Tractor accidents can be caused by many factors, including inadequate operator training, mechanical failures, overloading, or a lack of safety policies. These can cause minor to life-threatening injuries, such as lacerations, fractures, brain trauma and amputations.
Your employer must take reasonable measures to protect your health and safety at work. If they have failed to fulfil their duties and you suffered any injury as a result, you may be entitled to make a tractor accident claim. You could receive compensation for your pain and suffering and any related financial losses caused by time off work, medical treatments or care costs.
If you would like to find out if you can start a tractor accident compensation claim, please call 0800 678 1410 today for a free case assessment. Alternatively, use our online claim form to arrange your consultation with an experienced legal adviser.
Common causes of tractor accidents on a farm
Farm tractor accidents can cause significant injuries and result from various circumstances, such as:
- Insufficient or inadequate training of tractor operators;
- Limited visibility, especially in adverse weather conditions;
- Overloading a tractor or its attachments beyond the recommended capacity;
- Mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or steering issues;
- Lack of rollover protective structures (ROPS) or seat belts;
- Lack of clear signage or designated routes for tractors on the farm;
- Operator fatigue, whether due to long working hours or inadequate breaks;
- Uneven or challenging terrain, such as slopes, ditches, or rough surfaces.
Any of these situations can cause accidents that may lead to a tractor injury claim if another person has breached their duty of care towards you.
Employer duty of care to prevent tractor accidents at work
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), agriculture is one of the most hazardous workplaces. In 2022/23 alone, 27 people died as a result of farming and other agricultural activities and many others suffered moderate to severe injuries. Employers have strict duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They must take all reasonable measures to keep workers safe from injuries related to the use of tractors and other farm machinery, such as:
- Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards related to tractor use;
- Ensure that operators are adequately trained and have the necessary skills and competence to handle a tractor;
- Implement regular inspections of vehicles to identify and address any mechanical issues;
- Provide appropriate personal protective equipment, such as helmets, ear protection, and visibility vests, to tractor operators;
- Encourage and enforce safe operating practices, including safe turning, backing up, and loading procedures;
- Develop and communicate clear safety policies and procedures related to tractor use, such as using seatbelts and following speed limits;
- Use signage to indicate areas where tractors are operating and where caution is required;
- When necessary, provide adequate supervision, particularly for less-experienced tractor operators.
If you suffered a tractor accident on a farm due to a breach of these or other duties, you may be able to make a farm accident claim against your employer.
Am I eligible to make a tractor injury claim?
The easiest way to find out if you can claim for a farm tractor accident is through a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will ask you some questions about your circumstances to determine whether:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- You suffered an injury or injuries due to an accident caused by their negligence
You don’t need to worry about proving a duty of care, as this step is typically straightforward and will be handled by your solicitor. They will also help you gather evidence to support your claim and handle negotiations with the defendant.
It is essential to keep in mind that anyone involved in an accident with a farm tractor can potentially make a claim. This includes farm employees, visitors, pedestrians and other road users involved in a collision with a tractor. You can also claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident, but your compensation award will be reduced to reflect your contributory negligence.
What evidence do I need to start a tractor accident compensation claim?
If you make a tractor accident claim, you must be able to prove how the events occurred, who was at fault, and how it has affected you. The types of evidence you could use to support your claim include:
- Photographs of the accident scene before anything is moved, repaired or replaced and any visible injuries you suffered;
- If available, you can also request CCTV or dashcam footage of the accident;
- Your medical records will show the type and extent of the injuries you suffered, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects;
- Your solicitor may also arrange for a free medical exam with a specialist who will assess the long-term effects of your injuries and future care needs;
- Witness statements from anyone who saw the accident can help clarify the series of events that led to your injuries;
- Your notes about how the accident occurred and how your injuries have affected your life;
- Training and inspection records from your employer can help prove whether they breached their duty of care towards you;
- You also need financial evidence, such as receipts and invoices, to confirm all the losses that you want to include in your claim.
What injuries could farm tractor accidents cause?
Agricultural accidents, including those involving tractors, can cause various injuries, some of which can be severe and completely change your life. Some of the most common injuries seen in tractor accident claims include:
- Crush injuries, where body parts get caught between the tractor and the ground or other surfaces;
- Broken bones, especially in areas like the limbs, ribs, or skull;
- Head injuries that may range from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries, potentially causing paralysis or other long-term complications;
- Amputations of limbs or fingers if they become trapped or crushed during a tractor accident;
- Soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains and lacerations can result from impact, falls or contact with parts of the vehicle;
- Damage to internal organs or internal bleeding;
- Burn injuries if the tractor accident involves a fire or fuel-related incident;
- Eye injuries caused by debris, chemicals, or flying objects during a tractor accident;
- Whiplash or neck injuries due to sudden movements or impacts;
- Psychological trauma, leading to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety;
- In severe cases, tractor accidents can be fatal.
