How common are tractor accidents?
According to the HSE, farming is the most dangerous industry to work in in the UK. Around 1 in 5 workplace fatalities occur in agriculture, yet only around 1% of UK residents work in the sector.
Farm workers use potentially dangerous machinery like combine harvesters, shredders, cultivators and bailers as part of the job. Injuries relating to tractors are particularly common.
For tractor drivers, working on muddy, slippery ground, slopes and cambers, the most dangerous scenario is when the tractor tips over or rolls.
For people working in the vicinity of a tractor, the risk of injury is ever-present. Common injuries occur when a tractor:
- rolls into a person when the brakes have not been correctly applied
- suffers a mechanical failure
- collides with another vehicle
- operates in hazardous terrain
The financial consequences of a serious injury can also be life-changing as many farmers and farm workers are self-employed or seasonal, casual labourers. Sick pay may not be provided. Losing income when during the busiest times of year can mean that you are unable to recover financially after your physical recovery, when less farm work is needed.
What to do if you have been injured by a tractor
Get medical attention
Even if you are initially helped by a trained first-aider, you should visit A&E, or your GP, as soon as possible.
Make sure you keep a copy of any paperwork or medical reports as these documents may be vital evidence should you decide to make a tractor accident claim.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
Keep a record of your accident and injuries
A record of your accident will help you to:
- Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and benefits
- Make an injury compensation claim
Even if you don’t plan to claim anything right now, it is a very good idea to make a record while you still clearly remember what happened.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting a tractor accident
Your employer must report certain injuries and work-related illnesses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Your employer should also record staff injury and illness in the company accident book (if there is one).
Can I make a claim?
If the tractor accident happened in the last three years, you may be entitled to claim injury compensation.
If you were asked to do something you were not trained for (like drive a farm vehicle you were unfamiliar with) or the correct PPE was not provided, and you were then injured, you may be able to claim even if you think the accident was 'your fault'.
Support if you can't work after a tractor accident
If you are suffering from a work-related illness or have been injured at work, you may have to take time off work. This can be a stressful time, especially if you have dependents to support and a mortgage to pay.
Financial support during your recovery may be available in the form of sick pay, or through benefits payments under schemes including the Employment and Support Allowance.
If you have started a compensation claim, you may also be able to get interim payments to cover treatment costs and household expenses, before the claims process is complete.
Could my work status stop me from claiming?
Your employment status may affect how claiming compensation works, but you should still be able to claim even if you are on a temp contract or are a seasonal worker.
Read more about how different job types change the claims process:
How much compensation can I claim for a tractor accident?
Compensation is calculated by adding Special and General damages together and deducting any success fees you may have agreed with your solicitor.
Calculating special damages is straightforward. Any losses or expenses you incur as a result of the accident are simply added up.
General damages compensation for work injuries is more complicated, especially if you have multiple injuries. is calculated with reference to a published guide used by lawyers.
Our calculator gives a good idea of what your compensation award could be, with reference to both special damages and the general damages guidelines.
No win, no fee
Legal aid is not available when claiming compensation from an employer. Instead, a tractor accident compensation claim can be made through a solicitor under a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you pay nothing upfront and nothing at all if you don't win your claim.
If you do win, your solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation after you receive it. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Compensation awards are, however, increased for claimants on a No Win, No Fee agreement in order to reduce the impact of the success fee.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor