Last updated on March 23rd, 2022 at 07:55 am
Farms have the potential to be very dangerous places. With large vehicles, powerful machines and livestock all in one place, risks to farmworkers and visitors need to be constantly assessed and managed. Farms, like other businesses, have a duty of care to try and keep their premises safe for farmworkers and visitors. Where that duty of care is broken, a farming accident compensation claim could be possible if you were injured in the accident and it was caused by some form of negligence.
We can help if you would like to start a personal injury claim for a farming or agricultural accident. One of our advisors will explain the claims process if you call 0800 652 1345 for a free consultation. If your case appears to have a decent chance of success, they could appoint one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors to your case to get started on your claim.
To see how we could help you claim for injuries sustained in an agricultural accident, please call today. For more information on the farming accident claims process, please read the rest of this guide.
How often do farming accidents happen?
According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), an average of 12,000 workers per year were injured on farms each year (2018 to 2021) in Britain. The most common (non-fatal) injuries were from:
- Slips, trips and falls (23%).
- Injuries caused by animals (16%).
- Falling (from height) (13%).
- Lifting or carrying (manual handling) injuries (11%).
- Machinery-related injuries (10%).
- Bing hit by a falling object (9%).
Unfortunately, the HSE also received reports of 34 fatal farm injuries in 2020/21. The types of farming accidents that led to a fatality were very similar to those listed above.
Can I claim compensation for a farm accident?
If you wish to pursue compensation for farming-related injuries, you’ll need to show that:
- The farm owner or operator owed you a duty of care; which
- They breached through negligence and caused an accident to occur; and
- You were injured during the accident.
If all three statements above appear to be true in your case, one of our personal injury solicitors could help you to claim compensation for your injuries.
Claiming compensation for agricultural injuries as a farmworker
All employers must take precautions to try and keep their staff safe whilst at work. That means assessing the workplace regularly and removing any dangers where possible. Farms can be very dangerous places if not managed correctly. If you are injured while working on a farm, you could be entitled to claim for your injuries if the accident was caused by your employer’s negligence. Examples of why you might be able to claim compensation include if the accident was caused by:
- A lack of guard rails to prevent you from falling from height.
- Insufficient safety training.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Tiredness caused by long shifts with a lack of rest breaks.
- Poorly ventilated confined spaces.
- Faulty, damaged or poorly maintained farming machinery.
If you’ve been injured on a farm as a farmworker and believe your employer was responsible for the accident, call us to discuss your options with our team.
Importantly, your employer is not allowed to discipline (or sack) you for making a farming accident compensation claim. If you feel that you are treated differently because of your claim, you could also claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.
Common hazards to farmworkers
Workers in agriculture could be involved in many different types of accidents. Some of the most common dangers include:
Farm machinery accidents
Unguarded machinery that leaves parts such as blades, prongs or transmission belts exposed are among the most common cause of injuries sustained by farmworkers as well as visitors to the farm. Lack of training in using the machinery is another common factor.
Farm vehicle accidents
Tractors, combine harvesters, fork-lift trucks, 4×4 vehicles and quad bikes are all commonly used on farms and can lead to serious injuries if they overturn or are in a collision with another vehicle or any other object. These types of accidents can cause a wide range of injuries from whiplash to loss of limbs.
Dangerous livestock and animal accidents
Large farm animals can be unpredictable and this unpredictability makes them dangerous. 16% of all farm-related deaths were attributed to farm animals in 2020/21.
Injuries caused by falling objects
Tall trees, piles of timber or towering bales of hay are a common sight on farms and they don’t look particularly dangerous. However, if any of these objects were to fall, you could get trapped underneath and sustain grievous injuries.
Falling from a height on a farm
Farms commonly have several elevated areas that can prove to be very dangerous. Falling through a fragile roof or from a tree or a ladder can result in severe back and head injuries. Working at height training and risk assessments are crucial to minimising the risk of falling from a height.
Injuries caused by chemicals and other hazardous substances
Pesticides and other toxic chemicals and hazardous substances are routinely used on farms. These can cause serious illnesses or injury if handled incorrectly or carelessly. Farm buildings often have asbestos roofs and walls and when any repair or restructuring work is being done, there is the risk of exposure to potentially lethal asbestos dust.
Accidents associated with Silos, Slurry Stores or Pits
Grain silos and slurry pits are extremely dangerous and can cause drowning or asphyxiation if anybody falls in by mistake. There are also the additional risks of getting dermatitis from exposure to contaminants stored in such facilities or inhaling toxic fumes leading to industrial diseases, for example, asthma.
Hearing injury caused by high levels of noise
Farm machinery and farm vehicles can make excessive noise when in use and this can cause loss of hearing or tinnitus if noise deadening measures are not put in place. The excessive noise should be monitored and reduced at the source by local noise deadening measures.
Illnesses caused by vibrating farm tools
Farm machinery and tools such as chainsaws can lead to vibratory injuries such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) if used incorrectly without proper training.
Please get in touch if you believe your injury or illness has been caused by farm work.
Claiming compensation for injuries as a visitor on a farm
As well as looking after the safety of their staff, farmers must do all they can to try and keep visitors safe too. It’s important that they consider the risks posed to different types of visitors as well. For example, some farms operate playgrounds and play areas. In this situation, special consideration should be paid to how a child might use the farm and any risks they might encounter.
