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Illinois Farming Accidents

Farming is an age-old industry that countless American families rely on for income and sustenance. Though farming is an important industry that is vital for both the Americans who work in it and those who consume its products, it is also a dangerous industry that routinely results in serious accidents and injuries to workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal injury rate in the agricultural industry is 7.5 times higher than any other industry, with a work-related fatal injury rate of 25.6 deaths for every 100,000 workers in 2016, making it one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S.


These types of injuries are crippling for victims and their families as they can result in pricey medical bills, loss of income, permanent physical impairment, and even death, often leaving families emotionally and financially devastated. Though many tend to think farming is an inherently hazardous industry, many injuries occur as a result of negligence on the part of farm owners and operators or as a result of machine defects or malfunctions and could have been prevented with proper safety standards, maintenance, and product design. No one should have to suffer wrongful injury and the consequences that follow, and the Kankakee personal injury attorneys can help you obtain the financial compensation you need to get you through this trying time.

While fatalities among farm equipment crashes remain relatively low, the number of injuries from these crashes remains dangerously high.

Our skilled attorneys have years of experience helping countless of our injured clients get the help they need and get their lives back on track. In addition, Spiros Law, P.C. is dedicated to providing up to date information and statistics concerning the accidents and injuries that affect our clients to better determine how and why these incidents occur and under what circumstances. Some statistics concerning farming and farming accidents on both a national and state level are listed below for your convenience.

National Statistics

Fatalities

Despite advances in technology and an increased focus on safety in the workplace in recent years, accidents in the farming industry continue to rise. As noted in the chart below, fatal injuries in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations have increased 10 percent from the previous year, the highest for the industry in seven years.

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Fatal Injury Increase Statistics


(Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with State, New York City, District of Columbia, and Federal agencies, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Jul 12, 2017)

Each of these occupational categories inside of the farming sector shows a startling rise in fatalities in past years, demonstrating a dangerous trend that is actively affecting those who work in the sector as well as their families. Many of the causes of these fatalities are attributed to negligence, lack of training, and machine and equipment defects. Additionally, the specific occupational sectors that directly involve workers and laborers, shown by the agricultural workers and farmworkers and laborers categories, demonstrate an even higher increase in fatalities than the general farming occupations sector, suggesting that those who work directly with agriculture, animals, and machinery are at the greatest risk of injury in their field.

Laborers, as opposed to farm owners and other less hands-on farming operators, are at the greatest risk of sustaining an injury in the fields; they are the ones who are actively working with dangerous materials and machinery. Because these workers are at the greatest risk, it is imperative for farm owners and operators to strictly follow established safety standards. This includes making sure that machinery is in safe and in proper working condition by practicing routine maintenance and inspections and properly training employees in their duties and necessary safety practices. When employers fail to fulfill these duties, injuries and fatalities are sure to follow.

Youth On Farms

Large numbers of young people, especially in rural areas, work on farms, especially because it is common for children in farming families to help with farm work when they are old enough. Young people are at the same or greater risk of accidents and injuries as their older counterparts, however, and routinely sustain injuries at a greater rate. In fact, 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents every day and every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident, according to a 2016 fact sheet from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

Unsurprisingly, 25% of fatalities among all youth involved machinery, which is the leading causes of accidents on farms in general. Household youth, meaning youth who live on the farm where they work, are at a substantially greater risk of injury than hired youth. Of the youth hired to work on farms in 2014, 738 were injured in 2014, compared to the 7,469 household youth who were injured in the same year. This difference is primarily due to the higher risk of injury when youth live on farms; they are at risk for injury when they are not working as well as when they are, and 60% of the 7,469 injured household youths sustained their injuries when they were not working. Because youth on farms are more vulnerable to injury and fatalities, especially if they live on the farm, it is imperative for farm operators to take even more care and safety measures for their young workers, especially around potentially dangerous machinery.

The graph below charts the fatalities among youth younger than 16 in the U.S. in both agriculture industries and non-agriculture industries.

Occupational fatalities in the U.S. among workers younger than 16 years old


(Source: https://www.marshfieldresearch.org/Media/Default/NFMC/PDFs/2016-Child-Ag-Injury-Fact-Sheet.pdf)

As noted from the graph above, fatalities among children in non-agriculture industries have been decreasing over the past seven years, while fatalities in agriculture industries have fluctuated considerably, ending with a rise in 2010.

