An Introduction to farming claims
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cite agriculture as the most dangerous industry to work in.
Farmworkers regularly operate dangerous machinery like shredders, cultivators and harvesters, leading to lacerations and crush injuries. Hazardous chemicals, dust and other contaminants make lung disease more likely. As farm work is physically demanding, moving bales, wood, tools and livestock, manual handling conditions can also develop.
Agriculture is also associated with serious injuries that are much less common in other jobs, including injuries inflicted by animals and electrical burns caused by contact with power lines.
The financial consequences of a serious injury can be life-changing, As many farmworkers are self-employed or casual labourers, sick pay may not be an option.
What should I do if injured working on a farm?
Visit your GP or A&E
You should arrange to see your GP (or another medical professional) as soon as you can after your accident. If the injury is more serious, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Ask your doctor for a detailed written account of your injuries and keep a copy in a safe place. If you decide to take legal action against your employer, your solicitor will ask for a copy of the medical report. This report will be a critical component of the evidence used to support your agricultural accident claim.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
To make a successful farm accident claim, it will be necessary to show that your employer did something, or failed to do something, that led to the accident. Your solicitor will need to prove that your employer failed in their 'duty of care' in some way.
You should keep a record of any letters, messages or emails you send and receive about your injury. You should also write down, in your own words, what caused the accident and how you were injured. If you decide to make an injury claim, it can be difficult to remember all the details of the accident months after it happened.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Can I claim for agriculture-related illnesses and health conditions?
Tractors, harvesters, wood-chippers and other motorised farm vehicles and equipment can be extremely loud. If your hearing has been harmed because your employer failed to provide ear protection or monitor your exposure, you will likely have a claim.
Farmer's lung and silo-filler's disease are examples of other diseases caused by longer-term exposure, rather than a single accident.
It is possible to claim for illness and health conditions if a link can be proven between your condition and your work on a farm.
Can I make a farm accident claim?
As a basic rule, If you were injured in the last 3 years and someone else was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation for your injuries.
However, in the case of an injury at work, many people think they don't have a claim when in fact they do.
Financial help if I can't work
After an accident at work, you may be able to claim for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) and other benefits, depending on your circumstances.
You may also be able to make a work accident compensation claim. A compensation award will include loss of wages as well as any future anticipated loss of earnings.
If you are unable to meet your living costs after the accident, it may also be possible to get an interim payment in advance of the final claim settlement.
How will my employment status affect my right to claim?
If you are employed and have a valid claim, making a claim against your employer is relatively straightforward. If you are self-employed, working through an agency placement or on a zero-hours contract, a claim may still be possible but the process will be different.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much compensation will I get?
Farming and agricultural accident compensation awards are calculated based on two factors:
- The injuries or illness you have suffered (called general damages)
- The financial costs you have incurred (called special damages)
Injury compensation is worked out with reference to an official table of guideline amounts.
During the claims process, your solicitor will arrange for an assessment of your injuries to determine which table values are applicable.
Our calculator uses the official guidelines to give you an idea of the compensation you could receive.
Making a No Win, No Fee farming accident injury claim
To make a claim for an accident on a farm you will need to appoint a solicitor.
Work injury claims in the UK are usually made on a No Win, No Fee basis as Legal Aid is no longer available for accident claims ( except in exceptional circumstances).
Your solicitor will ask you to sign a 'Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)' which is the legal term for 'No Win, No Fee'. The CFA will set out the terms and conditions of the agreement, what your solicitor will do for you and what fees they will receive if you win. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor