Nassau and Suffolk County Attorneys Pursing Workers Compensation for Injured Farmers
Farmers form the backbone of our nation’s food supply chain, without whom we would go hungry. According to the CDC, there were just over two million full-time workers employed in agriculture in 2018. Despite their small number, farm workers face an outsize risk of work-related injuries and fatalities, with a fatality rate of 20.4 deaths per 100,000 workers — compared to only 3.5 per 100,000 across all industries. As with most other full-time employees in the private sector, farmers who are injured on the job generally are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, as our Long Island farm worker injury attorney explains.
Common Farm Worker Injuries
Working on a farm involves manual labor, even with the assistance of the sophisticated machinery most large farms use today. Consequently, occupations that involve manual labor tend to carry higher risks of work-related injuries, including farming. Some of the most common accidents and injuries farm workers face include:
- Machine-related injuries (e.g., rollovers, caught-in/caught-between accidents, etc.)
- Automobile accident injuries
- Exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals
- Loud noises
- Temperature extremes
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Suffocation (e.g., becoming trapped in a grain bin or silo)
- Broken bones and amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
These types of accidents and injuries can result in astronomical medical bills and extensive recuperation time, which can keep injured workers off the job for weeks or even months.
Are Farm Workers Covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York?
Farm workers are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits on the same basis as other workers in New York. All farm employers, owners, and operators are required to provide workers’ compensation for their employees, regardless of their annual payroll. The major exception to this rule is that a farmer’s spouse and minor child are not considered employees unless they are under an express hire contract. To qualify for workers’ compensation, the claimant must show that he or she is unable to work and that his or her injury was sustained within the course of his or her work duties.
Third-Party Liability in Farm Worker Injury Cases
The workers’ compensation program applies to injuries sustained by employees regardless of whether the employee or his or her employer was at fault for the accident. In some cases, however, there may be a third party responsible for the worker’s injury. This could occur, for example, where a farm worker was injured by a defective piece of farm equipment or was injured in a work-related vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver. These types of claims, known as third-party liability claims, can open up additional avenues for recovery but can also complicate a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact a Long Island Farm Worker Injury Attorney for More Information
If you are a farm worker who has been injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To get started, please contact a Long Island farm worker injury attorney at Turley, Redmond & Rosasco by using our online form or by calling 516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley/Riverhead).