Examples of accidents on a farm that could lead to a claim as a visitor include:
- If you slip in an area where cleaning has occurred but no hazard signs are used.
- Where you’re hit by a farming vehicle that was not being driven at an appropriate speed.
- If you cut yourself on damaged furniture, playground equipment or gates.
- If you’re attacked by an animal because it entered a public area.
Don’t worry if a scenario similar to yours isn’t listed. You could claim compensation for any farming-related injuries if they were caused by somebody else’s negligence.
Claiming compensation for a fatal accident on a farm
No amount of compensation will matter if you’ve lost a loved one in a farming accident. However, at some point, you may wish to claim if you were financially dependant on the deceased or if you have incurred costs because of their death.
We could help you claim for a fatal accident if that’s the case. You could be paid a bereavement payment, compensation if you relied on their income or to cover the cost of their funeral.
Please call our team of specialist advisors on 0800 652 1345 for free legal advice about your options.
Providing proof for making a farming accident compensation claim
When claiming compensation for farming-related injuries, you must prove why the accident happened and who caused the accident. Evidence that you could use to support your farming accident compensation claim includes:
- Taking pictures with your phone is a good idea following an accident on a farm. They can help you to explain what happened and the damage that was caused.
- If the farm uses CCTV cameras, you could ask for a copy of the footage if your accident was captured.
- Accident reports. You should tell somebody at the farm about your accident. Legally, the accident should be recorded in an accident report book and you are entitled to a copy. Proving where and when the accident happened will therefore be easier.
- Medical evidence. Treatment for your injuries should be carried out by a medical professional. If you were treated by a doctor or you visited a hospital, your medical records could be used to show what injuries you sustained.
- Witness information. Where your version of events differs from the defendant’s, witnesses could be important. Your solicitor could ask them for a statement to help establish what happened on the farm.
- Financial evidence. Receipts, invoices and bank statements could all be used to help prove any costs you’ve incurred because of your agricultural injuries.
- A diary. Finally, it can help to keep a diary during your recovery. This can help to show when you’ve needed to attend medical appoints, weren’t able to work or couldn’t attend social events because of your injuries.
After you’ve collected evidence to support your farm accident claim, contact our advisors and they will review it with you for free.
What can I claim compensation for?
We understand that being injured on a farm can be both painful and expensive. If the accident was not your fault, compensation could be claimed for general and special damages to cover the cost of:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
- Private medical treatment.
- Lost earnings.
- Travel costs.
- Replacing items damaged in the accident.
- Adapting your home or vehicle to make coping with your injuries easier.
- Care costs.
Your claim should consider all aspects of your suffering. That’s because once you’ve settled the claim, extra compensation can’t be sought later on. If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll review your case fully to ensure everything is considered before your claim is filed.
As part of the farm accident claims process, it’s important to show how serious your injuries were. Therefore, a medical assessment is needed for all cases. Your solicitor can usually book a local appointment with a medical specialist for you. They will discuss your injuries, examine you and read your medical notes. Once finished, they’ll produce a report to set out your prognosis.
Farm accident claims time limits
Time limits apply to all personal injury claims. In the UK, the Limitation Act 1980 dictates that you’ll have 3-years to claim. That period will start from:
- The date of your accident on a farm; or
- When your condition was diagnosed. For some industrial diseases, this could be years or decades after you worked at the farm.
It is probably best to take action sooner rather than later. By doing so, your personal injury solicitor should have plenty of time to collect the evidence to corroborate your claim.
If your child has been injured on a farm, you won’t need to worry about the 3-year limitation period. A litigation friend could seek damages on behalf of a child at any time before their 18th birthday. If a claim hasn’t been made by the time they reach 18, the 3-year limit will then apply.
No Win No Fee farming accident claims
We believe it’s best to have legal representation when making a farming accident claim. We also understand that you might not want to risk paying for a solicitor by the hour and then losing your case. That’s why our solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service.
If your case is accepted, your solicitor’s work will be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This contract allows them to work on your case without any upfront payment. To cover the cost of your solicitor’s work, they’ll deduct a success fee from any compensation you’re awarded.
The success fee will be listed in your CFA but, legally, can be no more than 25% of your compensation. If the case fails, you don’t have to pay the success fee.
To find out if you could use one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, please call today.
Using a personal injury solicitor to make a claim
We hope this guide about claiming compensation for a farm accident has helped. We also hope that it’s shown how our personal injury solicitors can help. If you decide to make a compensation claim, and your case is accepted, your solicitor will:
- Review your claim in detail with you to learn how you’ve been affected.
- Gather evidence to support your claim.
- Arrange for your injuries to be assessed by an independent medical specialist.
- File the claim with the farm owner.
- Deal with all queries from the defendant’s insurers on your behalf.
- Provide extra evidence where needed if objections about liability are raised.
- Aim to secure the highest level of compensation possible for your injuries.
While your farming accident claim progresses, your solicitor will keep you up to date about any progress. Also, if you need to ask any questions, they’ll be on hand to answer them for you.
If you are ready to claim compensation for farming-related injuries now, please call 0800 652 1345.
Remember, our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for all accepted claims.
Thanks for reading our guide on farming accident compensation claims, and please contact us via live chat if you have any further questions.