Birmingham Farm Vehicle Injury Lawyer
Alabama’s agricultural industry employs thousands of people and contributes more than $7.3 billion to the state’s economy each year. During harvest and planting season, the number of farm vehicles and agricultural equipment on Alabama’s roads increases significantly. When farm vehicles are operated in a negligent or reckless manner, the consequences can be devastating.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a farm vehicle, you may have the ability to obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses through a personal injury lawsuit. To discuss your legal options and find out how the Birmingham farm vehicle injury lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can help you fight for the compensation you deserve, contact us today at 205-933-1500 for a free consultation with one of our Birmingham vehicle injury lawyers.
What Constitutes a Farm Vehicle?
According to the NHTSA, farm equipment means any vehicle that is “exclusively used as an implement of husbandry.” Generally speaking, an implement of husbandry is any vehicle that and designed solely for agricultural, horticultural, or livestock-raising purposes. This can include both self-propelled and towed equipment such as a farm tractor, plow, or cultivator.
In Alabama, farm vehicles are exempt from many of the traffic laws that apply to other motorists. However, Alabama law does require any farm vehicles designed for speeds of 25 mph or less to display a triangular red-and-orange slow-moving vehicle sign (SMV) whenever they are traveling on public roads.
Farm Vehicle Accident Data
According to data from the National Safety Council, there are approximately 15,000 collisions each year in the U.S. involving farm vehicles, and these accidents are five times more likely to produce a fatality than other types of motor vehicle crashes.
The most common types of collisions between farm equipment and motor vehicles are:
- Left-turn accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Passing accidents
Although accidents between motor vehicles and farm equipment are certainly more common on rural roads, they can happen anywhere. In fact, an analysis of farm equipment crash data from 2005-2010 revealed that about 70 percent of accidents occur in rural areas and 30 percent occur in urban areas.
Dangers of Farm Vehicles on Public Roadways
With nearly 43,000 farms and 8.9 million acres of farmland across the state, agricultural-related vehicles are commonplace on Alabama’s roadways. Farm vehicles are difficult to navigate because they are equipped with large machinery, slow-moving, and not designed for highway travel.
Sharing the road with farm equipment poses a number of safety concerns for other drivers. Those include:
- Differences in speed between farm vehicles and motor vehicles.
- Farm vehicles are often so wide that they extend over the center line, which can obscure the vision of other motorists.
- Inexperienced operators of farm vehicles may be unfamiliar with how to signal intended driving maneuvers, properly secure loads, and handle the swaying effects of heavy tows.
- Insufficient lights, reflectors, or signage can make farm vehicles difficult for other drivers to see.
- Driving too fast can cause farm vehicles to roll over or jack-knife, particularly if they are carrying a heavy load.
- Farm vehicles are often traveling on two-lane rural roads, which can make passing dangerously for other drivers.
The poor visibility and environmental conditions on rural roads can increase the likelihood of farm vehicle accidents and contributes to more severe injuries. In addition, crashes involving agricultural-related equipment that occurs on rural roads are more likely to result in fatalities than urban crashes.
How A Birmingham Farm Vehicle Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident with a farm vehicle, you may be dealing with severe physical pain and mounting medical bills. If your injuries were caused by the negligence or recklessness of the farm vehicle operator, you may be able to obtain compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.
At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we have more than 65 years of collective handling a wide-range of vehicle injury claims and will help guide you through the legal process. With the help of one our skilled personal injury lawyers, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of use of property
Contact us today at 205-933-1500 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you fight for the maximum compensation possible for your case.