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Farm Equipment Injuries in Rural Texas: A Legal Overview for Farmers

Posted on May 13, 2024 in

Is Farming a Dangerous Profession?

Agricultural work is a hazardous calling. Farmers face a serious risk of suffering catastrophic injuries, and a startling number of farmers also die from their injuries. In the year 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported nearly 12,000 injuries that cost lost working time. And keeping in mind that many farming injuries go unreported, those statistics still indicate more than 30 injuries sustained each day in 2020.

Injuries to farmers happen more regularly than we like to think. There could be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind factor in this. Many Americans are happy to have food to put on the table, but they don’t always take the time to consider where that food came from. Farmers likely understand the risks of their jobs all too well by comparison.

Texas leads the United States of America in the number of farms and ranches, with nearly 250,000 farms and ranches across our hundreds of millions of acres. With so many farms, there is no shortage of farm and ranch accidents and resulting injuries.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a farming accident due to another person’s negligence or recklessness, it is possible to seek justice and financial compensation through the law. The most surefire way to do this is to retain the professional legal representation of personal injury lawyers experienced in handling farm and ranch injuries.

What Are Common Causes for Farming Accidents?

There is no shortage of dangers on the farm. Agricultural life can be hazardous to the health, whether because of dangerous machinery or hazardous chemicals that sometimes must be utilized to perform farm duties.

Farm equipment is among the most common causes for injuries on the farm. Just the same, however, these heavy machines can be crucial to completing farm work. But if you take heavy machinery and mix it with equipment defects, poor manufacturing, inadequate training, or plain old recklessness, you have a recipe for disaster.

Farm equipment commonly blamed for serious injuries and wrongful deaths include:

  • Tractors.
  • Cornhuskers.
  • Augers.
  • Backhoes.
  • Combines.
  • Harvesters.
  • Cotton strippers.
  • Roller belts.
  • Grain elevators.
  • Silos.
  • Potato haulers.
  • Brush hogs.
  • Hay rakes and hay balers.
  • Front end loaders.
  • Compact loaders.
  • Mowers.
  • Cultivators.
  • Planters.

Farming equipment accidents commonly occur due to improper maintenance, negligent operators, inadequate training, poor visibility, and equipment defects.

In addition to the dangers of farm equipment, there is the threat of grain engulfment, serious burns, falls from great heights, and traffic accidents. According to the CDC, transportation accidents were the leading cause of death for farm workers in the year 2020. In other words, while malfunctions and inadequate training may cause more injuries, transporting equipment is more life-threatening. Transportation accidents occur sometimes because of tractor overturns, the result of poorly designed equipment, driver error, and other vehicles on the roadways.

Common causes of tractor accidents include tire blowouts, rollovers, entanglement accidents, engine failure, explosions, electrocutions, and passenger ejections.

What Are Common Injuries for Farmers?

When a tractor overturns or rolls over, it can pin the driver beneath its great weight, resulting in crushing injuries and internal damage. Additionally, tractors and other heavy machinery can be slow to stop, resulting in running over farmers. Falls from a tractor or collisions on the roads between town and farm can also result in serious injuries.

Common injuries seen in farm equipment accidents include:

  • Broken bones and bone fractures.
  • Burns.
  • Crushing injuries.
  • Electrocution.
  • Loss of limbs.
  • Loss of hearing or sight.
  • Paralysis.
  • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries.
  • Wrongful death.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Farm Equipment Accidents?

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be several different parties that could be held accountable for causing the accident and the resulting injuries.

If the accident occurred due to an employer’s negligence or the negligence of another farmer, it is possible to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim against them. In addition, negligent third parties may also be held accountable for personal injuries.

If defective machinery or equipment were responsible for causing the accident, it may be possible to file a product liability claim. Such claims will seek to hold equipment manufacturers liable for damages.

To determine who or what may be held liable in your farm accident injury case, please contact our law firm. As your lawyers, we will investigate your case and help you determine your legal options for recovering financial compensation.

Does Texas Require Employers to Carry Workers’ Compensation for Agricultural Workers?

15 states do not require employers to carry any workers’ compensation for farmers, and Texas is one of those states. In Texas, it is up to the employer whether they will carry workers’ compensation for their agricultural workers. If the employer opts to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for their workers, they must follow the requirements established by the state law.

What Kind of Financial Recovery is Possible with a Strong Personal Injury Lawsuit?

With a successful personal injury case, it is possible to recover both economic and non-economic damages from the liable parties.

Economic damages may include:

  • Past medical bills and future medical expenses.
  • Lost wages and lost income earning capacity.
  • Physical therapy expenses.
  • Property damage.

Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of consortium or companionship.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Lost quality of life.
  • Disfigurement, disability, or dismemberment.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Wrongful death.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Our Houston-based law firm has extensive experience representing clients in complex personal injury cases, including those involving farming equipment. We would be proud to represent your case as you pursue compensation and seek to hold at-fault parties accountable. To learn more about our legal services and how we can assist you during this difficult time, please contact our law office to schedule your free initial consultation today: 713-470-9714.