I recently lost a finger when operating a piece of farm equipment. I believe the equipment was malfunctioning, but my employer says I was being careless. Can I claim for a farm machinery accident?
Losing a finger in a farm machinery accident is a distressing situation, but you can claim compensation only if your employer has been negligible towards your health and safety. This may be the situation if you were provided with the equipment. If the accident was due to a malfunction your employer may be liable for your injury, regardless of whether or not they were aware of the fault. As he or she has a responsibility to provide safe and well-working equipment, their negligence will be a factor in your compensation claim. Even if the equipment was working correctly they may be held liable if they failed to provide you with adequate training regarding its usage.
However you may be held liable for your injury if it transpires that you were being careless regarding the usage of your equipment despite receiving training. If the malfunctioning equipment was your own you may also carry some responsibility. The compensation to which you are entitled can be affected if you fail to seek immediate medical attention. If the delay in acquiring professional medical advice meant that your injuries deteriorated, you can have an amount of compensation deducted to reflect your own lack of care.
Should your employer be liable for a farm machinery accident, the compensation which may be offered will be determined based on each individual case. A value will be assigned to your injury which will be adjusted to take gender, age and general state of health into account. A lost finger can have a major impact upon an individual, and if they have been unable to work – whether temporarily or permanently – they may be compensated for lost income. Any reduction that a victim may suffer in their quality of life may also be compensated, whether they are unable to partake in their favourite pastimes or they can no longer perform basic household tasks.
Even if the injury sustained is identical, no two claims for a farm machinery accident will be entitled to the same amount of compensation. For this reason, it is advised that you consult a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity. Your lawyer can help you determine the strength of your claim, who the liable party responsible for your injury is and the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.