Farm Equipment Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a defective farm equipment accident, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by a defective product, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a defective product compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the defect caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, manufacturers and retailers can usually be held responsible for a defective product that causes injury.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data shows that around 12,000 workers are injured every year in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. These industries are statistically more dangerous than most others.
The European Union Occupational Safety and Health Agency (EU-OSHA) identified a risk of accidents from machinery or hand tools in 80% of farming workplaces.
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.
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.
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.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
If you are injured as a result of air pollution at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
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 an 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 an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Will I have to pay tax on my farm equipment injury compensation?
If you receive financial compensation following a farm equipment injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 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?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
Can 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 or conditions in which it is used, is also a breach of the employer's duty of care. Adequate training must also have been provided.
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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if your 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.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
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 injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my 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 injury claim?
If your 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 we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and 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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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 an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.