A Guide to Claiming Farm Equipment Injury Compensation

The following guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful farm equipment accident compensation claim.

Introduction

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.

Farm plough

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.

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.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if it was a criminal incident?

If your Farm Equipment Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.

Read more

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.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for a farm equipment injury?

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

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 equipment 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.

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.

Regulations

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.

Can a claim be brought 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.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury 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 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.

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