Farm accidents are a lot more common than many people realize. Farming is just as dangerous as other occupations like construction and industrial work. However, farming related accident compensation law is very different and tends to be complex. In some cases like if the accident happened on the farm’s land, involving the employee or farmer the case is cut and dry but in other cases, it may not be so clear.
One instance of this is a chemical sprayer which by some error sprays chemicals on someone who is passing by or in the parking lot of a store. The result is a serious injury. Another accident can be a person was mowing using a bush hog somewhere in a divided highway, and he was thrown off the hog, and for some reason, the emergency system didn’t shut down the hog.
In each of the two instances seeking compensation will be a totally different ball game. In one example it was caused by faulty farm equipment, but in the other, the equipment malfunctioned outside of the farm. That’s why hiring an attorney can make things so much easier.
According to the NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as well as the National Safety Council out of 3.1 million people (Americans) working on farms and ranches, 1300 die every year while a whopping 120,000 are injured. It is also estimated that 100 agricultural workers end up suffering from lost working time because of an injury. Not to mention 300 youth farmers are estimated to die each year.
It is fair to say that when there is so much at stake, it is always best to seek professional help. At least you’ll be able to cover the bills and recover while not having to worry about making ends meet when the compensation kicks in.
Who can apply for compensation?
What to do and how to get paid?
As mentioned earlier in this document farm accident compensation is very different from other types of workers injury compensation. The first thing worth noting is that there are only 13 states where it is required for companies to offer agricultural workers compensation. These states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
When to apply for compensation?
|Ideally, an injured farmer will want to apply for compensation as soon as possible but not later than 21 days after the accident.|
|In the event of symptoms caused by chemical exposure, it should be reported to management and compensation application should be submitted at the first sign of symptoms.|
What is important to know?
We discussed the states that require that companies have farmers compensation, but there are sixteen of which that don't for migrant or even seasonal employees. Out of these sixteen states, coverage in some may be limited to just full-time farm workers who are doing specialty jobs, working a limited number of hours, employed at large farms, etc.
Also, in many states, farms and companies employing foreign workers under America’s H-2A temporary agricultural program are required to ensure that those workers get compensation or something equivalent in benefits.
It is also important to note that there are some states where farm operators are required to carry at least compensation for injuries. But others may not. In states where it is a requirement, employers or employees may want to get a workers’ compensation insurance policy. But in places where it is not mandatory employers can use a FL 04 65 endorsement. That said companies can voluntarily provide worker’s compensation even if purchasing coverage isn’t mandatory.
Farm workers in 13 states have a right to compensation. However, even then insurers and even employers may play hardball and try not to pay injured farmers. Sometimes the farm injury is blamed on the farmer for which the company may refuse to compensate. Regardless of the reason if you find yourself in a situation where the company is denying your claim for compensation, it is time to get legal representation. Only a professional attorney can assure you of due compensation regardless of the circumstances.