A Sunday afternoon turned tragic in Georgia when a little boy was run over by a lawnmower driven by a family member. According to a WCTV news report, a 5-year-old boy was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta after the boy walked behind the lawnmower as it was backing up. The lawnmower knocked the boy down and rolled over him, causing injuries to his legs, fingers, toes, and arms, but fortunately missing major arteries.
Types Of Lawnmower Accidents
Tragically, every year, thousands of homeowner, landscapers, and children are injured in lawnmower accidents. These accidents can be grouped based on which type of lawnmower caused the injuries—a walk-behind power lawnmower or a riding lawnmower.
Walk-Behind Power Lawnmower Injuries
Regardless of the size of the machine, rotary lawnmowers work when the machine’s motor causes the blades to spin fast enough to cut the blades of grass cleanly. While blade speeds may vary somewhat from machine to machine, on average lawnmower blades must spin at roughly 3,000 rpm in order to work properly.
Because of the rapid speed at which the blades travel, blade injuries are a common cause of accidents, especially with walk-behind mowers. In fact, from 2010 through 2012, an average of 38,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for walk-behind lawnmower injuries.
Common blade-related injuries include toe and foot amputations, as well as finger and hand amputations. Because of the serious injuries that can be caused by blade contact, newer mowers are to contain proper safety equipment, including foot shields, blade control brakes, and proper labeling and warnings for mower use.
In addition to blade-related injuries, serious harm can be caused by flying rocks, sticks, or other debris that is shot like a deadly projectile from the machine. The mower engine itself also can cause injuries when it gets hot, by either igniting gasoline or causing serious burns.
Riding Lawnmower Injuries
While walk-behind lawnmowers are typically used to cut smaller areas of grass, homeowners with larger lawns often use a riding mower, lawn tractor, or garden tractor to care for their yards. They also may hire a landscaper or groundskeeper.
Riding lawnmowers pose some of the same hazards as walk-behind mowers, namely blade-related injuries, projectile-related injuries, and burn injuries. They also pose some additional hazards, related to their being a vehicle. These riding mower accidents include situations where:
– the lawnmower tips over onto the driver;
– the driver is thrown from or falls from the lawnmower; or
– a pedestrian (usually a child) is run over by the machine.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, these types of riding lawnmower accidents result in approximately 34,000 consumer injuries and 90 fatalities every year. However, emergency rooms are seeing an increase in riding mower injuries with the increase in the use of zero-turn mowers. This is because the ability to stop, turn, or reverse directions with these types of mowers also creates momentum or inertia that causes the mower’s wheel(s) to slide or spin, creating a greater risk of rollovers.
Tallahassee Lawnmower Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured by a walk-behind power lawnmower or a riding lawnmower, the Tallahassee area personal injury attorneys at Fasig & Brooks can help you determine whether you have a negligence or product liability case against an individual or the manufacturer of the lawnmower. Call us today at (850) 222-3232 or use our online contact form for prompt legal attention from our lawn mower accident attorneys.