Lawn Mower Accidents in Pennsylvania and Product Liability Claims for Legal Compensation
Maintaining a lush lawn is a source of pride for many Americans. While mowing the lawn can feel relaxing or even dull, serious injuries do occur when using these powerful machines. If you or someone you love was injured while mowing your lawn, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your harm.
Lawn Mowers Result in Catastrophic Injuries and Fatalities
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 80,000 people suffered injuries for lawn mower-related injuries in 2014 alone. The CPSC issues recalls and sets standards for potentially harmful products. On the chart of estimated injuries, if the range of danger expands to include “other power lawn equipment,” the injury count rises by 22,107, making the total more than 100,000 estimated injuries in one year.
Men are more likely to be injured by lawn mowers than women. A total of 72,783 individuals received hospital treatment and were released, while over 7,000 accidents were fatal. These statistics represent the common nature of lawn mower injuries and fatalities. Unfortunately, individuals choosing to use lawn mowers to cut their lawns are at risk of serious harm.
Types of Injuries Caused by Defective or Malfunctioning Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers cause injuries in different ways, both to the operator and to those near the machine. For example, a riding lawn mower can turn over, trapping the operator and resulting in serious, potentially deadly injuries. The blades of a powered push lawn mower spin at a high speed, and they can lacerate or amputate fingers and toes. Rocks can be propelled through the air at a high speed, injuring those nearby.
Spinning blades on a lawn mower may pose the most obvious danger, but lawn mowers can also lead to burn injuries. When refueling a lawn mower, the exhaust is often at a high temperature, and adding gasoline can lead to a serious burn accident.
Liability of Manufacturers for Defective Lawn Mowers
Liability, or legal responsibility, for injuries caused by a product depends on the circumstances of the injury. Some legal claims involving a defective product are based on negligence, and others involve the breach of an express or implied warranty. Pennsylvania law regarding product liability is set forth in the Restatement of Torts. Strict liability, as stated in the Restatement, means that a person or business that supplies a product is liable for any resulting harm to a person or property caused by a defect in that product.
In some cases, defective conditions in a lawn mower create strict liability. These defects could involve the design or manufacture of the product, as well as a lack of warnings or necessary instructions that would warn of risks. At issue in many product liability cases is whether the product was being used for its “intended use,” meaning the obvious purpose of the product. Intended use can also include any reasonably foreseeable uses that the supplier should anticipate.
There are defenses to product liability claims, such as the alteration of a product and the unreasonable use of a product. Altering the product after the sale may not preclude a claim if the alteration was foreseeable or if the injury would have occurred even without the alteration. Additionally, if the injured individual voluntarily chose to engage in risky behavior and knew of the risk posed by the defective product, they may be precluded from recovering compensation in a strict product liability claim.
Discuss Your Lawn Mower Product Liability Claim with a Skilled Pennsylvania Attorney
If a defective lawn mower or inadequate instructions led to an accident, you may be able to recover legal damages for your resulting injuries and suffering. At Needle Law, our experienced product liability attorneys represent injured individuals throughout Pennsylvania in their claims for compensation. Contact our office for a free consultation by calling (570) 344-1266 or using our online form.