What Should Parents Know about Lawn Mower Injuries in Children?
June 23, 2021
Each year, more than 8,490 children in the United States are treated in emergency departments for lawn mower-related injuries. Some of these children are injured while operating mowers; others are hurt when the mower ejects debris or backs up over them.
Lawn mower-related injuries can be devastating, including loss of fingers, hands, toes, or feet; broken and dislocated bones; burns; eye injuries; soft tissue damage; and sprains or strains. Many times, lawn mower injuries are due to someone else’s negligence. If a child has been injured by a lawn mower because of the negligence of another person, the parents should contact a lawyer experienced in premises liability to ensure their rights are protected.
How Common are Lawn Mower Injuries in Children?
Lawn mower injuries in children are all too common in the United States. On average, more than a dozen children are admitted to hospital emergency rooms each day in this country due to injuries caused by lawn mowers. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, lawn mower injuries spike during the summer months as many homeowners begin mowing their lawns once a week or more.
A study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital indicates that, although the number of children injured in lawn mower accidents has decreased slightly over the years, pediatricians continue to warn about the ongoing prevalence and seriousness of lawn mower-related injuries.
What Types of Injuries are Common in Lawn mower Accidents Involving Children?
Lacerations are the most common type of injury that children suffer because of lawn mower accidents. Statistics from the National Institutes of Health regarding the types of lawn mower injuries include the following:
- Lacerations, 41.2 percent
- Soft tissue injuries, 21.4 percent
- Burns, 15.5 percent
- Fractures, 10.3 percent
Hands, fingers, feet, and toes are the most common areas injured in lawn mower accidents involving children. Nearly all amputation injuries, approximately 97 percent, happen to the child’s toes or feet. It is easy to see how this type of devastating injury can occur, as the lawn mower blades spin at 3,000 revolutions per minute.
Other types of common foot injuries include severed tendons and infections from lacerations, as a lawn mower blade is typically covered in dirt and grass.
How can Lawn Mower Injuries in Children be Prevented?
According to a research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), safer designs of lawn mower products provide the highest likelihood of success in preventing lawn mower injuries in children. Examples of safety features include:
- Guards to prevent penetration of feet and toes under the mower.
- Guards that shield access to hot mower parts.
- A no-mow-in-reverse default feature, accompanied by an override switch behind the seat. The location of the switch requires the operator to look behind the mower before shifting into reverse.
In addition to manufacturer’s improvements, consumers can take the following measures to help prevent lawn mower accidents in children:
- Keep all young children inside the house while mowing.
- Remove stones and debris from the lawn before mowing.
- Do not allow children to be passengers on riding mowers.
- Never allow children under the age of 16 to use a power mower.
- Do not allow teens 16 years and older to operate a lawn mower without adult instruction and supervision.
Property owners who do not follow these measures may be held liable for lawn mower injuries in children. Property owners who directly or implicitly agree to supervising a child may be held liable for any injuries they suffer under the legal concept of negligent supervision. This theory holds that adults owe a duty of care to any children they are supervising. Part of the logic for this theory rests in the fact that courts generally agree that children are not fully aware of risks and consequences of potential injury and are curious and tempted to do things that are dangerous.
Can Parents Recover Damages for Injuries Suffered by Children in Lawn Mower Accidents?
Parents can recover damages for injuries suffered by children in lawn mower accidents caused by someone else’s negligence by hiring an experienced lawyer to represent the child. Over the years, Galfand Berger LLP has helped a number of minors obtain just and full settlements for their injuries.
How has Galfand Berger LLP Helped Clients Injured in Lawn Mower Accidents?
The premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP have helped injured children recover damages in various cases by investigating the circumstances of each accident This includes not only premises liability but also, in some cases, products liability
Boy’s toe is amputated by property owner’s lawn mower. The property owner told his son and his son’s 15-year-old friend to do chores, including mowing the lawn. The man left the property and did not instruct the boys on the proper use of the mower. The friend slipped while using the lawn mower on a sloping hill and suffered a toe injury that required amputation. Galfand Berger lawyers proved negligence on the part of the property owner because his lack of supervision of the minors resulted in a devastating injury. Our lawyers successfully negotiated a $250,000 settlement for the injured teen.
Client suffers amputation of fingers due to defective lawn mower. The client was using a riding lawn mower when it rolled backwards down a hill, struck a driveway, and rolled over. The mower landed blade-first on the client’s hand, resulting in the amputation of three fingers. Galfand Berger lawyers alleged that the manufacturer defectively designed the mower because it had a high center of gravity and was prone to rollover. Furthermore, the mower lacked an operator’s presence control device that automatically stops the engine when the driver loses control. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) required this device on mowers since 1972. Galfand Berger lawyers took the claim to trial and a jury returned a verdict of $650,000 for the injured client.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Represent Minors and Others Injured in Lawn mower Accidents
Although a routine chore, mowing the lawn presents dangers, especially for children. Lawn mower blades and engines have to potential to cause devastating injuries. Property owners face liability if lawn mower accidents on their premises cause injuries to children. If you have questions about your legal rights, contact the Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP for legal guidance. We are experienced in representing minors and others injured in lawn mower accidents, and we will apply our legal skill to review your case. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.