Agriculture is one of the state’s most important industries, and this sector is responsible for providing a very large share of the produce consumed across the country each year. Unfortunately, however, agriculture is also one of the most dangerous industries for anyone to work in, and there are thousands of severe and fatal injuries reported throughout the state each year.
Of all the risks facing agricultural workers, tractor accidents are the leading cause of severe and fatal injuries each year. Tractors are specialized vehicles meant to handle rigorous farming work on rough terrain, but they require special training and handling. When a tractor rolls over, the operator could become crushed by the vehicle or thrown from the vehicle and suffer injuries when they fall.
If you or a family member recently experienced a tractor accident while working in the agriculture industry, it is vital to know how you can recover compensation for your losses. The state’s workers’ compensation system exists as a safety net for those injured at work but navigating the claim process is more challenging than many expect. English Lloyd & Armenta can guide you through this claim process and help you reach the best outcome possible in your recovery efforts.
Potential Damages From Tractor Accidents
When a tractor accident occurs, it’s possible for the victim to suffer multiple serious injuries. Some of the most commonly reported tractor-related injuries include broken bones, traumatic brain damage, and spinal cord injuries. While some victims will eventually recover and be able to return to work, others are not so fortunate. Unfortunately, tractor accidents are also the leading cause of fatal work injuries in the agriculture industry.
The victim of a tractor accident could potentially face a host of medical expenses immediately following the incident, and their condition could also require ongoing care. During their recovery, they may be unable to work and earn income, creating a very difficult financial strain for their family. Working with an experienced attorney will dramatically improve their chances of recovering as much compensation as state law allows.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in California
When a workplace injury occurs, the victim should seek immediate medical attention and ensure their supervisor is aware of the incident. State employers are legally obligated to create formal incident reports of all workplace injuries, and this record will be crucial to the employee’s recovery efforts. In addition, almost all agriculture employers in the state must have workers’ compensation insurance, and this is a valuable lifeline for any injured worker.
Filing your workers’ compensation claim is likely to follow a similar process to any other insurance claim. However, you face the added complexity of your employer’s involvement in the process, and some employers, unfortunately, do not uphold their legal obligations and instead interfere with their employees’ recovery efforts.
A workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in streamlining the claim process. Their counsel will reduce the chances of encountering any unjust resistance from your employer, and if you encounter any such problems, they will know how to resolve them. When dealing with the insurance company, your attorney will handle any disputes that arise with the insurance company and ensure the settlement offer you receive is fair and reasonable under the terms of your employer’s policy.
Q: Why Are Tractors So Dangerous?
A: Tractors are vehicles that are specifically made to handle agriculture-related work. However, they do not handle like most other vehicles, nor do they possess the safety features found in those vehicles. As a result, when tractor accidents happen, they can easily cause catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent harm to victims. Additionally, most farmland is uneven, and it’s possible for ditches, groundhog holes, and other factors to make the ground more dangerous than a tractor operator may expect.
Q: What Happens If a Farm Injury Is Fatal?
A: If a fatal farm injury occurs, the family of the victim may be legally entitled to claim death benefits from their loved one’s employer, as long as the employer has appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage. These death benefits can help offset the loss of the income the deceased can no longer provide. In the event a specific party is directly responsible for causing the death, the victim’s family could have grounds to file a third-party wrongful death claim as well.
Q: Is the Manufacturer Liable for a Tractor Accident?
A: Most tractor overturn accidents occur because of unseen hazards on the ground in front of the tractor’s path or operator errors. However, it is possible for a defect in the tractor to cause an accident. If this occurs, the manufacturer would be liable for the victim’s resulting damages under the state’s product liability laws.
Q: Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Farm Workers?
A: California law requires almost every employer to have workers’ compensation, meaning almost every employee in the state is covered through this insurance. Whenever a work-related injury occurs, the victim must notify their employer immediately, and their employer should provide them with the forms necessary to file for workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, having an attorney assist with the claim process can significantly reduce the time it takes for the injured worker to receive their benefits.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney for a Farm Injury?
A: While it’s understandable to be hesitant about the potential cost of hiring legal representation after a work injury, the reality is that legal counsel you can trust can significantly improve the results you reach in all of your efforts. Additionally, you could have grounds to seek far more compensation than what workers’ compensation provides, so it’s always best to consult an experienced attorney before attempting to resolve your case on your own.
The attorneys at English Lloyd & Armenta have years of professional experience in work injury law. We have helped many past clients secure workers’ compensation benefits and have the experience necessary to handle the most challenging cases. If you or someone you love is struggling in the aftermath of any type of farm injury, contact us today to learn how we can empower your recovery efforts.