Lawnmower Injuries are on the Rise
While Floridians generally have to deal with their lawns all year long, lawnmower season has just begun for our friends to the north. For those with relatively large lawns, the investment in a riding mower is worth the cost. However, there have been a reported “alarming” number of accidents resulting from the reverse gear. In one case, a child lost some of her feet and toes.
A West Virginia man was mowing his lawn when his daughter came up behind him. He threw the mower in reverse without realizing she was there. The mower backed over causing serious injury to her feet. The girl lost many of toes and part of her foot was found under the mower.
Who, then, is at fault in a situation like this? Let’s take a look at both sides.
Is the Parent to Blame for This Accident?
The argument would be that the parent should have looked behind him before he put the lawnmower in reverse. Had the parent taken that one simple step, his daughter would have never been injured. Right?
Not so fast. The child was only 6 years old when she was struck by the lawn mower. Chances are, even if her father looked behind, he may not have seen her.
Nonetheless, the argument can (and will) be made by the lawnmower manufacturer that the parents who have injured their children with their product should have been more careful before putting their lawnmower in reverse.
Are the Lawnmower Manufacturers to Blame for the Accident?
A little under 10 children a year are reportedly injured by lawnmowers in reverse accidents according to some reports, but other reports list that there are roughly 1,600 such injuries since 1990 or 65 each year. Seventy percent of victims were under the age of 5. Their injuries were horrific to contemplate.
Much of the question of whether or not the manufacturers are at fault boils down to whether or not these mowers should be able to ride in reverse. A skilled personal injury attorney will make that point in order to bolster his client’s case against the manufacturers.
Additionally, the question of visibility is an issue. Young children are small and difficult to see, even for a parent who is conscientiously riding the mower in reverse. Add to that there is no apparent reason why a lawnmower needs to be able to cut grass while going in reverse and a claim can be made that a safer alternative is available.
Since 2003, however, mowers do come with blade spinning in reverse disabled by default. However, individuals are able to override the default setting. Nonetheless, juries have awarded plaintiffs in backmower injury lawsuits handsome settlements.
Talk to a Vero Beach Defective Product Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by a lawnmower or any other defective product, talk to the Vero Beach defective product lawyers at Vocelle & Berg, LLP to schedule a free consultation.