Adults on Farms

Though youths are at a greater risk of sustaining injuries and fatalities than adults, adults still make up the majority of farm and agricultural workers and therefore sustain more injuries and fatalities in total. The chart below details agricultural work-related injuries to adults according to the source of the injury sustained.

Agricultural Work-Related Injuries to Adults (20+ years) on US farms by Source of Injury


(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/oispa/injtables.html)

As noted in the chart above, vehicular accidents are a notable contributor to agricultural work-related in accidents. In fact, farm tractors were the most frequent vehicle involved in the 253 non-roadway transportation accidents in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Illinois Statistics

Fatalities

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Services, Illinois has roughly 72,200 farms and over 26,700,000 acres of farmland, making Illinois a major contender and contributor to the farming industry nationwide. Given the large number of farms and, therefore, the large numbers of people who work in them, it is imperative to determine which injuries occur most often and what causes them in order to create better safety standards and prevent future injury. The chart below details fatality statistics in Illinois for agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting occupations according to the cause of the incident.

Fatal Injuries Within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting Occupations


(Source: https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshstate.htm#IL)

As is true of the national statistics, transportation accidents and equipment and machinery accidents account for the greatest fatality rates in these occupational sectors.

Crash Statistics

As previously discussed, farming vehicle crashes are the most common among non-roadway transportation accidents, and tractor and farm equipment crashes continue to inflict serious injuries and fatalities among the workers who operate them. The chart below maps the fatalities, injuries, and total crashes from farm tractor/equipment accidents over the course of three years.

Farm Tractor/Farm Equipment Involved in Crashes


(Source: http://www.idot.illinois.gov/Assets/uploads/files/Transportation-System/Resources/Safety/Crash-Reports/crash-facts/2014%20CF.pdf)

While fatalities among farm equipment crashes remain relatively low, the number of injuries from these crashes remains dangerously high. Injuries from these types of crashes can be serious and may be characterized by lacerations, puncture wounds, broken bones, head trauma, and limb loss, all of which can permanently alter the lives of those injured and leave them in considerable financial and physical distress.

Value of Crop Production

Illinois’s 26,700,000 acres of farmland bring in a considerable amount of revenue to the state, though there has been a decline in the total dollar value of crop production in recent years as the chart below notes, with the total dollar value decreasing by about $2 billion each year from 2013 to 2015.

Total Dollar Value of Crop Production

$16,632,878,000.00
2013

$14,983,483,000.00
2014

$12,907,022,000.00
2015

(Source: https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/61DDDF84-D85C-3EDA-BAB7-AB66F347A368)

Despite this decline, farming remains a huge sector in the economy of Illinois and employs thousands of workers.

Top Crop Items

Illinois’s top crop item by acres is corn, by a wide margin, followed by soybeans; the state is ranked second in the nation for both of these crop items. Other major crops for Illinois include wheat, winter wheat, and forage land used for hay, grass, and green chop.

Top Crop Items (Acres)

Quantity


Corn for grain
12,263,259


Soybeans for beans

8,933,457

Quantity


Wheat for grain, all
645,829


Forage-land used for all hay and haylage, grass silage, and green chop
514,024

(Source: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=ILLINOIS&year=2016)

Illinois is ranked highly on the national scale for its top crop items. With this top place in the industry, however, comes added responsibility when it comes to keeping workers safe, and further adds greater importance and need for safety standards and training to protect the workers that help produce these top crop items.

Livestock and Farming Accidents

Even animals on farms can seriously injure workers, with cows being the most likely to inflict harm. Animals can be unpredictable and have the potential to charge and trample, especially when frightened. Farm animals are the source of a number of farm injuries and fatalities every year, and those who work around these animals should have training in how to handle them properly and how to react in emergency situations.

Animals on farms may always pose a risk for injury, but there are safety precautions and practices that can notably reduce the risk of injury to the workers who interact with them. Farm owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that every safety measure that can protect workers from these injuries are put in place and that their employees are properly trained in how to handle these animals and how to react in dangerous situations.

