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Farm Accidents: Prevention & Redress

Farming is dangerous. It always has been. So are livestock operations. We have handled agricultural death and fatalities and agricultural injury cases of all kinds in Nebraska and across the country.

Big equipment. Big animals. Lots of movement. Many things to distract attention. All these things inevitably act in combination to create risks to those engaged in agriculture.

Yet, a review of basic statistics is always helpful:

  1. 3 million people work on 2 million farms and ranches.
  2. 1,300 lives are lost annually in preventable farm accidents.
  3. 120,000 injuries occur on the farm annually. Many are preventable.
  4. Machinery overturn causes the highest fatality rate. Farm tractor overturns account for 44% of all tractor fatalities.
  5. Fruit farms have the highest work injury rate (233 per million hours).

Are you a corn seller or producer? You may be entitled to financial compensation.
‚ÄčLearn more about Syngenta claims.

Contributing Factors to Farming Accidents

The number of factors contributing to accidents is as varied as the kinds of accidents themselves.

These contributing factors have been widely recognized:

  • Lack of emergency preparedness - Once an accident occurs, the time to skilled care may be extraordinarily long and the distance considerable.
  • Aging farm population - The highest injury rate on farms is among children under 15 and adults over 65, the farm belt is graying and this is an enhanced risk.
  • Farm equipment often lacks such basic safety protection as seat belts and roll bars - Guards and shields have improved considerably. Yet, safety devices could prevent up to 40% of all injuries.
  • Farm accidents tend to involve machines and equipment.
  • On the farm accident prevention is not as commonly stressed in an organized way as in factories - Farms seldom have such basic things as: postings concerning accident-free days, rewards for accident-free work and community recognition for avoiding accidents.
  • Farm accidents claim as many as 300 children's lives per year.
  • Vehicular farm equipment, such as tractors, can often be contributing factors in farming accidents - In 2013, there were 62 vehicular farm equipment accidents in Nebraska. 4 of these accidents were fatal and 13 resulted in injury.

These steps and education can be especially helpful in preventing farm accidents and injuries:

  1. Care should be taken to read and follow manuals, and always, always assure that labels are adhered to. Warnings, decals and emblems should be kept in place, unobstructed and intact. Inspection for the condition of these warnings should be a routine part of equipment inspection.
  2. Employees and family members should meet to access safety hazards, discuss accident situations and outline emergency procedures. Organized teaching of safety practices is important.
  3. Seat belts should be used on equipment where is in place. Roll over protection, guards, and shields should not be removed.
  4. Haste should not be permitted to interfere with good judgment. A rush to unplug a plugged object, move grain not flowing in a grain bin, or enter into an enclosed structure can have lethal consequences.

Some say that good investigation and reporting techniques are key management tools and accident protection. The Farm Safety Association provides free seminars, good training materials, and excellent online resources. Nearly every state offers publications concerning farm safety.

What to Do When an Accident Happens

Accidents do happen. When they do, devastating consequences can befall the injured party and all persons involved in the farming enterprise. Often, legal assistance can help with the financial consequences of injury.

Likely areas suggesting the need for early intervention with skilled counsel well versed in farm matters include:

  • Health insurance coverage issues;
  • Disability and benefits notification, disputes and interaction to assure that all available resources are furnished;
  • Evidence assembly and protection. This is vital. Often, evidence critical to the prosecution of a case for personal injuries or death has a short transitional life. Unless care is taken to collect, preserve and protect the evidence promptly, it can get away.
  • Notifications must be given. When a machine is involved in an injury, it is essential that timely notice of the injury be given to preserve some legal theories. Notifications may be needed for government agencies, vendors and public officials who are in a position to offer investigative assistance.
  • Meet deadlines. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. As little as one year may be available to pursue some forms of remedy in some states, while longer periods may apply in others.

Early case analysis and settlement demand transmission can force insurance companies to pay interest, adjust claims more fairly, and provide help more quickly.

Domina Law Group's Work

Domina Law Group has provided assistance to injured persons in connection with a wide variety of farm accidents, injuries and losses.

These include:

  • Farm machinery amputation injuries (including bilateral amputations)
  • Quadriplegic and paraplegic
  • Rotating shaft injuries
  • Auger injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Missing or defective shield injuries
  • Inadequate warnings, labels and decals injuries
  • Grain elevator injuries
  • Tractor rollover and operation injuries
  • Harvest equipment and combine injuries
  • Spray drift and chemigation injuries
  • Center pivot irrigation system defects causing personal injuries
  • Electrical wiring and electrocution injuries
  • Wrongful death
  • Fire injuries and death
  • Explosion injuries and death
  • Crop damage injuries
  • Injuries to dairy cows, and to people working with them
  • Injuries to feedlot cows
  • Feed ration and nutrition injuries and losses
  • Milk losses, losses in daily gain
  • Animal death and animal culling

Risks to farm workers are well known, contact us today and our attorneys can review the facts of your injury for the best possible outcome. 

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