Mower accident today...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Stihl036pro, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    Got a call today in the morning that one of the mowers went off a 25 five foot cliff. The guy using it was ok but he took a tumble. $800.00 bucks in damage. He told me he would pay for it since it was his fault. I know that there is no excuse for this but should I take the money and fix the mower. The grass was damp and when he went to go turn he kept going straight because there was no tracking. Plus the hill was on an angle. Sounds to me like he was going to fast. I kinda feel bad taking the kids money only because he just graduated high school and has to work for about 3 weeks to make that kind of money. He worked with me last summer and did a good job. Honest and hard working are the words to describe Tim. Dam lucky he did'nt get his head chopped off. I had to call a friend who is also in business to come over and lift the machine from the gully. He came over with the 310 JD and lifted it up. Talk about a bad bad. The mower looked like a smashed car that just got into an accident. Tim went to the hospital to get checked out and the doctors said that he might have a slight concussion. I got all the insurance and the workers comp. I'll tell you I'm glad I got all that crap to cover my ass. Makes me feel a lot better. But more importantly tim is ok. Maybe I should just eat it. Its not like anything real bad happen to him. just some cuts, scrapes and bruises. What would you do? Make him pay or send him off his own way. I don't think I will fire him but this cant happen again. I was so stressed out. It took me a couple of hours to wind down.
  2. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Man, That sounds bad. Could have been much worse though. I don't know about making him pay. Probably a not so good idea since a minor injury was involved. Hopefully he won't try suing your insurance over nothing.

    Do you have any type of coverage for your equipment? I would call your agent.
  3. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    actually I do have coverage on the equipment. I'll look into that,, thanks a lot
  4. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    Make him take a drug test. If he passes keep him. Pay or not to pay is up to you. I would not make him pay for it, but that's just me. I'm glad he is ok. It scares the hell out of me when I think about some of the things I do on the mower.
  5. selnoil

    selnoil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    Sounds like Tim is a good guy and just made a big boo boo. I have 3 oil delivery trucks and at least once a winter someone makes a $500 to $1000 boo boo. I think your looking at it like I would:
    1. Tim didn't get badly hurt
    2. No one else got hurt
    3. The equipment can be fixed or replaced
    4. He's been a hard working, loyal employee

    Go out and buy him a new pair of underware, sit him down and let him know how much more serious the accident could have been, and let him know that because of his history of working hard for you you won't make him pay. I bet he'll bust his butt for you all summer.
  6. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    Sounds like he is a good worker, or you wouldn't have hired him back for a second year. I WOULDN'T MAKE HIM PAY. That is a RISK YOU TAKE when you hire an employee and entrust him to operate your equipment. I would definitely have a "work review" with him & make it understood that if it happens again he will be looking for a new job. (I would have a written review. I'd also take pictures of the mower & put it in the file.)

  7. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    No way I'd make someone pay. Help the kid out. And maybe someday some one will have mercy on you when you need it most. At least he's in one piece. Just tell him to cool it, and deffinatelly Dope test him if you suspect drug abuse..
  8. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Don't make him pay, it's just a part of doing business.

    By law I don't think you can require or allow an employee to pay for damages. A local company was making employees pay for shortages in their cash or bad checks, the company was told it wasn't legal, they could choose to terminate, but couldn't require the employee to reimburse for losses.
  9. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    He offered to pay for the damage. I would not Make someone pay for it. Like you said turf medic its a part in doing business. Nothing like this has ever happen to me before. A real eye opener. I dont think i am going to accept any money from him. Having an employee that is loyal to your business to me is worth more than 800 dollars. If I am a A-hole about it he might remember that when I when really need something from him. I will have a talk with him and I dont suspect drug use either but I will definitely keep that in the back of my mind. Might buy a him a new pair of underware and hang them in the shop as a joke.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no way tim pays for this. it's part of doing business and having employees. when i was in the printshop, i dropped a wrench into a running printing press. between parts, downtime, and labor to repair, i probly cost them 10 grand. they never even said a word.

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