Farming is essential to our national and worldwide economies, but it is also dangerous work. Even the most careful farmers and farm laborers are at risk every day in their jobs.
Among the most dangerous tasks in farming is operating a tractor or other farming vehicles. According to the Center for Disease Control, 416 farm workers were killed at their jobs, with transportation vehicle accidents as the most common cause for these fatal accidents. Tractor malfunctions or rollovers are common among these injuries.
What can you do if you have been hurt in a tractor accident?
If you have had a rollover or other accident on a tractor while farming, you have a few options, including:
- Workers’ compensation: Although there are legal exemptions that let farmers avoid the requirement of carrying workers’ comp insurance, they don’t apply in every case. Depending on days worked for a farmer the previous year, it is possible you could be eligible for workers’ compensation.
- Products liability claim: If the tractor you were riding was defective in some way, and that defect caused the accident, you could bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer, designer or seller of the tractor. A common example of third-party liability in a tractor accident case would be failed brakes or steering wheel malfunctions that cause a rollover accident.
- Third-party liability claim: A third-party liability claim emerges when someone who is not your employer or co-worker caused your accident. If someone was driving recklessly when you were operating your tractor near the road, for example, or if someone left a dangerous item in the fields that resulted in an accident, these could be examples of a third-party liability claim.
These are just a few of the possible avenues to obtain compensation if you have been hurt in a tractor rollover accident or other farming equipment accident.
There are numerous nuances and case-specific considerations for every legal claim of this kind, so it is important to work with a team of lawyers you can trust. If possible, it is best to work with a legal team that understands farming and has handled this type of claim before.
Although many people resist bringing a lawsuit in accident cases like this, it is important to consider the long-term costs of medical care and ongoing treatment. The party liable for this accident should be the one covering these costs. Get the compensation you need.