Lawnmower accidents can be devastating, causing traumatic amputations and death. Every year, in the USA, over 1,000 injuries from lawnmowers result in major amputation or death. Unfortunately, these types of injuries can happen to anyone at any time when using a lawnmower.
Are you the victim of a lawnmower accident, or did you lose a loved one to the wrongful death caused by another’s negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for lawn mower injury victims seeking compensation and justice from those who caused them harm.
Contact a products liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Every year, thousands of Americans are injured by lawnmower accidents. Unfortunately, most of these lawn mower injuries could have been prevented if the riders had taken precautions to prevent this from happening.
Most riders don’t wear helmets or other protective gear, but it can be devastating if they fall off their lawnmower and land on a spinning blade.
The average cost of an emergency room visit is $7,500, which doesn’t include surgery or rehabilitation costs. Even worse, some riders with a lawnmower blade have been hit, cut, and die from blood loss before reaching the hospital!
Available rollover protection systems and proper safety devices are designed to protect riders from being crushed by their lawnmowers during tip-overs and rollovers caused by sharp turns, uneven terrain. In addition, other obstacles were encountered while riding a self-propelled ride-on lawnmower.
Lawn Mower Accidents and the Consumer Products Safety Commission
Did you know that the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled thousands of lawnmowers because they were deemed hazardous?
For instance, in July of 2014, $4.8 million worth of Lawn-Boy brand 9020 Power turn mowers were manufactured between January 1, 2006, and September 30, 2012.
The CPSC recalled them because it was determined that the mowers could easily tip over backward if their owners made tight turns while engaged in their second or reverse gears.
The Lawn-Boy recall came on the heels of a July 2014 recall order for $9.9 million worth of Cub Cadet brand 782- and 784-model mowers.
These lawnmowers were recalled because it was determined that they were hazardous. After all, their gas tanks could come loose from the bottom of the machines during operation, spilling fuel.
- In February 2014, $5 million worth of Cub Cadet brand Z Force 52 riding lawn mowers manufactured between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013, were recalled. These lawnmowers could move in an unexpected direction, causing injury to the rider if they unexpectedly shifted out of neutral while their blades were engaged.
- In January 2014, $3 million worth of Scag brand ZTR riding mowers manufactured between August 15, 2012, and December 19, 2013, were recalled. It was determined that the mowers could catch fire if bystanders accidentally damaged their engine air filters while the engines were running.
- In February 2013, $3 million worth of Jacobsen brand walk-behind lawnmowers manufactured between December 1, 2006, and September 15, 2010, were recalled because it was determined that they could unexpectedly start up and injure their operators and bystanders.
- In January 2013, $2 million worth of Cub Cadet brand ZT 52 riding lawnmowers were manufactured between February 1, 2012, and November 30, 2012. These lawnmowers were recalled because it was determined that the gas tanks on these mowers could become dislodged from their mounts during operation, causing fuel to spill onto the hot muffler and spark a fire.
- In May 2012, $1 million worth of Ferris brand Z-Turn riding lawnmowers were manufactured between July 9, 2011, and October 20, 2011. These lawnmowers were recalled after the CPSC determined they could tip over backward while making turns because their front swivel wheels did not lock into place when they encountered an obstruction.
- In May 2012, $2 million worth of Husqvarna brand riding lawnmowers were recalled after the CPSC determined that the front swivel wheels on these products could fail and detach from their base, causing injury.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission also issued a recall for $500,000 worth of RedMax brand walk behind lawn mowers manufactured between December 1, 2010, and January 9, 2011. It was determined that the gas tanks on these lawn movers could become dislodged from their base, causing fuel to spill onto hot mufflers and spark fires.
Predominant Causes of Lawn Mower Injuries
Riding lawnmowers are more convenient to use when cutting large lawns. They are sold to make yard maintenance easy, whether the person operating it is working for a landscaping company or mowing their lawn.
