Farm injuries and farm truck-related injuries are a serious issue in the agricultural industry, especially in South Dakota, where the industry plays a vital role in the economy. The use of large and powerful farm vehicles can lead to accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. To help prevent these incidents and protect those working in the agricultural industry and those who have to live in a local farm economy, it is vital to understand the most common types and causes of serious farm injuries.
Farming has always been a dangerous occupation due to the use of large and powerful machines. Unfortunately, farm vehicle accidents are common and can have serious consequences, including death or injury. Common types of farm vehicle accidents include rollovers, jackknifing, rear-end collisions, and collisions while being passed.
Types of Serious Farm Vehicle Accidents
Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous types of farm vehicle accidents. They occur when a vehicle is unable to remain upright and overturns. Most commonly, these occur when a driver does not properly adjust the speed for turns or terrain changes coming off a road grade, leading to the center of gravity being high and shifting too quickly for the tires to maintain traction. Additionally, heavy loads can increase the risk of rollover as they shift weight and cause an imbalance in the vehicle’s stability as vehicles turn in an out of field approaches and onto lesser maintained roadways.
A jackknife accident occurs when a trailer swings out from behind a tractor-trailer causing it to form an angle resembling a pocket knife blade. This type of accident usually happens when truck drivers brake suddenly while pulling their trailers on slippery surfaces or if they fail to slow down before making turns. It can also happen if they are backing up and turn too sharply, disconnecting or damaging the brake air-supply hoses. It can be extremely dangerous because it increases the chance that one or more vehicles will end up in another lane and can cause serious damage if other vehicles are present at the time. A jack-knifed farm truck can close a highway for hours, and can endanger people passing by, the driver, and even the emergency personnel who attend to the injuries and damaged property.
Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle strikes another from behind and often result from speeding, distraction by cell phones or other devices, inadequate brakes on either vehicle, damaged or non-functioning tail lights, or simply following too closely behind another car or truck on rural roads with limited visibility. These types of accidents are especially hazardous in agricultural areas due to heavily loaded vehicles that take more time to stop, can be overloaded due to hectic harvest schedules, and could cause serious personal injury or even death if contact is made with pedestrians working nearby.
Other Causes For Serious Farm Injuries:
South Dakota treats farm vehicles differently than interstate motor carriers. While there are some exceptions to the many federal regulations, these vehicles must operate safely and within the standard of care, even if the driver of the farm vehicle is not required to have a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License and keep track of his hours of service.
In addition to these common types of incidents there are many other causes for serious farm vehicle and farm truck accidents including fatigue caused by long hours spent working in fields during harvest season, inexperience operating farming equipment such as tractors or combines that may not be used regularly throughout the rest of the year (especially younger workers), poorly maintained brakes, and signal lighting,, overloading trailers which can lead them veering off course without any warning signs being displayed beforehand—all these factors make agricultural transportation especially hazardous for all those involved whether they are operators themselves who have years under their belts working on farms or simply commuters passing through rural areas unaware of what dangers they may encounter anytime they choose turn onto unfamiliar dirt paths lined with tall corn stalks swaying back forth against sunny skylines across America’s heartland countryside.
Determining Liability In a Farming Accident
Farming is a vital part of South Dakota’s economy, but it can also be dangerous. We have worked for farmers who were hurt while driving on the job and for people who were hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence. Agriculture-related accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. In the event of a farming accident, determining liability is crucial to seek compensation for any damages.
Negligence in Agricultural Accidents
The first step in determining liability in a farming accident is to determine whether negligence played a role in the incident. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care and can occur on the part of the farmer, equipment manufacturer, or another party. To demonstrate negligence, the following must be established:
- The driver had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care
- The driver breached that duty
- The breach of duty caused the accident
- The crash resulted in damages
For example, if a farmer was operating a tractor without proper maintenance and the tractor brakes failed, contributing to the severity of an accident, the farmer may be held liable for negligence. Or, if the left turn signal fails, and a vehicle attempts to pass, a crash may be the farm driver’s fault.
Statute of Limitations
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations in South Dakota for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations is usually three years from the date of the accident. This means that if an individual is seeking compensation for an accident, a lawsuit must be filed within three years of the incident. There are several exceptions to this rule, though and it becomes important to discuss the specific facts and circumstances with an attorney within the first year after a crash, sometimes sooner.
Farmers’ Liability Protection
South Dakota has laws in place to protect farmers from liability in certain situations. Under South Dakota Codified Laws §43-33-16, a farmer is not liable for injuries or death resulting from the usual risks of farming, such as the use of machinery and equipment or the presence of animals. Additionally, farmers are not liable for injuries or death resulting from the condition of the land, except in cases of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. However, when farmers use public roadways to transport equipment, trucks, and farm products, they have to do so safely and with reasonable care. They are not allowed to obstruct the roadway, for example:
Determining liability in a farming accident in South Dakota can be complex and depend on many factors, and it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process to seek compensation for any damages. If you or a loved one has been involved in a farming accident, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
In conclusion, serious farm vehicle accidents can have devastating consequences for the individuals involved and the farming industry. It is important for farmers and farm workers to be aware of the common types and causes of these accidents, such as equipment failure, operator error, and vehicular rollovers, to take steps to prevent them. If you or a loved one have been involved in a farm vehicle accident and need legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Turbak Law Office. They will provide the representation and support you need to navigate the legal system and obtain the compensation you deserve.