Can I claim compensation if I had a road accident with a tractor?
Occasionally, tractors will travel along public roads, often moving much slower than other vehicles and carrying heavy loads or equipment. According to statistics from the Department for Transport for the year 2018, there were 488 accidents involving agricultural vehicles, most of which were tractors. Of these, 130 were severe accidents and 29 were fatal.
If you or a loved one were involved in a road accident with a tractor, you may be able to make a claim. If you can prove that the tractor’s operator was at least partially at fault, you could be eligible to make a road accident claim. To help your claim, it is a good idea to take photos of the accident scene and ask for the contact details of the driver and any potential witnesses.
To arrange a free case assessment, call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back. An experienced no win no fee personal injury lawyer will evaluate whether you have a valid case and answer any questions you have about the process.
Can I make a claim if I am self-employed or on a zero-hours contract?
You can still make a tractor accident claim even if you are self-employed or working on a zero-hours contract. An employer’s duty of care to provide a safe working environment extends to all employees, visitors and citizens who might be affected by their business.
If you are self-employed, you are your own boss. You will typically have the autonomy to decide when, how and where you do your work. If you work on a zero-hours contract, your employer does not guarantee you a number of minimum hours, and you are not obliged to take all the work they offer you.
In both cases, you do not have specific benefits available to standard employees, such as sick pay or paid holidays. However, you are protected by the workplace health and safety legislation and can still make a claim against your employer if you suffered an injury due to their negligence.
Frequently asked questions
Making a personal injury claim against anybody can be a daunting experience. This is especially so when the claim is against an employer. So it is natural to have many questions or concerns about the process. We have, therefore, answered some of the most common questions people have about making a tractor accident compensation claim below.
For further information about the claims process or the services we offer, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 or use our online claim form to arrange a free consultation with an experienced legal adviser.
What is the time limit to start a personal injury claim?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to start a tractor injury claim is three years from the date of your accident. Failing to claim within the time limit will make your case time-barred. This means you would lose your right to claim compensation. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as:
- For child injury claims, the three-year time limit begins on the child’s 18th birthday. Before that, a suitable adult could claim tractor accident compensation for them at any time, regardless of when they were injured.
- If the claimant cannot handle a claim due to a brain injury or another condition, the time limit is put on hold, and a litigation friend could represent them anytime.
- If a loved one passed away due to a tractor accident, you have three years from the date of their death to make a compensation claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a tractor accident?
The amount of compensation you could receive in a tractor accident claim will depend on your particular losses. Personal injury compensation will typically cover two types of damages:
- General damages include the subjective losses caused by the farm tractor accident. This includes physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, loss of companionship and loss of amenities. You can refer to our compensation calculator to see how much you could receive for your type of injury based on the guidelines from the Judicial College.
- Special damages include financial losses and expenses related to the accident. These are easier to calculate because they are based on evidence, such as receipts and invoices. Special damages may include private treatments, care costs, loss of earnings during recovery and modifications to your home to accommodate a disability.
Can I lose my job if I make a tractor claim against my employer?
If you suffer an injury due to your employer’s negligence, you have the legal right to make an accident at work claim. This should not in any way affect your job or the relationship with your employer. They cannot sack you, discriminate against you or treat you any differently due to your claim.
Under unfair and dismissal laws in the UK, you can take further legal action if you suffer any consequences because of your claim. A solicitor can help you bring your case to an employment tribunal, which may order your employer to reinstate you or pay you additional compensation.
As a general rule, you must have worked for at least two years for your employer to have the right to claim unfair dismissal. However, this rule does not typically apply to issues related to health and safety concerns. If you have been unfairly dismissed, you have three months to take your claim to an employment tribunal.
How much will it cost to make a tractor accident claim?
If you have a valid claim for tractor accident compensation, your personal injury solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. With this agreement, you do not have to pay any upfront fees for legal representation or if you lose the case. Your solicitor only receives a success fee if they win your claim, which is a percentage of up to 25% of your compensation award.
With a no win no fee claim, you also have After the Event (ATE) insurance against legal expenses if your case fails. The ATE will cover all the litigation costs, including expert witness fees, medical reports, and court fees, ensuring you will never be left out of pocket.