Lawnmower accidents can occur:
- When the mower lacks a blade shut off when placed in reverse: Many lawn mower injuries occur when the operator backs up and runs over another person or falls from the mower
- When the mower tips over while making a tight turn: Once again, these injuries caused by the lack of a shutoff mechanism and the inclusion of sensors and shutoff devices in lawnmower designs would prevent them
- When the mower is not sold with accompanying safety equipment and devices, such as a rollover protection system
- Driver error: When a person is hit by debris flying out of a lawnmower or hit by a person on a riding mower, they may pursue the machine’s operator
Type of Injuries Sustained From Riding Lawn Mowers
If you fall off your lawnmower and suffer injuries, these are some of the possible types of injuries you could sustain from a fall:
- Fractures to the pelvis, vertebrae, and other bones as well as muscle damage as a result of significant impacts during falls from riding lawn mowers
- Head injuries such as concussions or another bleeding in your skull after a fall from a riding lawnmower
- Cuts and bruises if you land on something sharp after falling off your riding lawnmower
- Lacerations or amputation of the skin due to friction with the ground during a fall off your riding lawnmower
- Amputation of one or more limbs on impact with hard surfaces close to the ground after a fall off your riding lawnmower
- Fractures of the femur if you land on your legs after falling off your riding lawnmower.
- Cuts, lacerations, and other trauma to vital organs such as your heart, stomach, kidneys, or other internal organs after a fall off your riding lawnmower
- Puncture wounds to the lungs if you land on something sharp and piercing like a stick, nail, or fence wire after falling off your riding lawnmower
- A lacerated spleen resulting from friction with the ground or other organs or debris after a fall off your riding lawnmower
- Fractures of the head, jaws, arms, ankles, and wrists if you land on these body parts after falling off your riding lawnmower
- Broken collar bones due to the impact of landing on your shoulder or upper chest after falling off your riding lawnmower
- Traumatic brain injuries as a result of a direct hit to your head after falling off your riding lawnmower
- Severe trauma to the neck and spinal area leading to irreversible paralysis from a fall off your riding lawnmower; in addition, some riders have been crushed under their rides as a result of mechanical failures or because they are unaware of the physics involved when changing the lawn mower’s direction, speed, and momentum
- Injuries to your eyes from lacerations during a fall from a riding lawnmower
- Loss of consciousness after hitting your head on hard objects such as rocks or tree stumps while falling from a riding lawnmower
- Injuries to your lungs from inhaling smoke or carbon dust emitted from the engine as you fall off your riding lawnmower backward, especially if the cut grass is wet and heavy
It is truly amazing how many injuries could be prevented while operating machinery if the machines were manufactured using technologies designed to make them safer.
Many lawn mower manufacturers cut corners for safety because they do not wish to bear the cost of safety devices, reducing the number of injuries caused during common lawn mower accidents.
Sometimes the only way to encourage change is to demand accountability. The goal of the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is to represent the needs of clients who have been injured and the interests of those who may be harmed in the future if companies are not forced to change their way of thinking and put safety first.
The Dangers of Riding Lawn Mowers
While riding lawnmowers saves time and creates a more manicured yard, the hazards and dangers associated with these devices could lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics, approximately 70,000 emergency room visits result from riding lawn mower accidents.
Of these lawnmower-related injuries, 25 percent occur in the lower extremities; this is particularly dangerous for children because their bodies cannot always deal with the type of trauma caused by riding-type lawnmowers.
Preventing these types of lawnmower injuries is difficult because lawnmowers are designed to be as small and agile as possible.
Error conditions on a rider mower that could cause an accident include:
- Systems errors, such as a failure of a sensor or a malfunctioning of the electrical system
- Mechanical failures, such as those caused by loose fittings or damaged parts
- Debris buildup that controls movement like the drive belt or the gearbox
- Inadequate training, which could be related to using a lawnmower that is too powerful for a smaller person operating it on uneven ground
- Inappropriate clothing, which could lead to a rider’s foot getting caught in the lawnmower
- Distractions such as loud music or talking on a cell phone can also cause accidents while operating your lawnmower
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
While some lawnmower injuries cannot be prevented, putting on some safety devices and taking precautions such as:
- Always know where you are going (the mower’s front and back boundary markers should always be visible)
- Wear proper clothing that won’t get caught in the blades or other moving parts of the mower.
- Make sure to inspect your lawnmower for safety before you take it out. You can also make sure that the grass is dry and won’t cause the machine to slip around if you hit any bumps or ridges in your yard
- Be aware of where other people and pets are located when operating a riding mower, and always make sure to drive carefully in their vicinity.
