Agriculture and farming is one of the most dangerous industries for workers. Despite extensive Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NIOSH safety programs, according to the CDC, every day over 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that puts them out of work.
With tractor accidents being the leading cause of injuries sustained by farm workers, on top of lost wages, workers are often saddled with crippling debt from medical bills and potentially life-changing, permanent injury.
The Kryder Law Group’s farming and agriculture litigation team dedicates their practice to representing accident victims and their family members throughout Illinois. We will assist you with investigating your case and filing the proper paperwork and will advocate for you in court to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
We offer free consultations to farming accident victims and their families, so contact an Illinois farm accidents lawyer from The Kryder Law Group today.
Farm accidents oftentimes result in an injury that is catastrophic or fatal to Illinois farm workers.
Some common types of accidents that result in agricultural injuries include:
Tractor Overturn: Tractor accidents when the tractor turns over are the leading cause of death on farms. With a high center of gravity, tractors can easily tip over even when handled by a skilled operator and this makes tractor accidents both common and devastating.
Mechanical Accidents with Heavy Machinery: Along with tractors, agricultural operations utilize heavy machinery which, if not adequately maintained, can fail and cause serious injury including broken bones, lacerations, amputations, or worse.
Burns and Explosions: Grain silo explosions occur when grain or flour dust ignites in an enclosed space. Despite readily available prevention and extinguishing equipment, grain silo explosions still cause serious and fatal burns every year.
Entanglements and Amputations: Workers can suffer life altering injuries if they get caught in farm equipment. This is especially common when safety guards are removed or when management fails to implement appropriate safety protocols and farmers and workers are exposed to moving parts.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Farm operators use tractor trailers and other motor vehicles to haul machinery, livestock, feed, and produce.
Entrapment and Suffocation: While preventable when using the right safety equipment, entrapments in grain bins, grain silos, and even open grain piles occur when unstable grain collapses, engulfing workers and causing crushing or even suffocation. OSHA has passed strict rules requiring safety harnesses and requiring augers and conveyors be shut down in order to minimize these accidents. Unfortunately, over dozens of workers are still injured or killed every year when granaries refuse to follow basic safety rules. (https://www.ngfa.org/newsletter/purdue-university-releases-grain-entrapment-statistics-for-2020/).
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Pesticides and other potentially toxic chemicals can be used in farming and when used without proper safety equipment can result in skin rashes and irritations to severe illness.
Workers’ Comp Insurance and Farm Accidents
Farming operations follow unique workers’ compensation qualification rules. In Illinois, farm operators must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ over 400 working days of labor per quarter.
If an operator has less, they are exempt from worker’s compensation, and any work-related injury might not be covered. However, the employment must be related to agriculture – other employment, even if at a farm, qualifies for worker’s compensation.
If you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to recover lost income as well as the cost of any medical care and rehabilitation, regardless of whether anybody was at fault. Unlike other injury cases, worker’s compensation claims are decided by an arbitration panel under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission (IWCC).
Experienced Lawyers are Ready to Help
The Kryder Law Group, LLC has successfully recovered millions for injured workers before the IWCC, including for injured farmworkers. If you have additional questions regarding your potential workers’ comp claims, call us today for a free consultation.
What can I recover for my farming injury?
If you were injured in the course of your employment as a farm worker, you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering as well as economic damages.
Jurors usually consider the following factors when assessing damages:
Pain and suffering: An injury that is catastrophic tends to command large verdict awards. Jurors may consider both past and anticipated future pain and suffering.
Loss of a normal life: This includes the things you enjoyed in life that are now more difficult or impossible to do and includes both past and future loss of a normal life.
Medical bills and care: You are entitled to reimbursement of all past and future medical bills, including surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, and assisted living, when they are causally related to the farm injury you suffered.
Lost wages: If you missed work or suffer disability so that you are now unable to work, you are entitled to a recovery for any lost wages.
Loss of consortium: Spouses may file their own separate lawsuit for loss of consortium, which includes loss of love and affection from their life partner due to the partner’s injuries.
Who is responsible for my farming injuries?
Most injury cases require that you prove negligence. To prove that a defendant was negligent, you will need to show that 1) the defendant owed you a duty of care, 2) the defendant breached that duty of care, and 3) the defendant’s breach caused your injury.
Other farming related injuries may be due to defective products or machinery. In these cases, you may file a claim for product liability. In a product liability lawsuit, defendants are strictly liable for any products that are defectively designed or manufactured or fail to include appropriate warnings or instructions.
We Can Help Prove Negligence
Proving negligence or product liability requires gathering admissible evidence and presenting it at trial in your theory of the case. The Kryder Law Group, LLC will help you gather testimony, records, documents, videos, photographs, and other evidence needed to argue your case to the jury.
What should I do if I was in a farming accident?
Farming accidents can change the lives of victims and their families in an instant. The Kryder Law Group, LLC has provided compassionate yet zealous representation of farm accident victims for over twenty years. We will help you develop a case theory and retain critical evidence so that we can identify the parties responsible for your loss.
We will also write and file the necessary paperwork with the court, obtain documents and evidence from the defendants, take and defend depositions, and consult with any necessary expert witnesses to build your case.
If the defendants refuse to come to the bargaining table, we will argue your case before a jury so that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve under the law.
Past Results for Injuries Sustained in Illinois
We have helped hundreds of client and have recovered millions for accident victims and their families. Our past successes include:
Record $7.5 million recovery for a worker seriously injured when a supporting wall collapsed on him.
Record $3.2 million recovery for a worker who fell.
$3 million recovery for the family of a victim struck by a work truck.
$1 million recovery for burn injuries.
The Kryder Law Group, LLC offers free consultations for farm accident victims and their families.
Call us today if you were injured in a farm accident to learn more about your legal options.