Most Common Agricultural Injuries

Common Injuries in Agricultural Accidents | Patrick Daniel Law
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Working on a farm is hard. A day’s work typically involves hard labor for long hours in conditions that can be less than ideal. Machines and other advances have made some jobs on the farm easier, but modern technologies and techniques come with their own hazards.

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Some of the biggest dangers for workers on the farm include heavy machinery, heights, toxic chemicals, and more.

Agricultural injuries can have a variety of different causes. It is important to explore all of your legal options after a farm accident to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.

Patrick Daniel Law can help if you or a loved one suffered injury in one of the following agricultural accidents:

1. Tractor Overturn Accidents

Workers can become pinned underneath tractors and other heavy machinery when they overturn. Tens of thousands of pounds fall to the side in an overturn accident, putting the operator of the tractor and others in the vicinity at risk of being crushed.

Crush injuries can consist of broken bones, significant bleeding, and damage to organs. Victims may also develop compartment syndrome, a complication where pressure rises inside damaged tissue. Without immediate medical attention, muscles and nerves in the injured area may die.

2. Falls

Many jobs on the farm require workers to scale heights. Falls from ladders, machines, barns, and more can lead to serious injuries and even death.

Aerial lifts are a particularly dangerous piece of equipment found on farms. The risk of falling from an elevated bucket or platform is exacerbated by the unstable nature of the machines, as well as the frequency of defects.

3. Entanglements and Amputations

The moving parts of heavy machinery can do severe damage to the human body. Workers may get caught in machines when they are in use or if the machine is not powered down during maintenance and repairs.

Arms, hands, and fingers are the parts of the body most at risk of being trapped, crushed, or cut by running machinery. Serious lacerations, dislocations, and even traumatic amputations may occur.

4. Suffocation

Unloading a silo, grain bin, or grain elevator carries a significant risk of suffocation. A strong vacuum forms at the top of the grain as it is drained. If workers are sucked under, they can quickly run out of air.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has implemented regulations on grain handling (including prohibitions on “walking down the grain,” or having workers at the top of the silo or bin who tamp down the material for even unloading). Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for commercial farms to disregard these rules, putting workers at risk of suffocation and other injuries.

5. Burns

Farms are full of flammable substances. These range from fuel for machines to gases created by manure to dust from harvesting and storing grain. If any of these substances come into contact with an ignition source, fires and explosions can occur.

Burn injuries are life-altering. In addition to pain and disfigurement, severe burns can lead to permanent loss of mobility, sensation, and more.

6. Toxic Exposure

Many commercial farms make extensive use of pesticides (chemicals used to kill insects) and herbicides (chemicals used to kill weeds). Unfortunately, unwanted bugs and vegetation are not the only ones harmed by the administration of these chemicals.

Short-term exposure to pesticides and herbicides can result in irritation of the skin, the mucous membranes (i.e., the eyes, nose, and mouth), and potentially the airway. However, long-term exposure to small amounts of toxins can put workers and even those living near the farm at risk for cancer and other serious ailments.

7. Animal Injuries

Livestock can be unpredictable. Workers may be injured by cows, horses, and even dogs if they do not exercise sufficient caution.

Some of the most common animal-related injuries on farms include:

  • Animal kicks: A kick from a horse or a cow can result in traumatic brain injuries, injury to the torso, and injury to the groin.
  • Trampling: Cattle, horses, and even goats and pigs may charge if they feel threatened or scared. Their hooves can break bones and damage organs.
  • Bites: Dogs and pigs are the animals most likely to bite humans on the farm. In addition to injuries from the bite, dangerous bacteria live in the mouths of these animals. Serious infections may occur if the wound is not properly cleaned.

Farm animals have a reputation for being docile. However, workers should not become complacent when they interact with pets and livestock, as mistakes can lead to serious injuries.

8. Vehicle Accidents

From tractors to semi-trucks, multiple vehicles and heavy machinery may be in operation on a farm at the same time. Both the operators of these vehicles as well as workers on foot can suffer serious injuries in the event of a collision.

The types of injuries that occur in car accidents are well-known. What many farm workers may not know is that they could have multiple legal options after such an accident.

Can I Sue for Agricultural Injuries?

Many states do not require farm owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance for part-time and seasonal workers. In Texas, employers in any industry are not required to have workers’ comp insurance.

With these factors in mind, farm workers are unlikely to have recourse to workers’ compensation if they get hurt on the job. However, they may be able to bring one or more third-party claims if the agricultural accident occurred due to someone’s negligence:

  • Employer liability: Owners and operators of farms may be liable for negligence resulting in an employee’s injuries (i.e., failing to provide safe working conditions, necessary equipment, etc.).
  • Product liability: The manufacturer of a defective product (such as faulty farming equipment) can be held liable for injuries caused by the failure of the product.
  • Motorist liability: Third parties who operate motor vehicles on the farm (such as a truck driver) can be held liable if their carelessness behind the wheel results in an accident.

Fault for agricultural injuries is a complex issue. It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you are hurt in a farming accident.

Contact an Agricultural Injury Lawyer Today

At Patrick Daniel Law, we understand the hardships that farm workers face on the job. We also know the toll that an injury or accident can take.

Our team has the experience to investigate agricultural accidents and identify who may be liable for your injuries. Attorney Patrick Daniel can build a strong claim on your behalf and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our law firm serves the victims of agricultural injuries in and around Houston, throughout Texas, and nationwide.

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