A Guide to Claiming Farm Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an agricultural injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an agricultural injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
HSE statistics show that farming and agricultural workers are more likely to sustain a workplace injury than in most other occupations.
Over the 40 years since the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, fatal injury numbers in agriculture have not fallen to the same extent as in construction and manufacturing. Although 1% of the working population (employees and self-employed) work in the industry, agriculture accounts for 20% of all fatal injuries to workers.
Why is this?
Potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, and working at height or near pits and silos put employees at increased risk of serious accident or illness.
The work can be physically demanding and its repetitive nature may cause a range of health problems, including severe back pain.
Inhaling dust, handling loads, being exposed to noise or vibration, and working in all weathers may cause ill health. Symptoms may take years to develop and lead to permanent disability, and in some cases premature death.
What are the main risks?
Figures released by the HSE show the most common injuries (some of which may be fatal) occur from:
- Accidents involving farm vehicles - tractors, quad bikes, combine harvesters.
- Injuries caused by falling objects - bales, trees.
- Falls from height on a farm - from trees and ladders; through roofs
- Asphyxiation or drowning from accidents involving grain silos, slurry stores or pits.
- Accidents involving farm machinery - exposed transmission belts and blades
- Dangerous livestock - crushing, kicking, biting, and trampling
- Being trapped by something collapsing or overturning;
- Having contact with electricity, particularly overhead power lines.
Surveys suggest that of those injuries to workers in agriculture which should be reported by law, only 16% are actually reported (compared with just under 50% across other industries). It means there may be as many as 10,000 unreported injuries in the industry each year.
Additionally many of those in the industry do not consult their doctor unless seriously ill and so levels of ill health are unclear. However it is known that in agriculture:
- About 12,000 people suffer from an illness caused or made worse by their current or most recent job.
- Musculoskeletal injury (back pain, sprains or strains) is over three times the rate for all industries.
- The number of people affected by asthma is twice the national average.
- Around 20,000 people are affected by zoonoses (diseases passed from animals to humans) annually.
How can farm injuries be prevented?
Employers have a duty to make the workplace safe. This includes identifying risks and providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
Some hazards will always remain and therefore workers should be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the user against health or safety risks at work.
It includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
Equipment must be appropriate for the work involved and well maintained. Employees should be trained in their correct use.
Do I have a farm injury claim?
It should be possible to make a farm injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
The amount of money you could claim for your farm injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your farm injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a farm injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a severe arm injury can be £75,000
For a less serious leg injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,500.
However, if you have a severe arm injury and a less serious leg injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,500.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a farm injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a farm injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your farm injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Farm injury compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a farm injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your farm injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a farming injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a farming injury claim can vary considerably.
For instance, if your employer does not contest the claim, it might be concluded in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a work accident claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a farm injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your farm injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
No win, no fee - the facts
With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a farm injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your farm injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a farm injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my farm injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my farm injury claim?
If your farm injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Farm injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a farm injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the farm injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your farm injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a farm injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim farm injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a farm injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert