How is liability for farm accidents established? I was recently injured in a farm accident which I believe my employer was responsible for, but I am being blamed for causing it.
Liability for farm accidents will lie with the party who is considered to have caused the accident due to his or her own lack of care. This is not always straightforward, and there are several scenarios to consider when establishing this liability.
Every employer has a duty of care to fulfil, and are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This is done by providing a workplace which is appropriately equipped with safely functioning machinery, a well-trained workforce and the relevant safety equipment. Appropriate measures must be taken by your employer in order to ensure that the possibility of an accident occurring is minimal. Should your employer fail in this duty of care, they may be held liable for your accident. This may happen if the equipment you are provided with is of an unsafe standard or if appropriate safety training is not provided to an employee.
There is also the possibility that liability for farm accidents could lie with an employee. This can happen if the employer has taken the relevant health and safety measures, but these were not followed by the employee. This may happen if the employee was negligent by failing to comply with the training which was provided. The employee may also be held liable for their own injuries if they supplied their own equipment – which is common with contractors. As the employer did not supply the faulty equipment, they may not be held responsible for any accident which occurs.
Contributory negligence may affect liability for farm accidents when the victim of an accident is determined to have contributed to the cause of the accident or to the extent of the injuries sustained. This can be for a variety of reasons. For instance, if an employer had previously warned an employee of the potential risk of a piece of equipment or machinery, but the employee had proceeded to use it regardless – resulting in the accident and injury. The victim may be held partially responsible as they were aware of the risk which was being taken. Failure to seek immediate medical attention can also be seen as contributory negligence should the deterioration of an injury occur which could have been prevented by timely medical intervention.
It can be difficult to determine liability for farm accidents in a claim without specific details, and if you are unsure of who is liable for your injury, the process of claiming compensation or the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, you are advised to consult a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity.