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farm tractor accidents

Many people mistakenly assume that farming equipment like tractors operate just like other vehicles. Harvesting equipment, agricultural vehicles, tractors, and other farm equipment manufacturers do not design these devices for safety and only those who understand how these vehicles work should operate them. Farming equipment accidents remain a common cause of accidental work-related injuries in the U.S.

Tractor Accident Statistics

  • The National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative reports that tractors cause about 130 deaths annually - thats 50% of all farm worker deaths each year.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) reports that 44% of farm accidents are due to tractor rollovers - making rollovers the most common type of tractor accident.
  • Tractors accounted for over 2,000 deaths on farms in the U.S. between 1992 and 2001.
  • Collisions with motor vehicles account for about 50 tractor operator deaths each year.

Tractor accidents can cause serious injuries. Additionally, those accidents that occur in more remote farmland could mean a victim faces a much longer wait for emergency responders and hospitalization. When tractor accidents occur, victims and their families should determine the cause of the accidents and whether any parties like the tractor’s manufacturer are liable for the resulting damages.

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In the course of your Illinois workers' compensation case, you may learn that your employer or its insurer wants you to undergo an Independent Medical Examination. Understanding the basics of this process can help you navigate this part of your case.

Many people ask if they really need to appear for the IME. The answer is, yes. Section 12 of the Workers' Compensation Act entitles employers or their insurance companies to require claimants to submit to an IME. Failing to comply may result in suspension of benefits until you appear for the examination.

What the IME covers

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It was a devastating scene at a rural Illinois farm recently when a 73-year-old man was reported missing. He had been working on the farm, and his vehicle was located near a grain bin. Search and rescue teams responded and launched efforts to empty the grain bin. They ultimately found the man hours later, but he had died.

This accident was no doubt catastrophic; but unfortunately, grain bin accidents are not uncommon across Illinois. Workers often need to get into the grain bin, which hold tens of thousands of bushels of grain, to unclog it. Once the grain starts moving again, a worker can get pulled under and can suffocate. Whether that was the case in this recent accident or not remains to be confirmed.

This accident is a tragic reminder of the risks that people who work on farms face on a regular basis. Modern farms utilize complex technological systems, powerful tools and fast-moving machines in order to expedite certain processes. Because of this, many farms also run with just a small number of workers, which means that many accidents happen when there is only one worker present. Without a second party to assist or call for help, any accident has the potential to be fatal. This is often the case when a person is involved in a grain handling accident.

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While most in Springfield would probably agree that farming can be a dangerous profession, they'd probably also assume that such dangers are presented by complex farming equipment or in encounters with large farm animals such as cows, horses, or bulls. Yet one of the sad realities of farming is that even accidents or freak occurrences that may seem quite simple in nature can end up producing deadly results.

Such was the case with Pennsylvania who was recently killed while working on her farm. She reportedly suffered chest trauma after a hay bale fell on top of her. She died close to an hour after the accident occurred.

One may wonder how something as simple as a falling hay bale could have caused this to happen. While police are said to be investigating the case of the fall, a number of other factors play into the fatal outcomes that are seen in so many of these farm accidents. Because of their rural locations, farms aren't the easiest places to be reached by first responders in time to administer care that could save one's life after an accident. And although it wasn't reported in this case if the woman was alone when her accident happened, oftentimes farmers do work alone and don't have someone nearby to help in the event of an emergency.

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Many in Sangamon County don't realize this, but one of the most dangerous professions in Illinois and around the country is farming. While advances in agricultural science and new technologies have definitely made a farmer's job easier, they've also made it deadlier. When operating heavy equipment or machinery, a momentary lapse in one's awareness of his or her surroundings can have disastrous results. Yet not just farmers are at risk. Farm employees or family and friends that come to help out are just as likely to be injured or killed in farm accidents, often even more so due to the fact that they aren't completely familiar with everything going on around them.

Such appears to be the case with Murrayville man who was killed while working on a grain harvest in Morgan County. The man was there as part of his job with a local trucking company. Witnesses say he fell from the trailer of his truck, got back to his feet and walked around a bit, but then collapsed and died suddenly. The exact cause of his death has yet to be determined, but given that he was an older man, authorities believe he may have died due to causes incident with his age as opposed to his fall from the trailer.

While farming is a dangerous business and those who work in it may understand the risks of farm accidents, if it's believed that unsafe circumstances on someone's farm or on a work site may have led to another's injury of death, then the victim of such an accident and/or his or her representatives may be entitled to compensation. Anyone who believes that he or she has such a case to argue may wish to speak with a personal injury lawyer to see how he or she should proceed.

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