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Springfield, IL Farm Accident Attorney

Quincy farm worker injury attorneys

Lawyers for Injuries to Farm Workers in Decatur, Peoria, Bloomington, and Central Illinois

The agriculture industry employs millions of people throughout the United States, and central Illinois is home to a wide variety of different types of farms. Unfortunately, farm workers face a great deal of risk, and they can be seriously injured when accidents occur or when their employers fail to take the proper measures to protect their safety. Victims of farm accidents often struggle to address the costs related to their injuries, including medical expenses and loss of income. To ensure that they are properly compensated for these costs, farm workers should consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer.

The attorneys of Kanoski Bresney have over 40 years of legal experience, and we have represented clients in many different types of cases involving farm injuries and other workplace accidents. We have helped our clients obtain a total of more than $400 million in personal injury and workers' compensation claims. We are ready to fight for you to receive the financial compensation you deserve, and we will work to provide you with respect, response, and results throughout the course of your case.

Common Types of Farm Accidents

Every year, more than 100,000 agricultural workers suffer injuries that require medical treatment, and more than 500 workers are killed in farm accidents. In fact, the agricultural industry has the highest rate of fatalities of any occupation in the U.S., with more than 20 deaths per 100,000 workers annually. Multiple different types of farm accidents can lead to injuries for farm workers or other people, including:

  • Combine accidents - The equipment used to harvest crops is often very large and heavy, and it can contain sharp blades, fast-moving parts, and other hazards. Workers can suffer serious injuries such as amputations if their limbs or clothing are caught in machinery, defective parts can lead to serious lacerations or brain injuries, or a person may be crushed if a combine turns over.
  • Free-roaming livestock - Farm animals may enter roads due to damaged fences or lack of proper restraints, and this can lead to dangerous car accidents.
  • Grain handling accidents - Farm workers who are working inside a grain bin or silo may suffocate after being engulfed in collapsing or flowing grain. Workers can also suffer fall injuries due to damaged ladders or walkways, or they may be injured by moving equipment inside a grain elevator, such as conveyor belts or augers.
  • Grain bin explosions - Grain dust is highly flammable, and if it catches fire in an enclosed space, this can lead to dangerous explosions. In addition to serious burn injuries, these explosions can lead to fall injuries, bodily harm due to the concussion of a blast, or injuries caused by shrapnel.
  • Tractor accidents - Workers may be injured by a tractor that rolls over, or a person may be run over by farm equipment. Defective parts, such as couplings between tractors and other pieces of equipment, can cause serious injuries. Drivers and passengers may also be injured in a collision with a tractor on the roads near a farm.
  • Ventilation violations - If the proper ventilation is not provided in grain bins or grain elevators, workers who enter a grain silo may suffocate due to lack of oxygen, or they may be exposed to toxic chemicals or other harmful substances.

OSHA Regulations Meant to Prevent Farm Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set standards that should be followed to protect the safety and health of farm workers. The steps that should be taken to address hazards and prevent injuries include:

  • Tractors should have rollover protection systems (ROPS), and workers should be fully trained on how to operate equipment safely. Power take-off shafts should have the proper guards or shielding to prevent entanglement.
  • When working in grain bins, workers should be provided with harnesses or other safety systems to prevent engulfment. Workers should be trained on the proper procedures, such as never "walking down the grain" in an attempt to help it flow more smoothly.
  • Ladders, catwalks, lifts, and other equipment on grain bins should be properly maintained to prevent fall injuries.
  • All tools and equipment should be properly maintained and kept in good condition. Insulation and grounding should be used to prevent electrocution injuries.
  • Workers should be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), and loose clothing or long hair should be secured to prevent entanglement in farm machinery.
  • Employers should take steps to reduce excessive noise by keeping machinery maintained, operating equipment at lower speeds, installing pads or mountings meant to absorb or reduce vibration, and using acoustic methods to protect workers from loud sounds. PPE should be provided to protect workers from hearing loss, and employees should be trained on how to use this equipment properly.
  • Chemicals such as pesticides should be properly labeled, and workers should be provided with training on how to use these materials safely and avoid injuries due to exposure to toxic substances. PPE such as respirators should be provided to prevent the inhalation of dangerous chemicals.
  • Toilets, drinking water, and hand-washing facilities should be provided to workers to address concerns about heat stroke or heat exhaustion and prevent the spread of infectious diseases due to unsanitary conditions.

If a farm worker is injured due to an employer's failure to meet OSHA's safety standards, they may be able to pursue a lawsuit that will allow them to recover compensation for the damages caused by the injury. However, injuries can still occur even when all of the proper safety procedures were followed, and victims may have other options for receiving compensation.

Workers' Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims

Any employee who is injured while working is eligible to receive workers' compensation, which is also known as workers' comp or workman's compensation. These benefits are available no matter who was at fault for an injury, and a worker can receive benefits even if they were partially responsible for an accident. An employer's workers' compensation insurance will cover all medical expenses related to an injury, and an injured worker may also be able to receive wage benefits that address missed work while recovering or a permanent disability.

In some cases, a victim may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit based on the fact that they would not have been injured if not for their employer's negligence. A worker may also be able to bring a third-party claim against others who may have been responsible for their injuries, such as a company that manufactured defective or dangerous farm equipment. In many cases, the damages that can be recovered in a personal injury claim are higher than what can be received through workers' compensation, and a victim may be repaid for medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Sangamon County Farm Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured while working on a farm, or if your family member has suffered a wrongful death due to a farm accident, Kanoski Bresney can provide the legal help you need, and we will work to make sure you are fully repaid for the damages you have suffered. We will investigate your accident and help you determine your best options, including filing a worker's comp claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against an employer or others who may have been responsible. Contact us today and arrange a free consultation by calling 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682. We represent farm accident victims throughout central Illinois, including McLean County, Macon County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, Champaign County, Adams County, McDonough County, Schuyler County, Tazewell County, Bloomington, Decatur, Peoria, Springfield, Champaign, Quincy, Macomb, Pekin, and Rushville.

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