Farm Accident Attorneys
North Carolina is home to many forms of agriculture that helps strengthen our economy. A booming agricultural operation requires a tremendous amount of manual labor that can result in injuries for workers. Often times these injuries occur when operating heavy farm equipment.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OHSA), over 600 workers died from farming accidents last year. This is seven times higher than the average rate for all private industry workers. OSHA also reports that every day, approximately 243 agricultural workers in the U.S. are seriously injured on the job, with five percent of those injuries resulting in permanent impairment.
At Riddle & Brantley, we understand the challenges that injured farm workers face. We know you are probably worried about how you will pay your bills, how you can get the treatment you need, and whether you will ever be able to go back to work on the farm again. You can rely on our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to answer your questions and obtain the resources you need to get better.
Common Farming Equipment Accidents
Tractor rollovers are the single deadliest type of farm equipment injury in the U.S. according to OSHA. During one twelve-month period, overturns occurred at 3,000 different farm operations. This leads to an average of 98 days of lost farm work for workers who are injured.
Power Take-Off (PTO) shafts are responsible for a number of farm equipment injuries as well. PTOs are drive shafts typically found on tractors for powering separate machines or attachments. A worker’s clothing can get caught in a PTO or associated shafts and joints, causing the worker to be pulled into the shaft and potentially lose a limb or even cause death.
Injuries can also be caused by incorrect use of steer skidders, hitching a tractor improperly, hair or clothing entanglement in moving parts, or carbon monoxide poisoning. Harvesting equipment added to tractors can change the balance of the equipment and require the operator to remain alert at all times.
Injuries Caused by Farming Accidents
While it is difficult to specify the myriad of injuries that can occur while operating farming equipment, below are some of the more significant:
- Broken bones;
Am I Eligible for Worker’s Compensation After an Accident?
Although most farm equipment accidents occur while working on the farm, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws are specific to what farmers may be eligible for if injured. Unfortunately, farms that include fewer than ten (10) non-seasonal workers are not extended workers’ compensation. In addition, the nature of the laborer’s work determines whether they are considered a farm laborer.
Some farmers purchase workers compensation coverage for farm laborers even though they are not required. In that circumstance, there will be coverage for the accident and injuries under workers’ compensation.
In the event workers’ compensation isn’t available, the injured worker can still make a claim against his employer or owner of the farm for any injuries caused by the negligence of another worker or defective farm equipment. These claims would be handled like other personal injury or product liability cases.
How Can an Attorney Help After a Farming Accident?
At Riddle & Brantley, we are advocates for injured workers and well-versed in the workers’ compensation system. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have helped many victims of work-related accidents obtain benefits after serious on-the-job injuries, including farm accidents.
It’s important to remember that not all farm equipment accidents are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, even if you are not covered by workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to file a claim against your farm employer to seek compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of another worker or faulty equipment.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a farm equipment accident, it’s best to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation or personal injury attorney quickly. Contact us online or give us a call at (800)525-7111 for a free case review. Our representatives are available 24/7 to assist you with your legal questions and to help you seek justice for your injuries.