Practice Areas

Farms are dangerous places, and workers can be injured in a variety of ways. Here at Spiros Law, P.C., our skilled attorneys have years of experience trying countless personal injury and farming accident cases, and are well-versed in a number of practice areas, including farming accidents involving:

  • Machinery
  • Tools/equipment
  • Farm animals
  • Chemicals
  • Youth on farms
  • Adult workers
  • Tractors/other farming vehicles

Farming accidents occur under a variety of circumstances and may look a number of ways, so even if you do not see your specific case listed above, you may still be entitled to compensation for the losses you have suffered as a result of your accident. For more information or to have any questions or concerns you may have addressed, please contact us today.

Farming Accidents Have Serious Consequences

Due to the size and weight of the machinery used in farming as well as the dangerous function of these machines―such as chopping, crushing, etc.―the injuries sustained in farming are routinely worse than those in other job sectors and contribute to more fatalities annually. Some of these injuries include crushing injuries from being run over by farming vehicles like tractors or being trampled by farm animals, amputations from equipment malfunction and vehicle accidents, and brain damage from the same causes. These injuries are devastating for victims and their families and often result in permanent impairment and death in severe cases.

Because of how devastating farming accidents can be and the long-term suffering they inflict, it is imperative to hold those responsible for these accidents accountable for their negligent actions so that these types of accidents stop occurring at their current frequency. Most farming accidents occur as the result of negligent safety standards on the part of farm owners and lack of training for farm employees, and because of product malfunction and defect from the manufacturers of the equipment necessary for farm work. These causes of farming accidents are rooted in negligence and should have been prevented with more care, safety standards, and thoroughness of work. No one should have to suffer the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of farming accidents, and Spiros Law, P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve to make up for the pain you've endured and help you through the ongoing struggles that your accident caused you.

Our Experience and Dedication to Serving Injured Farmworkers

The decades of combined experience in personal injury law from our eight qualified attorneys has contributed to our firm's esteemed place in Illinois personal injury law. No other firm can match our experience, qualifications, or cases won for our clients. In the past ten years alone, our firm has won over $100 million for our clients and we continue to strive to fight for our clients and ensure personal injury victims receive the full compensation they deserve for the suffering they have endured at the hand of another party's negligence. Trust Spiros Law, P.C. with your farming accident case and watch how our dedication, compassion, and skill make us the only choice for personal injury cases.

FAQs

How can Spiros Law, P.C. help me?

Spiros Law, P.C. has years of experience helping countless of our clients obtain compensation for their injuries, and we can do the same for you. Our firm is unique in the way we individualize our care to each of our clients’ specifics needs and in the way we take the time and effort to fully understand our clients’ situations and what they want, expect, and need out of their legal case. We will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve in this most difficult time. For more information about what makes our firm stand out among the rest, please contact our offices to speak to one of our helpful and skilled farming accident attorneys today.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal injury rate in the agricultural industry is 7.5 times higher than any other industry, with a work-related fatal injury rate of 25.6 deaths for every 100,000 workers in 2016, making it one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S.

What kind of compensation am I entitled to for my farming injury case?

The compensation that you will receive from your case depends considerably on the specifics of your case and the extent of your injuries. However, some of the ways you may collect compensation from your injuries include the pain and suffering you and your family have endured as a result of your injury, the price of your medical and rehabilitation bills, lost time at work, and psychiatric and counseling bills charged as a result of your accident. The court will take into account a number of factors to determine what compensation you deserve for your injuries. For more information about what kind of compensation you're entitled to for your farming injury case, please contact one of our qualified attorneys at (815) 929-9292 today.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as the result of a farming accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation to make up for the losses you have suffered as a result, and Spiros Law, P.C. can help. Farming injuries can destroy victim’s lives in financial, physical, and emotional ways, and can permanently alter the lives of those affected as well as their families. No one should have to suffer the injustice of sustaining injuries at their place of work, and Spiros Law, P.C. is dedicated to ensuring our clients receive the justice and full compensation they deserve to get them through this trying time in their lives. If you have any additional questions or would like to speak to one of our qualified Kankakee farming accident attorneys, please contact us at (815) 929-9292 today.