It is estimated by the Health and Safety Authority that there are thousands of tractor accidents each year which go unreported. Many of these are due to the farmer or employer themselves being involved, where the driver in the accident has escaped with minor injuries or where the accident is the person´s own fault. The main causes of a tractor accident are considered to be:-
- Excessive speed
- A lack of training or experience
- Tipping on a bank, ditch, rut or bump
- Carrying a passenger or an unbalanced load
- A steep slope combined with other factors e.g. inadequate braking
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005) contains regulations to prevent all the above occurrences, and these guidelines should be passed on to anybody working on a farm through training and supervision. Where an employer fails to instruct workers in the correct operation of a tractor, and they suffer an injury from a tractor accident which effectively is not their fault, they are entitled to claim for compensation.
Even if you suffer a minor injury in a tractor accident, your primary concern should be that of your health. A fall from a tractor or collision can lead to injuries similar to a road traffic accident – some of which manifest into long term health issues long after the tractor accident – and it is always advisable to have a precautionary examination by a doctor. Furthermore, your attendance at your doctor´s surgery will be recorded on your medical records, which are subsequently used – along with the relevant entry in your employers “Accident Report Book” – to support your claim for tractor accident compensation.
Making a Claim for Tractor Accident Compensation
Making a claim for tractor accident compensation can be fraught with difficulties. Your tractor accident may have happened when you were alone in the fields and where there were no witnesses, there may be no physical damage to the tractor even though you yourself may be injured or you may have been partly responsible for your injuries by your own actions. In these instances it is conceivable that an employer may deny liability for your tractor accident and refuse to cooperate with your application to the Injuries Board Ireland for tractor accident compensation.
Furthermore, your employment status may affect who and why you are making a tractor accident claim. Many people who work on farms believe themselves to be “employed” by the farmer, but due to the itinerant nature of farmwork, a large proportion are self-employed, subcontracted or on short-term agency contracts. For these reasons, it is in your best interests when considering a claim for tractor accident compensation to speak with a specialist personal injury* claims solicitor.
To make this easier, we have established a free advice telephone advice service which you are able to call and discuss your personal circumstance with a solicitor experienced in all manner of farming accidents. Our lines are open seven days a week between 8.00am and 10.00pm. We will we able to advise your of your entitlement to claim tractor accident compensation and assess your case to determine if you have a claim which it is worth your while to pursue.
What You Can Expect When You Call
We understand that when you call our free advice telephone service, you will have recently suffered a major trauma and will treat you with respect for your injuries throughout the conversation. A number of clients who have used the service to find out more about compensation for injuries sustained in farming accidents, have told us that they are apprehensive about speaking with a solicitor in respect of a claim for compensation. So please let us assure you that your call to us is completely confidential and if there is indeed a claim for tractor accident compensation, there is less chance of an awkward workplace confrontation if the claim is made through a solicitor.
Our first aim is to establish that you are entitled to claim for tractor accident compensation, so amongst the things we will ask you are how your accident happened, what injuries were sustained and what medical treatment you received for them. We would also like you to tell us how you believe your employer is responsible for your injuries and what you feel could have been done to prevent them. If your tractor accident has affected your personal life in any way, or your future employment prospects, it is best to advise us of these issues as well and, of course, you are welcome to ask questions about any areas that have not been covered.
We usually conclude each initial telephone conversation with a summary of what we have discussed and list some of the options available to you. You are under no obligation to act on any of our suggestions and we certainly recommend that you absorb the advice we have given you over the next couple of days – discussing it with family if you wish – before letting us know if you are going to proceed with a claim for tractor accident compensation. Although the Statute of Limitations allows two years for a claim to be made after your tractor accident, it is often better to instigate a claim as soon as possible. Physical evidence of your tractor accident can be disturbed by the weather and, if there were witnesses to your accident, it is possible that their memories may fade.
Therefore, we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. You can either call our free advice telephone service or complete your contact details in the call-back form at the foot of the page and one of our professional and dedicated team will get back in contact with you.