Farm Injury Lawyer
Farms, even when operated safely and efficiently, require difficult work with potentially dangerous machinery and equipment on varied terrain. If you were injured in a farm accident, you should contact an experienced farm injury lawyer from Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at 205-933-1500. We can review your situation, including whether you may have the right to workers compensation or will need to pursue a financial recovery another way.
There are 44,000 farming operations in Alabama encompassing 8.9 million acres, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2016 Alabama state agriculture overview. These farms raise cattle, goats, hogs, chickens, and more. They produce milk, beef, hay, tobacco, corn, cotton, and many other types of meat, fruits, vegetables, and other products. Running these operations requires thousands of workers like you, some of which are employees, independent contractors, and volunteers. Some workers are full-time year-round, while others are seasonal.
Common Farm Accidents
Farming is a work-intensive industry. You not only put your body through the ringer, you also are in close contact with heavy machinery, vehicles, pesticides, and other additives and chemicals every time you work. All of these factors can quickly become hazards and increase the risk of common farm accidents, such as:
- Tractor and other large vehicle accidents, including overturn, run over, back up, and entanglement incidents
- Being struck by a falling object
- Being struck by machinery
- Entanglement with machinery
- Entrapment in a silo or another confined space
- Chemical exposures and spills
- Toxic gas exposure
- Fires and explosions
- Animal attacks and other related accidents
You May Not be Covered by Workers’ Compensation
If you have been injured in a farm accident, contact our work injury attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. immediately. Your journey to potentially gain compensation will depend on whether you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance through your employer or whether you will need to pursue financial assistance in another way.
Whether you have workers’ compensation may depend on your work status, whether you are an employee or contractor, your type of employment, and the size of your employer. Under Alabama law, if you are an independent contractor, you may not have workers’ compensation, whether the business carries it or not. Alabama also does not require businesses that employ fewer than five workers to carry insurance or to cover farm laborers.
Unfortunately, all of these nuances to workers’ compensation coverage means it is likely that you do not have a right to workers’ comp benefits. However, your employer may have elected to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Speak with your employer and our work injury lawyers to find out if you are or should be covered.
When Workers’ Comp is an Option
If you injured at work, tell your employer or a supervisor immediately. In the case of an obvious accident, your employer likely has actual notice of your injuries. However, if your employer does not have immediate actual notice, you should tell it within five days of the injury. However, you may have up to 90 days to inform it in some circumstances.
Once you notify your employer, it should notify its insurance carrier. Either it or the insurer has forms to fill out and provide to the state. If your claim is approved, you will have the right to have your reasonable medical expenses paid and receive a portion of your lost wages. You may also have the right to temporary or permanent partial or total disability payments.
However, if your claim is denied, you should contact one of our farm injury lawyers. We will help you file an appeal with the Alabama Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation Division.
Employer or Third-Party Liability
If you know that you are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance but were hurt in a farm accident, contact us immediately. We will investigate your situation and advise you on your potential avenues to compensation, including whether your employer or a third-party may be liable for a personal injury claim.
You may have the option to file a personal injury claim against your employer if it was negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful toward you. Negligence can include failing to properly train workers, provide adequate supervision, obey federal and state health and safety regulations, provide safe equipment and personal protective gear, and any activity that leads to an unsafe environment.
It is also possible that your injuries suffered in a farm accident are the fault of someone other than your employer. If a coworker or independent contractor caused the accident, contact us today to learn more about filing a third-party personal injury claim. In this type of case, you will need evidence that the other party was negligent, reckless, or acted intentionally to harm you.
During a personal injury claim against your employer or a third party, you can seek:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
Let Our Farm Injury Lawyers in Alabama Help You
Our farm injury lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. have more than 65 years of experience. We have helped individuals injured in a variety of work-related accidents gain compensation through workers’ compensation or personal injury suits. Whether we have to work with your employer, an insurer, the Department of Labor, or in front of a judge or jury, we will aggressively fight for your right to a financial recovery.
Call us today at 205-933-1500 to schedule a free consultation.