Orlando Defective Lawn and Garden Equipment Attorneys
If you live in Florida, you likely spent a considerable amount of time and money maintaining your yard. To do that, you depend on a variety of lawn and gardening equipment – equipment that you count on to be safe and to work as intended. If that equipment is defective, however, it can cause serious, even fatal, injuries.
If you or a family member were injured by defective lawn and gardening equipment, you could be entitled to compensation for the physical injuries and emotional trauma you suffered because of that defect. At Bailey Fisher PLLC, we have more than half a century of combined successful legal experience negotiating outside the courtroom and litigating in the courtroom. We are committed to identifying and holding accountable all responsible parties as well as making sure that you are fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries.
Lawn and Garden Equipment Injury Facts and Figures
Most people do not associate lawn and garden equipment with a high risk of injury; however, lawnmowers alone kill more people than sharks, bears, and alligators each year, according to an article in Newsweek magazine. A report published by the National Institutes of Health (HIH) found that there were an estimated 934,394 lawn mower injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2005 to 2015, with an average of 84,944 injuries annually. The most commonly injured body parts were the hand/finger (22.3%), followed by the lower extremity (16.2%). The most common type of injury was laceration (23.1%), followed by sprain/strain (18.8%). Even more shocking is that the same study used for the Newsweek article found that you face an even greater risk of injury from garden equipment other than a lawnmower. In fact, lawn and garden equipment such as garden hoses, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, pruning shears, wheelbarrows, and chainsaws cause 73 percent of the injuries.
How Can Lawn and Garden Equipment Be Defective?
Much of the equipment used to maintain your lawn or garden involves an electric or gas-powered motor. Some of it also relies on sharp blades or pressurized water controlled by complex mechanical systems. Not surprisingly, defective lawn and garden equipment can pose a serious risk to the operator and those nearby. Product liability is the area of the law that allows an injured victim to recover damages from a party (or parties) responsible for a defective product. A product can be defective in one of three ways:
- Design Defect. This occurs when the defect is found in the design itself. When a design defect is to blame, all products manufactured with that design will be defective.
- Manufacturing Defect. If the design is without defect, but something goes wrong during the manufacturing phase, only some products will be defective.
- Failure to Warn Defect. Some products are inherently dangerous and cannot be made completely safe. When that is the case, the law imposes a duty to warn of the dangerous nature of the product. Failing to warn, or an inadequate warning makes a product defective.
Common Causes of Defective Lawn and Garden Equipment
Any lawn and gardening equipment design, manufacturing, or failure to warn defect can lead to serious injury to the operator and others. There are some common ways in which lawnmowers and other gardening equipment may be defective, including:
- Missing or defective stop in reverse feature. One of the most common ways in which lawnmowers cause injury is when the blades continue to spin while the driver is moving in reverse. Some manufacturers have tried to prevent these injuries by installing a feature that stops the blades from spinning when the mower moves in reverse; however, not all lawn mowers are equipped with such a feature – and those that have such a feature do not always work as intended.
- Inadequate roll-over protective structure. A roll-over protective structure (ROPS) can help prevent injury or death in lawn equipment accidents by stabilizing the equipment, thereby decreasing the risk of the machine overturning. A missing or inadequate ROPS can lead to life-threatening injuries to the operator.
- Defective safety switch. Lawnmowers, chain saws, electric trimmers, and other types of gardening equipment are routinely manufactured with a safety switch intended to prevent injury by shutting down the equipment or preventing its use under unsafe conditions. A missing switch or one that does not work as intended cannot prevent injury.
- Inadequate blade protection. Gardening equipment is often used to cut grass, weeds, or even trees. Adequate blade protection is essential to prevent injuries from the sharp blades found on these tools. A defective blade protection mechanism can expose the user to a significant danger.
- Missing or inadequate warning. Given the inherently dangerous nature of many types of lawn and garden equipment, warning labels are typically required. The absence of a warning label, or a warning label that is lacking in detail, could make the equipment defective.
Who Is Responsible for Defective Lawn and Garden Equipment?
One of the challenges for the injured victim of a lawn and garden equipment accident is determining which party (or parties) is legally responsible for the defect that caused the injuries. When a product is defective, anyone in the “chain of distribution” could be held legally liable for injuries sustained because of that defect. That may include the product designer, product or component manufacturer, and product assembler or installer, as well as the wholesaler and retailer.
Get the Help You Need from Orlando Defective Lawn and Garden Equipment Attorneys
If you or a family member were injured because of defective lawn and garden equipment, help is available. Trying to navigate an unfamiliar legal system while simultaneously treating your physical and mental injuries can be stressful. Having an experienced Orlando defective lawn and garden equipment attorney on your side ensures that your interests and your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
At Bailey Fisher, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and explaining your legal options. Moreover, we will aggressively pursue the negligent party (or parties) to ensure that they are held accountable and that you receive a full and fair settlement for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando defective lawn and garden equipment attorneys will evaluate your case for free and advise you on the next steps.