Personal injuries arising from farm accidents are very common in Ireland due to the number of farms and the dangers associated with farm equipment and machinery.

Sinnott Solicitors have dealt with many cases involving farm accidents and unfortunately we have dealt with fatal injury claims and claims involving serious injuries as a result of farm accidents.

We have also dealt with a number of claims for farm labourers who work on farms and who have sustained injuries during the course of their employment because inadequate training, lack of procedures and unsafe systems throughout the farm environment.

The main cause of farm accident compensation claims that we have encountered include the following:

  • Fatal injury caused by inadequate maintenance of tractors, combine harvesters, fork lift trucks, diggers, loaders and other 4×4 vehicles
  • Serious injuries caused by failing to maintain farm vehicles
  • Misuse of farm vehicles and planting machinery
  • Farm injuries caused by animals
  • Farm injuries caused by trips and slips and falls
  • Farm injuries caused by third parties on farms.  For example tripping over a bale of hay or misplaced objects or flying or moving objects throughout the farm which should be properly secured and not hazardous to third parties

Most farm accident compensation claims can be avoided and if you are the victim of a farm accident which was not your fault you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries. There are many published farm safety guidelines from Teagasc and from the Health and Safety Authority.

Fatal Farm Accident Statistics 2016

Unfortunately 2016 was another hard year for non-fatal and fatal car accidents. The Health and Safety Authority has published a study from 2007-2016 and unfortunately it seems that the level of farm accidents in increasing.

Irish Farm Deaths

It also seems that the age profile of farmers involved in farm accidents is a further cause for concern and it has established that the older and younger farmers are particularly vulnerable.  According to their recent research, farmer’s attitude towards safety generally only changes after a serious injury occurs.

Older farmer deaths statistics

Typical accident types;

  • Drowning/suffocation
  • Falls from a height
  • Crushed and trapped farm accidents
  • Accidents from Livestock
  • Tractors, farm vehicles and machinery failure and inadequate maintenance

 

Non-fatal Workplace Farm Accident Injuries (not all injuries are reported)

A total of 955 injuries occurred which resulted in excess of four days lost due to illness or injury from farm accidents.  The age profile of non-fatal farm accidents is generally highest for the 35-44 year old age group.  The main causes of non-fatal farm accidents within the agricultural sector in Ireland were falls from a height, slips and trips and falls and accidents involving farming machinery.

The Farmers Journal published on 11th November 2014 an infographic outlining farm safety facts and figures which contain trends in farm injuries, the profile of the persons injured and the number of farm deaths by age and causation.

Farm Accident Statistics Infographic

 

How to take a farm accident compensation claim

Sinnott Solicitors will explain the process thoroughly to you from beginning to end and we will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available to you in the event that you sustain injury or in the event that your loved ones sustain fatal injuries as a result of a farm accident.

>> Read our comprehensive guide to the procedure for taking a workplace injury claim here

 

Kevin’s Story: Farm accident compensation claim case study

Kevin was employed on a farm and as part of his duties he was required to drive a tractor.  Unfortunately the clutch of the tractor required replacement and a new clutch had been bought for the tractor but it had not been replaced by his farmer employer.

Kevin drove the tractor to a nearby field and got out of the tractor to open the gate and as he was doing so, the tractor rolled forward and caused Kevin very significant crush injuries almost causing his death.  He was extremely fortunate to survive this incident and he sustained nervous shock/post-traumatic stress injuries together with the physical crush injuries.

He was unable to work for a period of 13 months and his injuries took approximately one year to settle.  It was not until one year after the accident that the Orthopaedic Surgeon was in a position to provide a full prognosis of his injury into the future.

Kevin received compensation for his farm accident claim in the sum of €197,500 and in addition he received special damages for his loss of earnings and his costs were 90% recovered.

As part of the compensation that Kevin received, he was compensated for the post-traumatic stress injury.