Farming tractors are necessary and integral pieces of machinery to cultivate agricultural land. The equipment has been an instrumental component to increasing the output of the farm by maximizing efficiency and controlling costs. Even so, operating a farm tractor tends to be incredibly dangerous where serious injuries and death have become more rampant in recent years. One of the major factors of the death of farm workers on the job are tractor overturns which claims the lives of nearly 100 victims every year.
Tractors are prone to rolling over especially when making a tight turn when leaning over on a hill or embankment. In some situations, the tractor operator does not adjust the speed of the vehicle before navigating a turn. Other times, the tractor rollover is the result of operating the vehicle while fatigued and drowsy or impaired by alcohol or drugs. Still other times the operator is distracted by talking on the phone, texting or consuming food.
Defective Equipment May Be Responsible for Tractor Rollover Accidents
Not every tractor rollover accident is the result of operator negligence. When the tractor is not properly equipped with a protective ROPS (rollover protection structure), including seatbelts and roll bars, the operator is placed at great risk. While the ROPS does not prevent rollovers, it has been proven to be highly effective at providing protection of operators and passengers on the tractor in the event that the vehicle rolls over. This is because the design eliminates the ability to overturn the tractor at an angle greater than 90 degrees.
Farms that have implemented the use of ROPS have reduced fatality rates to lower than one percent. By mandating the use of protective seatbelts, the operator cannot be thrown from a zone of protection that provides a safe boundary on the tractor. Any farm that does not use a ROPS system can be found negligent when farm workers are injured in a tractor rollover accident.
Filing a Lawsuit For Injuries Related to a Tractor Accident
However, not all ROPS systems are the same. Many have been recalled as a result of defective components. As a result, many injured victims have filed a defective product lawsuit as a way to seek compensation for their injuries. To be successful at obtaining compensation, a personal injury attorney will need to prove specific elements in a defective product claim. These elements include:
- There is a defect in the design of the ROPS farming equipment
- The equipment functions more dangerously and markedly different than its intended design
- The consumer was never adequately warned or knew the danger associated with using the product conventionally and that the manufacturer knew of the labeling or design defect
Hiring an attorney is essential to being successful in obtaining compensation in a tractor rollover accident lawsuit or claim. This is because insurance companies that provide coverage to farm equipment manufacturers hire aggressive high-powered law firms experienced in finding loopholes to minimize the amount of settlement paid out on personal injury claims. In many incidences, these law firms will bully victims into accepting settlement offers in an amount far less than the value of the claim.
Hiring a Skilled Accident Injury Lawyer to Prosecute Your Tractor Rollover Case
If you have suffered serious injuries or a loved one has died in a tractor accident, you have the legal right to seek recompense for the injuries you have endured. Attorneys fight for compensation by building a case on strict liability tort law to hold manufacturers and equipment owners accountable for their negligence.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive full and fair compensation allowed for their injuries. We handle multimillion-dollar cases against equipment manufacturers in their failure to make use of effective restraints and ROPS (rollover protection structures) as a part of their standard equipment.