Farm Equipment Accidents
Farm work is physically demanding and often requires the use of large equipment such as harvesters, tractors, or shredders. These require experience and training to operate properly. Unfortunately, many farm workers are not trained in the use of this equipment or may not have the experience to handle unexpected circumstances. If an accident with farm equipment happens, the result may be catastrophic, life-altering injuries or death. At Pulgini & Norton, we understand the risks you have undergone while working in agriculture. Our Boston lawyers can help you file a workers' compensation claim after a farm equipment accident.Injuries Arising from Farm Equipment Mishaps
Many states do not require farms to provide workers' compensation coverage for seasonal or migrant labor. However, in Massachusetts, employers are required to cover seasonal agricultural workers as much as any other workers.
Moreover, farmers are required to provide reasonably safe work conditions for their employees. There are many well-known safety precautions that should be taken but are frequently ignored due to their cost. If you are injured in an agricultural accident, you should provide notice to the farmer so that he or she can notify an insurer, and if he or she does not notify the insurer, you can do so. The farmer is not allowed to retaliate against you for making a claim. Unlike in a personal injury lawsuit, you can receive workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury even if the accident was your fault.
If the insurer denies your claim, it is required to send you by certified mail an insurer's notification of denial, which will cite the reasons for the denial and let you know you have the right to appeal. It is wise to retain an attorney to file a claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), if an insurer denies your claim. You will need to submit a claim to which are attached copies of any medical evidence supporting your claim, such as bills or medical reports. You should not attach x-rays or MRIs or other large images.
After the DIA receives your completed form, you will be scheduled for the first step, which is conciliation. This is the start of the dispute process, and although it is informal, it is still a sound decision to obtain legal representation. The other steps that will be taken if the matter is not informally resolved at conciliation include a conference, a hearing, and an appeal from hearing.
If a farm equipment accident results in a farm worker's death, his or her surviving spouse can file a claim for workers' compensation death benefits. These may be paid monthly or in a lump sum benefits award. They are meant to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and future lost wages for money that a decedent would have earned if he or she had not been injured.Consult a Boston Lawyer after a Workplace Accident
If you suffer injuries as a result of a workplace accident in the area surrounding Boston, an attorney at Pulgini & Norton may be able to assist you. Seasonal and migrant laborers may be able to recover workers' compensation benefits in Massachusetts. We understand the dangers associated with farm equipment and represent clients in communities across the state, including Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford. Call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a consultation.