3 Ways a Manufacturer Might Be Responsible for Riding Lawnmower Accidents
Establishing Liability in Riding Mower Lawsuits
The key to winning a personal injury lawsuit pertaining to riding lawnmowers lies in establishing liability for the injury. The manufacturer can be found liable if it can be shown the injury is the result of, or even partially a result of, any of the following:
1) A defective design of the product
2) A defect in the manufacturing or assembly of the product
3) A failure of the manufacturer to provide adequate and clear operating instructions and warnings, or to notify you of known problems or potential problems
Another aspect of product liability law, and a fairly recent development, is that the plaintiff is obligated to provide a reasonable alternate design for the product which would have prevented the injury had it been in place. In the case of riding mowers, the lack of safety equipment which could easily be outfitted on mowers makes our job much easier.
Milwaukee Product Liability Experts on Riding Mower Suits
According to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, 75 people lose their lives in riding mower accidents annually, and approximately 20,000 more are injured. These mowers are much more dangerous than most realize. Mangled and severed limbs from rotating blades, paralysis or death by asphyxiation from being pinned under a mower, trauma from projectile parts or rocks, and serious (even fatal) burns are not uncommon.
Often, particularly in back-over accidents, those involved blame themselves. However, the manufacturer of the mower usually shoulders an even greater responsibility. If you or a family member has been injured in a riding lawnmower accident, the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law offer a free initial legal consultation to help you better understand your legal rights and options.
In January of 2015, a federal jury awarded $2.5 million in damages for injuries suffered by an 88-year-old man when a Ryobi riding lawn mower exploded and caused him to suffer fatal burns. However, even seemingly minor injuries deserve compensation from those responsible.
Riding Mower Safety
A frequent issue in most riding mower injury lawsuits is the fact that there are three safety devices that could be readily implemented on these products and would prevent almost all of the most serious injuries. Unfortunately, many riding mower manufacturers do not have them.
These safety devices are:
Rollover Protection System
While mower manufacturers typically try to dispute cases involving rollovers as accidents which occur due to misjudgment or carelessness of the operator, the fact is they could easily equip their products with a lap belt and a roll bar to keep the operator safely in place in the event the mower ever rolls over. As seen in Warshafsky's street sweeper case, this would prevent many serious injuries and deaths that happen when the operator is thrown from the mower and crushed under it.
No-Mow-In-Reverse Protection System
Fatal back-over accidents are among the most tragic, primarily because it is usually a child who is inadvertently backed over. The typical scenario involves children following behind the mower. The driver doesn’t see or hear the child behind him, puts it in reverse to get a spot of grass they missed and… disaster.
A no-mow-in-reverse switch disengages the mower's blades and brakes them when the machine is put into reverse. Such a device would virtually eliminate the occurrence of serious and potentially fatal back-over accidents. The lawn mower industry actually adopted the no-mow-in-reverse mechanism in 2003, but they were subsequently allowed to install equipment to disable it—effectively negating any benefit the feature provided.
Kill Switch Protection System
One of the most common causes of injury and death is when the mower operator is thrown from the mower in a rollover accident and hit by the blades. A kill switch would operate in much the same way a push mower’s blades are disengaged if the operator releases a lever on the handlebar. On a riding mower, a sensor could detect when weight is on the seat—shutting down the blades whenever no weight is detected.
Hire the Best Milwaukee Law Firm for Your Riding Lawnmower Injury Suit
Generally speaking, you have one shot at restitution through the legal system, so you want the best legal team you can get on your side. Around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and even throughout the United States, Warshafsky Law is known for its commitment to putting its clients first.
Unlike the typical “sign and settle” law firm that favors cutting deals with the insurance companies they’re supposed to be litigating against, Warshafsky Law prepares every case from day one as if it will be heard before a judge and jury. The insurance companies we square off against know we won’t settle for the first lowball offer they toss out. Result: higher settlements and, when necessary, even higher awards from the court.
Often, the cases we take on have far-reaching benefits for society at large. When a manufacturer loses millions of dollars over a product liability or wrongful death lawsuit, they usually want to prevent it from happening again. They implement the appropriate safety measures to protect those using their products in the future. We call these cases Society Changing Judgments.
The Best Personal Injury Attorneys in Milwaukee—at No Upfront Cost to You!
If you want a fighter on your side, you want one of our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys. We literally wrote the book on trial law in Wisconsin—the massive Trial Handbook for Wisconsin Lawyers. No personal injury law firm in the Milwaukee area, or for that matter in the state of Wisconsin, will do more to ensure you get the maximum possible compensation for your injuries than Warshafsky Law.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
As if this isn’t reason enough to hire Warshafsky Law, there is no upfront cost to you whatsoever. If you have legitimate grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, we will represent you with no retainer fee and no monthly bills. Only after your case is resolved and you have received compensation do we ask for payment. And if for any reason we do not prevail for you, our No Win, No Fee policy ensures you owe us nothing.