Kentucky relies on farming for a significant portion of its gross domestic product, and its farmers supply a great deal of the nation’s produce, poultry and beef. Kentucky farms employ about 7,000 people each year, and these workers rely on farming equipment for much of their work.
These machines are often complex and always dangerous. Accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, and the injuries can be severe and even cause death.
Top Five Farm Machines and Accidents
Farmers rely on their machines to do just about everything, such as primary and secondary soil tilling, fertilizer distribution, seeding and planting, weed and pest control and harvesting. Machines are also used in hauling and storing the final product.
Any machine can be dangerous and cause serious injury, but the following are some of the most dangerous:
No farm can operate without a tractor, it is the backbone of all equipment. It’s used to haul, push, pull, rescue, and with attachments can do just about any function that other machines can do. So it’s no surprise that most farming accidents happen on the tractor.
A tip-over is the primary reason for most tractor accidents. When it tips and rolls, then the farmworker can get injured from the impact of the ground, get crushed by the tractor and be thrown into moving parts. Some of the most common reasons for a tractor tip-over are:
- Uneven terrain
- Improper braking
- Improper use of counterweights
- Wheels set too closely together
- Backing down a hill
- Load too high/top-heavy
Planters: This equipment is usually pulled by a tractor, however, there are dedicated planters that can be used. Planter injuries usually happen when a worker is thrown from the machine or get injured trying to dislodge something stuck in the machine.
Harvesters: These are some of the most important machines on a farm, and they have a lot of moving parts and some need constant adjustments. Workers can get hurt by trying to adjust on the fly to save time.
Combines: These are machines that can harvest crops, such as wheat corn and other grains, they combine three functions into one machine. They reap, loosen the grain from the chaff and separates and spreads the excess plant material back into the soil.
Death and injury with these machines are most often caused by a farmer getting sucked into the moving parts. Sometimes by reaching in to adjust something or dislodge material or by getting clothing caught and being pulled into the machine.
Cars Passing Farm Vehicles
Tractors and other farm vehicles need to be on the road to access farmland, and most of these go no more than 25 mph causing drivers to pass them. Some of the most common accidents are:
- Left Turn Collisions: Many times the equipment driver is being followed, and then will want to turn left off the road and onto a driveway or tract of land, and will swing a bit to the right first. The driver will think that the farmer is moving over to the right to let him pass, and then run into the side of the farm vehicle.
- Passing Cars/Trucks: A significant portion of the farm vehicle accident happens when a motorist attempts to pass the farm vehicle. The driver might not see an oncoming car or misjudge the amount of space needed to clear the farm vehicle. Many times this results in a head-on collision.
- Rear-end: Rear-end accidents happen when someone comes up on a farm vehicle and is distracted or is attempting to pass only to abort and then run into the back of the farm vehicle.
Farm Equipment Liability
Liability for farm equipment accidents rests with the person or company that was negligent. This might be the passing car driver, of the manufacturer of the farm equipment. To prove negligence, the victim must show that the other party failed to operate the machine or vehicle in a safe and cautious manner. The jury will look at the conduct of the parties and determine if they did what a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances.
When a farmworker is injured on the job, he or she can claim compensation from worker’s compensation. However, there are times when the victim can sue a third party like the driver of a car of the maker of the tractor.
Once liability is determined, then the injured victim is entitled to certain damages allowed under the law. In California, the law allows for all losses stemming from the negligence of the party. The most common damages are:
- Medical Bills (Past and Future)
- Rehabilitation (Past and Future)
- Damage to Bicycle or Replacement
- Travel Costs
- Missed Time from Work
- Future Loss of Income
- Permanent Disability
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish/PTSD
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field.
Talk to a Louisville Personal Injury Attorney you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law.The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.