Spring has officially sprung, which also means more yard work. Lawn care equipment can be dangerous, but you probably do not think about the dangers of other people’s lawn care equipment until after an accident happens…
While injuries are sometimes caused by product defects or otherwise broken equipment, usually injuries from lawn care tools and other equipment are due to carelessness or operator error.
Lawn Mower Accident Statistics
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that roughly 230,000 people are treated in the emergency room each year for injuries related to lawn and garden tools and equipment. Ride-on lawn mowers cause roughly 20,000 injuries and 75 deaths each year, while regular stand-up, walking mowers cause another 36,000 injuries.
Injuries that result from lawn mowers could include:
- Injuries to children, including crush injuries
- Severed toes, fingers, and limbs on the blades of the lawn mower
- Loose objects hurled out of the lawn mower and into objects or individuals
- Other limb injuries, chest injuries, and crush injuries
Liability in Lawn Mower Injuries – Defective Product vs. Negligence
If you have harmed yourself while working with a lawn mower, you may have a personal injury claim if the product was defective. This includes situations where the mower was not designed properly, or it was otherwise malfunctioning through no fault of your own. This type of personal injury is referred to as a products liability claim.
The other type of injury deals with negligence. If you are harmed by someone else’s carelessness, or negligence, then you likely have a personal injury claim. This includes situations that involve operator error, not watching where they are going, or when objects are thrown from the machine toward you or your property.
How to Avoid An Accident
There are ways to avoid these types of accidents. Your neighbor should be held accountable if they harm you or your loved ones because they have not taken appropriate precautions to avoid an accident. That means if your neighbor is found to be negligently operating their lawn mower and it throws debris toward your car or home, they can be held liable for any damages that incur.
This can also apply to situations where your neighbor hires a lawn maintenance service. In those situations, both your neighbor and the lawn maintenance company could have some percentage of liability.
Also Read 3 Simple Pedestrian Safety Tips for Everyone
Avoiding Lawn Mower Injuries
Although other people’s equipment can cause you harm, the truth is that most lawn equipment accidents are the result of your own carelessness. Use the following tips to keep yourself out of harm’s way when using your own lawn maintenance tools:
- Always wear protective gear, including closed-toe shoes and goggles
- Keep children away from the lawn mower or other equipment while it is being operated
- Do not allow children to ride on a lawnmower, especially while sitting with an adult—there should only be one person on a riding lawn mower at a time
- Pick up stones and toys in the yard before you mow to avoid damage caused by flying debris
- Mow in a circular motion with the discharge chute toward the center of your lawn to avoid sending debris flying outside of your lawn
- Do not mow in reverse
Read more about walk behind mower safety tips here.
Find Out More with an Accident Attorney West Palm Beach
If your neighbor does not do these things and causes harm to you or a loved one, you may have a viable personal injury case on your hands. Keep in mind, every situation is different. A West Palm Beach personal injury attorney can assess your claim, and determine if you have a legitimate case or not.
If you have been injured by any type of lawn care equipment, particularly if it was not yours, you may have a personal injury case. Call a West Palm Beach accident attorney for more information.