recently, for example, a recall has been issued on Sirrus, Sirrus X and Sirrus Sport Bicycles with alloy cranks due to fall and injury hazards.  The recall notice points out that “the crank arm can disengage and cause the bicycle’s rider to lose control, posing fall and injury hazards.”  Consumers are advised to stop using the bicycles and to take them to an authorized retailer for a free repair.  To date, there have been over 50 reports of crank arms disengaging and seven of those incidents have resulted in injuries.

Now, just because such a recall is found to exist for your particular bicycle does not mean that you have a valid legal claim against the manufacturer for your injury.  Further analysis must be done, such as determining if you knew or should have known about the recall (i.e. did you get a postcard notice of the recall mailed to you?) and did not take your bicycle to get repaired. If that is the case, then you might be blocked from bringing a claim due to your failure to get your bicycle repaired.

When in doubt, it is best to seek the advice of a lawyer who can piece together the key facts of your situation in order to help determine if you have a valid legal claim.

If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. If you have an Alexa device say “Alexa play Personal Injury Primer podcast” and Alexa will play the latest episode. And read “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.


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