Understanding the Role of Equipment Malfunction in Farming Accidents

Agriculture is a big part of the economy here in Central New York, and many of us work on farms and around farming equipment. When this equipment is defective, it can break down suddenly and without warning, potentially leading to serious accidents. Knowing how and why these issues occur can help you understand your options as you seek compensation in the wake of an injury. 

What Types of Farming Equipment Can Cause Injuries?

Practically any kind of farming equipment can cause serious injuries if it breaks down suddenly while in use. Here are just a few ways that common types of agricultural machinery can malfunction:

  • Tractors can have brake failures, steering malfunctions, or hydraulic system issues, causing the operator to lose control and leading to rollovers or collisions. 
  • Combines, which are used to harvest crops, can suffer from malfunctioning cutting blades, jammed augers, or electrical failures, potentially causing entanglement or amputation injuries.
  • Balers, used to compress and package hay or straw, can have problems with their twine or wire-tying mechanisms. This can lead to jams or unexpected releases of compressed material that can strike workers. 
  • Augers, which transport grain or feed, can suffer from damaged or exposed flighting, creating entanglement hazards. 
  • Conveyor systems can suffer belt or chain malfunctions, causing sudden stops or starts that can catch workers off guard and lead to falls or crush injuries.
  • Pesticide sprayers and storage tanks can develop leaks or malfunctioning valves, leading to exposure to harmful chemicals. 
  • Malfunctioning power take-off (PTO) shafts, which transfer power from a tractor to an attached implement, can cause entanglement injuries if safety shields are missing or damaged.

What Are Some Common Injuries Farming Equipment Malfunctions?

Malfunctioning farming equipment can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to life-altering or even fatal wounds. Some common injuries include:

These injuries can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care.

Who Is Liable for Injuries Due to Malfunctioning Equipment?

Liability for injuries caused by malfunctioning farming equipment can fall on several parties, depending on the circumstances. 

  • The equipment manufacturer may be liable if the malfunction was due to a design defect, manufacturing flaw, or inadequate warnings. 
  • The seller or distributor of the equipment may also be responsible if they knowingly sold a defective product. 
  • The owner of the equipment or the farm itself may be liable if they failed to properly maintain the equipment or provide adequate training to workers.

What Is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit for Farming Equipment Injuries?

In New York, the deadline to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by malfunctioning farming equipment is generally three years from the accident date. Failing to file your claim within this timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. 

However, there are some exceptions to this timeline, such as: 

  • Cases involving minors
  • Situations where the injury was not immediately apparent
  • Accidents where a government entity was at fault

Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines.

Contact CDH Law PLLC for Legal Representation Today

The process of seeking compensation after a farm equipment malfunction can be a difficult one, especially if you have to go up against powerful corporate interests. Insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying out claims, leaving injured individuals frustrated and disappointed. Fortunately, you do not have to pursue your claim alone. Instead, work with an experienced product liability attorney from CDH Law PLLC to more effectively pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a farm equipment injury lawyer in Syracuse, and let’s discuss your options together.

Most Common Causes of Farming Accidents & How They Can Be Prevented

Farming is an essential part of the American economy and a way of life for many families in Central NY, and across the country. However, the agricultural industry is also one of the most dangerous, with numerous potential hazards that can lead to serious accidents and injuries. From heavy machinery and toxic chemicals to unpredictable livestock and hazardous working conditions, farmers face a wide range of risks every day.

Whether you’re a farmer, a farmworker, or someone who loves someone in the agricultural industry, it’s essential to understand the potential dangers and take steps to prevent accidents from occurring. And if the unthinkable does happen, know that our compassionate and knowledgeable Syracuse personal injury attorneys at  Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC will be ready to stand up and fight for you. 

Common Causes of Farming Accidents

Farming accidents often stem from two main categories: machinery-related incidents and slips, trips, and falls. Both types of accidents can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities, making it crucial for farmers and farmworkers to prioritize safety and take proactive steps to prevent these incidents from occurring.

Machinery Mishaps 

Farming equipment, such as tractors, combines, balers, and augers, is essential for modern agriculture but can pose significant risks when not properly maintained or operated. Machinery accidents can include rollovers, collisions, entanglements, crushing injuries, and power take-off (PTO) incidents. To prevent these accidents, it’s crucial to:

  • Provide thorough training on the safe operation and maintenance of all machinery
  • Perform regular inspections and maintenance to identify and address potential hazards
  • Ensure that all safety guards, shields, and rollover protection structures (ROPS) are in place and in good condition
  • Follow proper safety protocols, such as shutting off machinery before clearing jams or performing maintenance and wearing close-fitting clothing to avoid entanglements

Slips, Trips, and Falls 

Slips, trips, and falls are another common cause of farming accidents. These incidents can occur due to uneven terrain, wet or slippery surfaces, cluttered workspaces, or inadequate lighting. To minimize the risk of slips, trips, and falls, farmers should:

  • Keep work areas clean, organized, and free of tripping hazards
  • Ensure that all walking surfaces, including stairs and ladders, are in good condition and equipped with proper handrails or guardrails
  • Provide adequate lighting in all work areas, including barns, sheds, and outdoor spaces
  • Use slip-resistant footwear and keep floors dry and free of spills or debris
  • Install non-slip surfaces or mats in areas prone to wetness or slipperiness

Preventing Farming Accidents 

Vigilant equipment maintenance and comprehensive safety training are key to preventing both machinery-related accidents and slips, trips, and falls on farms. By prioritizing safety and staying proactive, farmers can create a safer working environment for themselves and their employees, reducing the risk of serious injuries or fatalities.

Injured? Contact Our Syracuse & Central New York Farming Injury Lawyers

At Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC, we understand the devastating impact that farming accidents can have on individuals and families throughout Onondaga County and the surrounding counties of Central New York. We know that the thought of taking legal action can be daunting, especially when you’re already dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of a farming accident. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you understand your rights and explore your legal options. 

Instead of worrying, give us a call or fill out one of the contact forms on our website. Taking that first step may be the best decision you ever make on your path to recovery and justice.