I recently went to the doctor as I was having trouble breathing. He said that this was because of exposure to pesticides from a farm. Can I claim for chemical exposure while working on a farm?

You can initiate a claim for chemical exposure while working on a farm if you can determine that your employer has been negligent towards your health and safety, disregarding their duty of care in the process. It is possible that your employer had organised the spraying of his crops in unsuitable weather conditions, causing “spray drift” and as a result your ailment.

Your employer is obliged to perform a risk assessment before carrying out a task, and if the spraying of pesticides took place in unsuitable weather conditions this could be considered to be negligence by the Health and Safety Executive. Should they perform an investigation into your injury your employer may be found responsible and could be liable for any compensation claim you wish to initiate.

Your initial steps in making a claim for chemical exposure while working on a farm should be to make a record of your accident and injuries in the “Accident Report Book” of your employer. Once this has been done a personal injury lawyer should be contacted at the earliest opportunity. Evidence will be gathered, as will the testimony of any witnesses to the actions of your employer. Once sufficient grounds for a claim have been established, a letter of claim will be sent by your lawyer to the insurance company of your employer advising that compensation will be sought for your ailment. Three weeks will be given in order to acknowledge the letter, after which three months are given to accept or reject liability for the accident. Should liability be accepted, negotiations may begin for the compensation to be rewarded. If rejected, court proceedings may be initiated by your lawyer.

It is possible that the insurance company may directly contact you with an offer of compensation in exchange for an immediate settlement of your claim. You are advised to be cautious before accepting this offer, as they are often made with the intention of saving money for the insurance company. Should you be under-compensated you will be unable to return to the insurers asking for more, leaving you unable to pay for medical expenses or support your family. Your lawyer should be contacted before accepting such an offer, and who can then negotiate a fairer deal for your compensation.

If you have any further questions regarding your claim for chemical exposure while working on a farm, you are advised to contact a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity. It is important to remember that the Statute of Limitations places a time limit of three years in which to make a claim, and for this reason it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.