Dangerous livestock injury compensation claims
The following article sets out what you need to know about making a successful livestock injury compensation claim.
Numerous accidents involving livestock occur every year. They affect not only farm and agricultural workers, but also members of the public. Common injuries include kick injuries, broken bones, lacerations, bites, spinal injuries, concussion and brain injury, and can lead to suffering and lengthy rehabilitation.
For those injured by livestock in an accident which was not their fault, seeking compensation to cover their losses is an important step. If it can be proven that a third party was at fault in causing or failing to prevent the accident happening, the claim is likely to be successful.
If you have been injured in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Livestock are defined as domesticated animals which are raised in an agricultural environment to produce food, labour and other products such as wool and leather. Common examples of livestock incidents relate to cattle (cows and bulls), sheep, pigs and goats. Cattle are seen as the greatest risk, mainly due to their size and weight.
Accidents involving livestock can happen in a wide variety of situations, for example:
- On a farm
- In a grazing field which has public access
- When an animal wanders into a public space, for example a road
- At a petting zoo
Accidents involving livestock can happen for a number of reasons:
- a member of the public finds themselves in a vulnerable situation
- a farmer did not have adequate health and safety measures in place or proper control of their animal
- a worker failed to properly restrain an animal or follow procedures
In compensation cases, the reasons for the accident will be investigated and used to establish blame.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
According to industry magazine Farmer's Weekly, death and injury caused by livestock is one of the greatest risk factors on a farm. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 17% of all reported major/non-specified injuries to people working in agriculture in the last five years were from animals.
The government recommends that handling livestock should be a key component of the farmer's health and safety policy. This is to prevent not only injuries to farmers, but also to vets and other workers.
If a worker is injured as a result of the farmer failing to carry out their duty, questions will be asked. For example:
- Did the farmer have proper restraining and handling equipment to minimise the risks in routine tasks?
- Was the correct equipment used with other equipment, such as halters, bull poles and pig boards?
- Did the farmer follow the correct procedures for moving and transporting animals?
- If working in a field, did the farmer have a vehicle nearby for a quick exit if needed?
- Was the worker/farmer following guidelines against lone working?
- Did the farmer adequately train their workers and provide suitable personal protective equipment?
- Did they take into account the unpredictably of animals in managing situations where members of the public are exposed to them?
- Did they have a rigorous culling policy for dangerous animals?
All of these issues are covered in HSE's guidance on handling livestock.
Part of a farmer or agricultural workers responsibility is to ensure that their livestock does not pose a risk to members or the public.
For example, if a farmer has a public path running through his field he must ensure that the animals kept there do not pose a high risk. In this case they should avoid putting bulls or even mothers with calves in the field as they are known to be aggressive.
Another example is that the farmer must ensure livestock are kept contained. High numbers of accidents occur on the roads every year because of a livestock animal wandering across the path of a car causing serious injuries.
In these instances, similar questions would be asked of the farmer regarding their duty to the health and safety of others. Proving liability in livestock accident claims If it can be shown that the farmer or person responsible for the livestock acted negligently by not having adequate safety measures in place, a case for compensation can be made.
Compensation guidelines are recommended by the Judicial College. An amount is recommended with respect to the extent of a given injury. In the Judicial College guidelines, amounts are set out tables of minimums and maximums for an injury or condition.
These guideline ranges are not legally binding but they are widely adopted by insurers, solicitors and the Courts. The Compensation Claims Report (CCR) considers factors likely to affect your compensation award by referring to these guidelines as well as a number of other factors specific to your accident or illness.
The cost of medical treatment, loss of earnings, damage to property and any other expenses you may have incurred can generally be compensated, and are called special damages.
A no win no fee agreement (technically known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is agreed between a claimant and lawyer.
The no win no fee agreement is the terms under which the solicitor works for the client.
The CFA details what the lawyer will do as well as how he or she will be rewarded if the case is successful.
If you use Quittance for your dangerous livestock claim there are no additional fees , nothing to pay up-front and the complete peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket.
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Meet the QLS team
Our national panel of solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of expertise with fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Selected for their success rate in winning claims, Quittance's panel solicitors have years of experience.
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