A Guide to Claiming Farm Injury Compensation

The following article considers what you need to know about making a farm accident compensation claim.

Introduction

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.

Can 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?

You should be eligible to make a farm injury claim if the injury happened:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

It may be that, for example, the accident happened more than 3 years ago, or that you were partly at fault. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.

It only takes a minute to find out - you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. You will be under no obligation to start a claim with Quittance.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for a farm injury?

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

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your farm injury case 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.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

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:

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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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert