According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agricultural workers like farmers and ranchers have one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Over 250 agricultural workers were killed while performing work duties and 280 received non-fatal injuries in the year 2018 alone. If you or your loved one suffered a disabling injury in an agricultural work accident, it is essential to know your rights. You may be able to recover compensation through workers’ compensation as well as a third-party claim.
Understanding Your Available Options
Workers in the agricultural industry work with dangerous chemicals, heavy agricultural machinery, and from great heights. If you or your loved one were seriously hurt in a tractor rollover, fall, or machinery accident, you may be left wondering what your legal options are. Per the Illinois Workers’ compensation Act, the owners of small agricultural enterprises may be exempt from workers’ compensation. If your employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance, this should cover your medical bills and part of your lost income; however, workers’ compensation alone may not cover the full extent of the financial harm caused by your injury. You may have a permanent disability or reduction in functioning that affects you for months or years after the incident. This can result in an overwhelming financial burden. If another party’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident, you may be able to bring a separate claim against that party.
Bringing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Negligent Third Party
If the actions of a third-party resulted in your injury, you may be able to bring a civil claim against that party. You have the right to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent third party if:
- The party owned you a “duty of care” or legal obligation to act with caution and care
- The party failed to uphold this duty
- You were injured as a result of the party’s negligence
- You suffered damages because of your injuries
The negligent third party in an agricultural injury claim may be many different parties. Oversights and mistakes made by the designer or manufacturer of machinery or equipment may be to blame for your accident. A negligent general contractor, subcontractor, property owner, driver, or other party may also be liable for your accident. Through a personal injury claim, you may recover medical costs, your full lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.
Contact an Orland Park Agricultural Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident in the agricultural industry, it is important to know what your legal options are. You could be entitled to compensation for your damages though workers’ compensation and/or a personal injury claim. A skilled Illinois personal injury attorney from Schwartz Injury Law can investigate your case and help you explore all of your legal options. Call 708-226-9000 today for a free, confidential consultation.