Many see farmers as the salt of the earth that diligently tend their fields to provide the community with food. However, while some will acknowledge that farming is innately hard work, there are many who often overlook how dangerous it is. Farmers can not only deal with large and occasionally unpredictable livestock, but they work with heavy machinery each day that comes with inherent danger. Crushed limbs, lacerations, and severed extremities aren’t uncommon in this line of work. However, most commonly, farm accidents involve a piece of machinery that farmers can use every day for a variety of tasks – the tractor.
Common Tractor Accidents
As a tractor can be used for so many different tasks around the farm, tractor accidents can actually occur in many different ways and result in many different injuries. Common tractor accidents include:
- Road Collisions and Other Auto Accidents
- Crushing Injuries Resulting From Being Run Over
- Power Take-Off Entanglement
- Injuries Resulting From a Third-Party
- Defective Parts
- Defects in the Design or in the Manufacturing Process
After any tractor accident, your first step should always be to seek medical attention even if the injury was minor. Tractors are large piece of machinery which can make every accident a dangerous one. Many of the injuries that can result from a tractor can manifest themselves in injuries that can cause permanent injury to your person, and permanent injury on a farm means limited capacity to work it. Don’t just try to walk off an injury only to have it affect your livelihood.
Compensation for Tractor-Related Farming Injuries
If you are injured at your place of work, you might expect to get worker’s compensation to cover the cost of your injuries and any wage loss that occurred. However, while it is widely known that every employer in Wisconsin is required by law to have worker’s compensation insurance, the worker’s compensation requirement works a little different for farms in Wisconsin.
In order for a farm to be required to obtain worker’s compensation insurance, they must have six or more employees on their payroll for more than 20 days a year. So if your farm hires a bunch of young farmhands to bring in the harvest, but only requires them for 19 days of work, they are not required to have worker’s compensation insurance to cover any injuries. This number, however, excludes employees that are family members or relatives. This means if you work on a very small farm or on your family farm, there may be no worker’s compensation insurance benefits to collect from since they are not required to be insured.
With no worker’s compensation to receive from your farm employer, what then?
If your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, this means that they are open to personal injury suits to cover injuries. However, if you are working for family, that may not be a preferable option. Instead, you may want to look to what caused the accident itself. In the cases of defective tractor parts or problems with the design or manufacturing of the tractor itself, you can look to those that created the malfunctioning piece and hold the company responsible in a personal injury suit. This can also apply to road accidents where the roads were not properly cared for or a driver was responsible for the accident.
Have you been hurt in a tractor accident or other farm-related accident in the Oshkosh area? Then contact us today to talk over your options. Let the Harnitz Law Office go over the specific details of your case to make sure that you aren’t needlessly stuck with a pile of medical bills.