- Don’t carry passengers on your riding lawn mower, and never engage in any activity other than mowing while operating a powered lawnmower
- Every year thousands of Americans are injured or killed by riding lawnmowers, so you must take note of the following advice:
- Wear a helmet that meets ANSI standards
- Protect your eyes with goggles or a face shield that has been designed to fit over corrective lenses
- Wear brightly-colored clothing, and try not to wear clothes with loose sleeves, which can be easily caught in a lawnmower’s blades
- Tuck those loose pant legs into socks or boots to avoid getting cut along with your shoes to avoid catastrophic lawn mower injuries
- Wear sturdy gloves, long sleeves, and pants if you are planning on mowing over the tall grass
- Also, keep in mind that vehicles have sharp edges which can injure you during a fall. Make sure that any loose clothing is tucked into your belt or boots before riding one of these vehicles
More Safety Tips
Finally, here are some common-sense tips that everyone should follow when operating a riding lawn mower:
- Always set up your mower on flat ground that is free of debris or rocks. Ensure the grass has been recently cut before you begin mowing over it.
- Never ride on hilly terrain because this can cause your mower to slip and slide while you are steering it
- Do not mow in reverse on riding lawnmowers to avoid severe injuries
- Limit the number of passengers on your riding lawn mower, and never engage in any activity other than mowing when you are behind the wheel
- Don’t let children ride on a riding mower by themselves; they need to be properly trained before operating this equipment
- Inspect your lawnmower before you get on it, and make sure that the grass is dry enough before you start mowing over it
- Ensure that all hand tools are kept away when operating a riding mower, and never carry any passengers on the vehicle
- Never operate a riding mower with headphones or earplugs in, and never engage in any other activity while you’re driving one of these vehicles
- When you are done mowing over your yard, ensure the blades come to a complete stop before you get off of the mower
You May Be Entitled to Receive Financial Compensation through a Lawn Mower Accident Claim
Were you injured in a lawnmower accident that was likely caused by a defective component or someone else’s negligence? You may be entitled to receive financial compensation by filing a lawnmower accident claim.
An accident attorney will investigate the events surrounding your lawnmower injury to determine whether you are entitled to receive money for your injuries. This type of claim is similar to a personal injury case because you are accused of being responsible for what has happened.
Still, instead of the plaintiff being an individual or company, it is represented by an insurance company that works on behalf of the injured party’s interests.
Have you been injured in a riding lawn mower accident and think that someone else may be responsible? If so, contact a local personal injury lawyer today to review all details surrounding your accident and help you understand if you have a case.
The consultation services offered by most attorneys are free of charge, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with a lawyer today.
An accident attorney will determine whether someone else was negligent, which can open up the possibility of you receiving financial compensation for your injuries. For example, in some cases, the lawnmower manufacturer could have negligently designed or manufactured the product with a defect before selling it to consumers.
In these cases, you may be entitled to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking additional financial compensation also, if the accident occurred while on the job, you are likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Through the worker’s comp. program, you are entitled to receive a benefit defined by your state’s laws. However, were you denied worker’s compensation benefits or got injured after receiving this type of settlement?
If so, an injury attorney can review the details of your case to help you get more money.
If your lawn tractor rolled over on top of you while you were cutting grass, causing the most serious injuries, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim for your lawnmower injury.
Through this type of case, you may be able to recover money from the negligent party involved in causing your accident.
To prove that another individual was at fault for what happened, you need to have the assistance of an experienced attorney for these types of cases. Contacting a local attorney specializing in personal injury cases is the first step towards getting more money for your medical bills and other expenses.
Hire a Lawnmower Accident Lawyer Committed to Holding Negligent Companies Accountable
For far too long, the manufacturers of dangerous equipment have ignored the need to make their products safer for us to use, and this trend will continue until they are forced to make a change.
Most lawn mowers are built without devices and equipment that will greatly reduce the number of injuries suffered by their operators.
Still, these manufacturers knowingly choose to save a little money on production rather than invest in the safety of the consumer. We are the losers when this happens, and we deserve more than that.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm. We represent clients who have been injured due to the negligent acts of reckless individuals and greedy corporations.
We will gather all of the information necessary to investigate your case and determine whether you have the grounds to file a lawsuit to recover damages, including the cost of medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will never ask you for payment upfront and guarantee our work. If we cannot assist you or fail to secure a settlement or judgment on your behalf, our time and advice are at no cost to you.