Here in Wisconsin, farming is a way of life for many people. Agricultural accidents occur in the Badger State every day, and can have far-reaching consequences for those affected. Here is some information about them from the leading Wisconsin farm accident lawyers at the Harnitz Law Office.
What Causes Farm Accidents?
Farm accidents are caused by a number of things, including:
- Malfunctioning equipment such as balers, pickers, choppers, and augers
- Farm truck or tractor collisions
- Animals such as cattle, horses, and bulls
- Farm tools such as rakes, shovels, hoes, and post-hole diggers
- Falling from a barn or hay loft
- Entrapment in a silo or grain bin
- Exposure to hazardous materials
In addition to its own unique hazards, farms also have many of the same dangers as other workplaces. For example, workers may be subject to injuries from lifting heavy objects or exposure to loud noises. Hot and cold weather injuries are also common, as farmers must work outdoors in a variety of conditions.
Farm workers can suffer from injuries that range from moderate to severe. Amputations are common, particularly among accidents involving heavy machinery. Individuals can also suffer:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Dislocated jaw, knee, or shoulder
- Loss of eyesight
- Muscle strains
Many farm injuries are further complicated by a lack of immediate medical attention. This is due to the remote location of many farms coupled with a lack of training on the part of agricultural workers. Employees on some farms may also work alone, and could therefore be unable to summon for help during an emergency.
Farm workers who have been injured on the job could be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Loss of future wages
Many Wisconsin farm workers are teenagers or college students looking to make a little extra money. The lives of these young people can be forevermore changed once they become a farm accident victim. Loss of future wages affects this demographic more than any other, because the amount of wages one expects to earn in the future is much higher. As such, very young accident victims could be entitled to significantly higher compensation if permanently disabled.
Effect on Farm Owners
An agricultural accident is especially harrowing whenever the farm owner is the one injured. Many smaller family farms simply do not have the resources needed to hire outside help while the owner recovers. In many cases, this could lead to the permanent loss of a family’s home and livelihood.
Contrary to what many people believe, farm owners are often entitled to compensation for accidents that happen on their property. So long as the owner is not personally negligent, he or she can sometimes recover for injuries just as any other victim would. Some instances in which farm owners could be eligible to recover damages include:
- Faulty mechanical equipment due to manufacturer defect
- Road accidents involving farm machinery
- Unsafe construction of silos or buildings
Recovering Farm Injury Damages
After seeking medical help, the next thing victims should do is to notify the owner of the farm. That person then has an obligation to assess the situation and take preventative measures to avoid future injuries. Taking photographs of the site is recommended, as pictures can not only help people identify and eliminate problems, but can also go a long way toward proving the cause of an injury.
Once the above steps are completed, it is then time to contact us. If we determine that a remedy is available, we’ll then go to work ensuring you get every dime you are entitled to under Wisconsin law.