The state’s agriculture industry is a major component of the state’s economy, and its farmers are responsible for growing and distributing a significant portion of all the produce consumed in the United States each year. Unfortunately, agricultural work is physically demanding and risky in several ways. Farm workers suffer all types of injuries at work each year, and it’s vital for everyone in the agriculture industry and those thinking of joining the industry to understand the risks they face in this line of work.
Most Common Farm Worker Injuries
Various agencies at the state and federal levels collect workplace injury data, and there are a few common trends among these reports. When it comes to the risks facing farm workers, the most commonly cited causes of these injuries include:
- Tractor rollover accidents. Tractors are specialized vehicles intended for use in landscaping and agriculture, and while they function similarly to other motor vehicles, they lack the safety features those other vehicles typically have. Tractors are also used to navigate uneven terrain, and any worker who must use a tractor faces a significant risk of injury if their tractor tips or rolls over.
- Heat exhaustion. All farm workers should wear appropriate attire and have access to clean drinking water while working outdoors. The state is renowned for beautiful weather but working outside in direct sunlight for hours at a time is risky for anyone. Heat exhaustion is potentially fatal if not treated immediately.
- Traumatic injuries from farm equipment. Many agricultural workers must use specialized equipment to perform their job duties, and some pieces of equipment are inherently dangerous. Lacerations, crushing injuries, and even amputations and brain injuries are possible from farm equipment malfunctions, defective equipment, or negligent use of dangerous machinery.
- Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries. Agricultural work is physically demanding, and many farm workers will suffer sprains, strains, and damage to their soft tissues through the physical wear and tear their work entails.
This is not a complete list of all the risks facing farm workers, just a few of this industry’s most commonly reported types of accidents. If you are injured at work, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
An experienced attorney is the best asset to have on your side if you must file a workers’ compensation claim for any reason. While the process is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim, you face an additional complication in the form of your employer functioning as an intermediary between you and their insurance carrier.
Working with an experienced attorney will make filing your claim easier and more likely to generate suitable results. While a workers’ compensation claim may not cover the full scope of your losses, it can still provide invaluable support when you are struggling in the aftermath of a serious work-related injury. In addition, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is the ideal resource to consult if you are unsure how you can recover your losses from any farm accident in the state.
Your legal team can assist you in filing your claim to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier and resolve any disputes that might arise. If you suspect the insurance company has not handled your claim in good faith, your attorney will help you determine the best available options for addressing the situation. You may also have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim depending on how the injury happened, and success with this civil action could improve your total recovery significantly.
Q: What Are the Leading Causes of Injuries for Farm Workers?
A: Agriculture workers face many risks at work, and some of the leading causes of accidents on farms include equipment failure, vehicle accidents, and injuries from exhaustion and exposure. Agricultural employers are required to follow strict safety regulations and minimize the risk of harm to their employees, and any injuries can lead to complex legal proceedings depending on their causes.
Q: What Is the Most Common Disease Among Farmers and Farm Workers in California?
A: Many agricultural workers and farmers are exposed to all manner of health hazards at work, but heat exposure is the most commonly cited medical condition in this industry sector. Agriculture workers contend with constant harsh sun exposure, high temperatures, and demanding physical labor that can all increase the risk of serious injuries. Permanent brain damage is possible from heat stroke, especially if the victim does not receive prompt medical attention.
Q: Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Farm Worker Injury?
A: Virtually every employee in the state is covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, and all employers with at least one employee must have this type of coverage. Agriculture employers must have appropriate insurance coverage, and an injured farm worker has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim in good faith. It’s best to have a legal representative assist you with your claim to have the best chance of success.
Q: What Happens If a Farm Worker Is Permanently Disabled From an Injury at Work?
A: Workers’ compensation insurance can potentially cover an injured worker’s medical expenses and a portion of their lost income while they recover from their injury. However, they may be entitled to more extensive compensation if they are permanently disabled from a farm accident. Any farm worker left permanently disabled by a work-related injury needs reliable legal counsel to guide them through their recovery efforts.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A: A California workers’ compensation attorney can significantly streamline your recovery from a farm injury, potentially securing much better results than you managed alone. Additionally, you may have grounds to pursue further legal action, in which case you would need an experienced attorney to help you build your case.
The attorneys at English, Lloyd & Armenta can provide the legal representation you need whether you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both in response to the injury you recently suffered at work. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist with your recovery.