Farmers must use heavy machinery such as harvesters and tractors on a regular basis. Although farmers are thoroughly trained so they know how to safely use this heavy machinery, accidents can still happen. If you are ever injured in a farm equipment accident, it’s important to know exactly what steps to take to protect yourself both physically and legally. Follow these tips:
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after any type of accident is seek medical attention for your injuries. If you or anyone else involved in the accident needs emergency medical assistance, call 9-1-1 and ask the dispatcher to send help right away. If emergency medical assistance is not needed, you will need to visit a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene of the accident.
Seeking immediate medical attention will ensure your injuries are treated right away before they become worse. It will also ensure the injuries are documented, which means they will be easier to prove to the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you wait too long to seek medical attention, the at-fault party’s insurance company could question whether or not the injuries were actually sustained in the farm equipment accident.
The insurance company could also make it harder for you to recover compensation if you do not follow your doctor’s orders. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to pay attention if your doctor tells you to attend follow-up appointments, see specialists, take certain medications, or do anything else to improve your condition.
Disable the Farm Equipment
The farm equipment that caused the accident could injure people who rush to the scene unless the equipment is quickly disabled. If possible, make an effort to disable the equipment before it is able to do further harm. Never approach the equipment from an angle where it could cause you harm. If the equipment appears to be unstable, call for help instead of trying to disable it. Otherwise, assess the situation from a safe distance to determine if it is possible to turn the equipment off without hurting yourself. If so, disable the farm equipment. If not, step away from the equipment and warn others to do the same.
Gather Evidence At the Scene of the Accident
If you are not in need of emergency medical assistance, it’s best to gather evidence before leaving the scene of the accident. Take photos of the scene that show the whereabouts of the parties involved in the accident. If there were any other factors that played a role in the accident, such as road hazards for example, be sure to photograph these as well. The pictures should be taken from both afar and up close. Doing this will ensure you have captured the big picture and the details of the accident.
In addition to taking photos, it’s also a good idea to make contact with witnesses at the scene of the accident. Ask these witnesses for their contact information so your attorney can get in touch with them later on in the case. You can also ask them what they saw, but do not discuss your injuries or who could be to blame for the crash. These statements could come back to haunt you later, so it’s best to let the witnesses do all of the talking.
Do Not Communicate With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
The at-fault party’s insurance company will probably try to make contact with you shortly after the accident. The insurance adjuster who reaches out may ask if you are willing to provide a recorded statement. This seems like an innocent request, but it’s best to politely turn down this offer.
The insurance company is not concerned about their bottom line, not your wellbeing. If you agree to provide a recorded statement, the insurance company could use this as an opportunity to get you to take the blame for the accident or admit your injuries are not serious. The insurance adjuster is trained to get these statements from you by asking misleading or confusing questions. Victims who agree to provide a recorded statement often find that their words are used to lower the value of their claim. To avoid this problem, it’s recommended that you allow an experienced personal injury attorney to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a farm equipment accident, get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Personal injury victims only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This may seem like a lot of time, but it will surprise you how quickly these two years go by. For this reason, it’s best to start the legal process right away so you don’t miss your opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries.
The best time to investigate an accident is immediately after it occurs, which is another reason why it’s important to contact an attorney right away. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that evidence will still be available when your attorney needs it. For example, witnesses who saw the accident will probably not remember many details if they are not contacted right after it occurred. As a result, waiting to seek legal representation could make it harder for your attorney to build a strong case.
Have you been injured in an accident with farm equipment? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Let our skilled team of personal injury attorneys investigate the case to determine liability. After our investigation is complete, we will aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.