The country was built on farmers and agriculture, and so often these hard workers are not given the respect they deserve. Agriculture is a tough industry and requires ongoing back-breaking labor and the prospect of failed crops. There is no way to accurately predict what the weather will do each year, and it can be a gamble for some farmers to guarantee income in future years. However, agriculture is facing a difficult future, as many younger workers are opting to enter other career opportunities, including oil and gas, in lieu of farming.
What Agriculture Means to Louisiana’s Economy
Approximately 60 percent of Louisiana’s agricultural income is produced by crops, whereas the remaining 40 percent comes from livestock. The fertile soil, mild climate, and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico make agriculture a prime source of revenue for the state. The value of agriculture to the state’s economy in 2013 was $11 billion – a solid revenue generating business. Unfortunately, along with agricultural jobs comes the risk of terrible accidents that can leave workers injured and unable to continue working, and earning income for their families.
Agriculture Accident Statistics
The United States Department of Labor found that over an 8 year period, nearly 6,000 agricultural workers throughout the country died of work-related injuries. The rate of death for agricultural workers is much higher than any other workers throughout the U.S., at a rate of nearly 25 deaths per 100,000 workers, versus the overall fatality rate of 3.5 per 100,000 workers. The leading cause of death involved tractor overturns, which is a preventable agricultural accident.
Agricultural accidents may fall within the Louisiana workers’ compensation statute. This means that after an accident, a worker should consider their options. Most employers provide workers’ compensation coverage, although you must file a claim within a two week period from the date of the accident or injury, in order to be considered for coverage. In some circumstances, agricultural workers may not be covered under the workers’ compensation insurance, or the employer may deny the claim. There are always options to appeal to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, although in some circumstances, it may be better to file a personal injury claim.
Common Damages Due to Injury
A personal injury claim after an agricultural accident may take into account the following:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
The loss of income after an agricultural accident can be devastating to a family who relied on this income, and it is, therefore, important to consider your options shortly after the accident occurs. In severe accidents, the worker may be unable to return to work in the future. Personal injury claims will take this into account in determining the true amount of the claim at issue, to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Get Quality Legal Counsel for Your Agriculture Accident
If you or a loved one were injured in an agricultural accident, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Jones & Hill. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling personal injury claims and will work closely beside you throughout the claim process. Agricultural accidents are easily preventable if employers spend the time to guarantee their equipment is in working order and all employees are properly trained.
It is important to get your claim in as soon as possible to ensure you do not run beyond the limitations period. Contact our Lake Charles, Alexandria, Oakdale or Oberlin offices today for your initial free consultation.