A Guide to Claiming Farm Equipment Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a defective farm equipment accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a defective farm equipment accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
Recent data shows that around 14,000 workers in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector reported workplace injuries during the last 12 months. This represents 4.3% of the workforce and compares with an average of 1.9% in other industries.
Another survey commissioned in 2014 by the European Union Occupational Safety and Health Agency (in collaboration with the HSE) identified there was a risk of accidents from machines or hand tools in 80% of workplaces within that sector.
Do I have a farm equipment injury claim?
It should be possible to make a farm equipment injury claim if your injury occurred:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out whether you may have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:
What are the exceptions?
Even if these two points don't apply to you, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.
To get a definitive answer, speak to a farm equipment injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. There is no obligation to start a claim.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a farm equipment injury claim on their own behalf.
The amount of money you could claim for your farm equipment 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 equipment 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 equipment 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
What is the average injury compensation for a farm equipment 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 equipment injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your farm equipment 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.
Farm equipment injury compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a farm equipment 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 equipment injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a defective farm equipment injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a defective farm equipment accident claim can vary significantly.
A simple uncontested product liability claim can settle in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take considerably longer. On average a product liability claim should take 6 to 9 months. See:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a farm equipment 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 equipment 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.
What are the risks associated with defective farm equipment?
Farm vehicles with poorly maintained brakes, axles, wheels or tyres may roll-over, with serious consequences for the driver and any colleagues.
Many agricultural machines have potentially dangerous moving parts, for example chopping mechanisms, rotating rollers and conveyors, and power take-off (PTO) shafts. These should be covered by a protective guard, but where this is defective or missing from equipment, clothing, hair or limbs may be dragged into the machinery, causing serious injury.
Agricultural machines may have several power sources - mechanical, hydraulic and electrical, which may fail if defective. A hydraulic lift that fails may fall and crush a worker, or a malfunctioning electrical stopping device may lead to an employee being trapped between 2 items of machinery.
Leaking hydraulic oil from a burst hose may be projected at sufficient pressure to penetrate the skin, or burn the eyes.
Even simple equipment such as ladders or chains may cause injury through being defective - a chain with loose or weak links may suddenly break and recoil, hitting a worker.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on companies and individuals to ensure that precautions are taken to make work as safe as practically possible.
This includes ensuring agricultural vehicles, trailers and appliances are maintained in an efficient working order and in good repair
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) also apply to any equipment used at work - including tractors, air compressors, chainsaws and even ladders. Equipment must be suitable for the task, properly maintained and guarded, and adequate training and information about the equipment must be available for employees.
The regulations apply to employers, the self-employed and any person in control of work equipment; including the hirer or anyone who lends a machine out.
Farm Vehicle Health Check Scheme (FVHCS)
Recognising that farmers and operators may need assistance to comply with legislation, the FVHCS - a joint initiative by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) and British Agricultural & Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) - is a code of practice setting out information on how to select, use and maintain agricultural equipment, in a practical manner, using a common set of forms.
The scheme emphasises the need for safety information to be easy to understand and specifies what must be included. It highlights the need for training and supervision of younger people and casual workers who may be inexperienced and unfamiliar with the working environment, and stresses that employees with limited or no English must undergo proper induction.
Advising that daily checks should be conducted to ensure machinery is safe and working correctly, it states that any defects should be repaired before equipment is used.
All equipment should undergo regular maintenance checks and must also be regularly checked for signs of deterioration. Logs should be kept up to date.
Check sheets are provided through the FVHCS and employers are urged to keep a record of checks and repairs done to demonstrate that machinery is well-maintained.
Only those who have completed the appropriate level of training should carry out repairs and maintenance work.
Camn I claim for an injury caused by defective equipment?
With so much legislation and guidance in place there should be fewer accidents. However some employers may fail in their duty of care, by allowing equipment to deteriorate, not repairing faults, using substandard replacement parts, making in-house modifications and even utilising home made machinery.
Asking an employee to use a machine that is unsuitable for the purpose for or the conditions in which it is used is also a breach of the employer's duty of care, as is expecting him to use equipment without having proper training.
Farmers and their employees generally have a very close working relationship and a claimant may be reluctant to bring a claim; sometimes partly blaming himself for the accident. However it should be noted that any successful claim will be paid by the employer's insurer, not the employer, therefore a claimant should not hesitate to claim to recover his losses.
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if your farm equipment injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement entered into between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your farm equipment injury.
What do I pay if I win my farm equipment 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%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my farm equipment injury claim?
If your farm equipment 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.
How do personal injury solicitors get paid?
If your farm equipment injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.
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 injury 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 equipment 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 equipment injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the farm equipment 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 equipment injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a farm equipment 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.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
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 equipment injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a farm equipment 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