Agricultural products liability is a pretty broad topic, but essentially it encompasses anything people use in furtherance of agricultural business. It could be as simple as the lawnmower, and it could be as large as a combine. At Patrick Daniel Law, we tend to see a lot more private use. These are people with smaller family farms or people who have some anchorage that they need to maintain as opposed to big commercial operations. Unfortunately, owning a farm comes with its risks, not all of them the fault of farmworkers. According to the CDC, around 100 agricultural workers experience a lost-work-time injury every day. On top of that, in 2016, work-related injury was the cause of death for 417 farmers and farmworkers.
Many companies, not just agricultural manufacturers, have been putting profits over people for decades. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. In addition, there have not been many technological advances in terms of agricultural equipment, especially when it comes to safety. Of course, there are the creature comforts, like satellite radio and air conditioning, but in terms of safety, it’s pretty much the same as it’s always been. Why, you ask? That’s because it’s cheaper to build a device one way than it is to add safety features which could save lives and save limbs. Historically, tractor and combine manufacturers have put profits over people, and unfortunately, it’s the farmers and the farmhands who suffer.
A lot of times people, who work around these kinds of devices assume that the injury must have resulted from their inappropriate use of farm equipment. That is frankly, not always the case. In our line of work, we see multiple clients who suffer from severe injuries and amputations due to tractors flipping over. Farmers tend to blame themselves and chalk it up to their own inattention or their own fault and don’t think contacting a lawyer is a reasonable option. The problem with this is that manufacturers don’t have an incentive to improve their products, so nothing changes, and people continue to suffer in silence.
The only way to bring about change is to hit major global manufacturers in the pocketbook. There’s no other way to effectively get their attention because, at the end of the day, these companies look at the fiscal bottom line. They care about how much money they make now and in the future. The more attention that gets brought to this through litigation and the more people stand up and hold companies accountable by taking them to court, the more likely that we’ll see safer equipment.
If you have been hurt by an agricultural device, whether it be a tractor, combine or another piece of equipment, you should contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to make sure that it wasn’t a faulty product that caused your injury. Please do not attempt to determine if you have a compensable case. You must consult a relevant liability attorney who has the expertise and extensive knowledge necessary to determine who ultimately caused the harm and injuries you or a loved one suffered. Contact us for a free case evaluation here.