Belleville Farm Accident Lawyer

When You’re Hurt at Work, We May Be Able to Help

Perhaps no other industry is as vital to the human race as farming. American agriculture feeds our country, as well as a good part of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, farming and agriculture are some of the most dangerous jobs a person can have.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatality rate for agricultural workers is seven times higher than that for workers in all other private industries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2015, 401 farm workers died from a work-related injury.

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a farming or agricultural accident, you need to contact an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney. The law firm of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, is located in the heart of America’s heartland, where farming and agriculture is a way of life. We take the plight of agricultural workers seriously and will fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Call a Belleville personal injury lawyer at (618) 230-3069 for a free case evaluation.

Why Is Agricultural Work So Dangerous?

There are many reasons why agricultural work is dangerous, including:

  • Heavy machinery: Agricultural workers routinely work with machines like harvesters, cultivators, combines, tractors, hay balers, etc. It’s easy for a limb or some clothing to get caught up in these machines and workers end up losing a limb, getting seriously injured, or being killed.
  • Large animals: Animals like cows, horses, and hogs can be particularly dangerous. Every year, agricultural workers are gored, trampled, crushed, or bitten while working with farm animals.
  • Toxic chemicals: Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other concentrated chemicals can cause burns, poisoning, and respiratory injuries.
  • Falls: Lots of agricultural work requires being up high, on ladders, buildings, and silos, etc. Falls can seriously injure or kill a worker.
  • Electricity: A lot of farming and processing equipment is powered by electricity, which can cause severe shocks, burns, and electrocution.
  • Grain silos and bins: Falls into grain silos and bins are a common cause of fatal suffocation.
  • Animal-acquired infections: Certain animal and insect diseases, such as anthrax, avian flu, plague, Hantavirus diseases, bovine tuberculosis, Lyme disease, and Zika, can be transferred to humans.
  • Weather: Because agricultural workers often work out in the elements, they can suffer heatstroke, frostbite, lightning strikes, etc.

The Most Common Farming and Agricultural Accidents

The following are the top causes of farming and agricultural injuries:

  • Tractor rollovers: Tractor rollovers are the number one cause of farming fatalities. Approximately 100 American farmers are killed each year by tractor rollovers.
  • Falls: Falls from structures, farm equipment, ladders, etc.
  • Farm machinery entanglements: A frequent cause of dismemberment, permanent injury, and death.
  • Suffocation: Falling into grain silos and bins, and working in confined spaces contaminated with toxic chemical fumes, carbon monoxide, or manure gas are common causes of suffocation.

Liability and Compensation in Agricultural Accidents

Getting compensation after being injured in a farming accidents can be complicated. In Illinois, farm owners aren’t required to carry workers’ compensation unless their employees work at least 400 days per quarter year. So if a farm owner has five employees working five days a week (5 employees x 5 days per week x 12 weeks in a quarter = 300 days), he would not be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When workers’ compensation isn’t available, claims may be made against the following parties:

  • The company that manages or operates the farm
  • The manufacturer of farm machinery if that machinery is defective or does not have adequate warnings
  • The manufacturer of a toxic substance, such as pesticide or fertilizer
  • The construction companies that build defective barns, silos, and other farm structures
  • An independent contractor or subcontractor
  • A farm owner or manager who:
    • Removes safety devices from a piece of machinery or equipment
    • Doesn’t properly train workers to use machinery or equipment
    • Continues to use a faulty or broken piece of machinery or equipment
    • Knowingly hires an incompetent subcontractor
    • Provides a subcontractor with flawed designs, plans, or specifications
    • Hires a subcontractor for a task that is inherently dangerous

As you can see, farming and agricultural claims are complex, which is why you need a skilled legal team on your side if you want to get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys at our Belleville law office of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, will take a personal interest in your case and stay in constant communication with you until it’s complete. John Hipskind and Brady McAninch will even give you their personal cell phone numbers so you can reach them at any time.

At Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, you pay no upfront fees, and we only get paid if we win you compensation in your claim. If you have any further questions, call 618-641-9189 for a free consultation.