Introduction to Farm Injury Compensation
Farm injury compensation claims are numerous due to the dangerous nature of farm work. Heavy machinery, slippery conditions, exposure to harmful chemicals, and unpredictable animals can all cause accidents which often result in serious injury.
Farming has a high accident rate and is one of the most dangerous industries in the USA. According to the Health and Safety Executive agriculture has the second highest number of work-related deaths, a fraction behind that of the construction industry. The highest accident rates are in agriculture, transport, storage, communication and the construction sectors, with farms workers often working in three of those top five areas.
If you have been injured at work on a farm, or if you have visited a farm and suffered an injury, you could be entitled to claim farm injury compensation.
Who Qualifies for Farm Injury Compensation
In order to claim farm injury compensation you must have been sustained an injury of sufficient severity to warrant seeking medical treatment, and the injuries must have been caused by the negligence of a third party. Due to the dangerous nature of farm work, accidents may be more likely to happen – many of which no one in particular will be accountable for. Only when there has been negligence by the farm or land owner or other third party can a farm injury compensation claim be submitted.
Injuries caused by animals may be due to a farm owner´s negligence if the animals were not properly controlled. Negligence in maintenance of equipment can also warrant a compensation claim, and if machinery has been improperly maintained, if safety features broken or lacking, or if the appropriate protective clothing was not provided, injuries sustained as a direct result should be eligible for farm injury compensation.
Training on the use of equipment and machinery needs to be given and the employer is legally bound to reduce dangers in the working environment to an acceptable level. Manual handling duties need to be restricted as much as possible and lifting equipment provided where appropriate. As an employer, a farm owner must also ensure that work is completed by competent staff, and that employees are not placed under unnecessary risk. Any failure of these duties of care can be deemed to be negligent, and the farm owner will be liable for any injuries sustained.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of any farm accident, you could be entitled to claim farm injury compensation and, if in any doubt, you should always contact an experienced farm injury compensation lawyer for advice.
Typical Farm Injury Compensation Claims
- Lung disorders such as farmer’s lung, from breathing in pesticides and dangerous chemicals
- Skin reactions from contact with dangerous substances
- Crushing injuries from farm machinery
- Manual handling claims for musculoskeletal injuries
- Work-related cancers from asbestos exposure
- Farm vehicle accidents involving tractors, combine harvesters and fork-lift trucks
- Industrial deafness from high noise levels
- Injuries caused by animals
- Vibration white finger from power tools
- Injuries sustained from falls from heights
Farm Injury Compensation and Contributory Negligence
As with any personal injury claim, farm injury compensation may be awarded at a reduced level taking personal contributory negligence into account. In many compensation claims negligence is admitted and a third party is deemed to be entirely liable for any injuries. However the claimant may be deemed to have contributed to the accident, or in some way increased the severity of the injuries. When a claimant is found to be partially negligent, the compensation received would take into account the percentage of damages for which they are liable.
Vehicle accidents may involve more than one driver and, in cases of shared liability, each would be responsible for covering a proportion of the compensation. A farm injury compensation lawyer would pursue compensation from all negligent parties for the percentage of the compensation for which they are liable.
What to Do Following a Farm Accident
Your personal safety is of primary concern following any accident, and injuries need to be treated immediately. Working with animals can potentially increase the chances of infection of a wound, and it is vital that medical attention is sought. A visit to a hospital must be made for a thorough examination and for appropriate treatment, and it is important that you advise the doctor how the injury was sustained.
Farm injuries are not usually a police matter unless the injury is severe or there has been a fatality, however the accident and injuries must still be reported. A report should be made in the farm’s accident book, and should the injury result in more than 3 days off work, the Health and Safety Executive must be notified. A farm injury compensation lawyer will use medical records and accident reports to substantiate a compensation claim, and procedural irregularities may damage a claim.
Farm Injury Compensation Damages
Farm injury compensation payments are claimed and awarded in two categories, termed general damages and special damages. General damages are concerned with providing compensation for the actual injury, and offer recompense for pain and suffering caused by the injuries. Loss of amenity is also covered by general damages, and will see farm injury compensation awarded to cover loss of ability to perform certain tasks.
Special damages are concerned with recovering expenses, and make provision for any future medical costs. Any financial cost which has been incurred as a result of the injury can be claimed under special damages when supported by receipts. Typical special damage awards cover transportation costs, mobility aids, prosthetic limbs and treatment costs together with any loss of earnings as a result of the accident.
Statute of limitations and Farm Injury Compensation Claims
Farm Injury compensation claims are governed by the law of limitation, as set in place in the Limitation Act, 1980. Limitation laws can be complicated and the advice of a farm injury compensation lawyer should always be sought. Personal injury claims need to be made within 3 years of the injury date, although in cases of industrial cancers and other work-related injuries, the three year time frame starts from the date of knowledge; when the illness or symptoms are first diagnosed.
Offers of Settlement as Farm Injury Compensation
Vehicle accidents and work related illnesses are often reported to insurers promptly, and insurance companies may attempt to settle a case by directly contacting the victim and offering a compensation payment. Insurance companies are concerned with limiting costs and, by pursuing an early settlement, third party legal fees can often be avoided. Whilst this is good for the insurer, it is rarely to the victim´s advantage, and many cases can be under-settled, with initial offers of farm injury compensation payments a fraction of what could be awarded.
By speaking with a lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity, you can be assured of a full assessment of your farm injury compensation claim – enabling you to determine whether you have a case which is worth your while to pursue and the procedures you may have to complete in order to maximise the value of your claim.