The National Farmers Union of Scotland notes that 67,000 people work in Scottish agriculture – which might not seem like a lot but it’s the same amount of people it would take to fill Murrayfield Stadium and it’s four times as many police officers in the whole of the country.
These essential workers do more than just care for crops or livestock. They help maintain 80% of Scotland’s landscape. Doing this vital work means agricultural workers often operate specialist and dangerous equipment like heavy machinery and power tools. They frequently work in difficult conditions involving bad weather or with unpredictable animals.
But “farming is dangerous” is not just a notion – it is also the truth.
The latest report from the Health and Safety Executive stated: “Agriculture has the worst rate of worker fatal injury (per 100,000) in the main industrial sectors. It is 18 times higher than the average rate across all industries.”
The HSE found 21 people died in agriculture during 2019/20 with most of these deaths caused by overturning machinery.
Solicitors for farm accidents in Scotland
Farming is not specific to any one region in Scotland; it is prevalent across the country. Digby Brown’s spread of offices and local knowledge relating to farming and agriculture allow us to better understand the circumstances of the accidents and how they may occur.
We know that farm workers are very hard workers who believe in getting on with their jobs in spite of potential dangers that they may encounter. Even after the point of injury, many workers will choose not to make a compensation claim because they don’t want to make a fuss or feel that they are harming their farm or employer in some way. Please remember, the reason that businesses like farms have insurance is to pay out in these very circumstances and as an employer, the farm has a responsibility and duty of care for you when you work there.
Digby Brown has dealt with hundreds of serious cases involving people who have been injured as a result of working in agriculture and we know how these injuries can affect your future ability to work outdoors.
The regulations that govern safe working practices apply to ALL employers. You should never feel expected to sacrifice your safety or your rights just because you work in a dangerous role.
We illustrated this in the case of Mr Fraser – he suffered life-changing injuries after being crushed while moving cows between pens for vaccination. His solicitor found Mr Fraser’s employer failed to take reasonable care of him during his duties. This made the employer negligent for injuries he suffered– resulting in a six-figure sum for Mr Fraser.
Our Serious Injury team also recovered damages for afarm worker who was working on a farm in Fife when the machine he was using became blocked. The machine was turned off so he put his hand in to remove the blockage. However, the machine restarted at the moment when our client put his hand in and it was amputated at the wrist. Kirsty O’Donnell and Chris Stewart fought his case and, as well as securing a state-of-the-art prosthetic, they also helped secure the client £2 million in compensation.
Digby Brown also has a dedicated Foreign & Travel team which supports people from the EU and other global nations who are employed in agricultural roles on seasonal contracts.
Farming might have a reputation for being a dangerous profession but that does not mean your boss is allowed to be more lax with your safety – if anything, we believe they should be more cautious.
Your employer has a duty to provide you with the right tools, the right training and a safe working environment. It doesn’t matter if there’s bad weather, skittish animals or dangerous tools at play – if there’s a risk, then there should be a risk assessment. Your safety is paramount and if your employer is negligent then you may be entitled to farm accident compensation.
Every job has its own pitfalls which is why employers are legally bound to provide four key things:
• the right training
• the right equipment
• safe working methods
• safe working environment
Your boss is also legally required to carry out risk assessments or respond to concerns flagged by employees – in farming this might relate to machine maintenance, considering the dangers of moving livestock between fields or issues around bad weather. If these obligations are fulfilled, then people should be able to go to work and return home safely.
However, if you’re injured, then your solicitor will seek to establish the facts of your case. This will include the circumstances of your accident, nature of your injuries, financial implications of those injuries and if your employer failed in any of their duties to keep you safe.
As the official data shows, farming is indeed a dangerous profession and sadly, sometimes deaths do happen. This is devastating for the family left behind. We can help: our job is to find out what happened and establish if negligence played a part in the fatal accident. Our job is to ensure that proper compensation can be recovered which will help a family who may have just lost their main income or a significant portion of that income. Our job is to shed light on unknown facts around the incident and play a part in the improvement processes to make sure employers never repeat the same mistakes. Lessons need to be learnt, so this tragic event is never repeated.
We understand that fatal cases are sensitive and traumatic times but we will do everything we can to support you during this time. This will include providing assistance during any investigations by HSE and the procurator fiscal or even during a fatal accident investigation.
Digby Brown Solicitors is renowned throughout personal injury law for consistently delivering results for clients and contributing towards safer working conditions for all.
Your case will be taken on by an experienced personal injury solicitor based at one of our seven offices (that are most convenient to you). Your solicitor will investigate the circumstances of your accident and work with financial and medical experts to fully assess the long term impacts of these.
Your solicitor will then liaise with medical and financial experts to fully assess what else this means for your immediate circumstances and your future.
We aim to make this process as smooth as possible and speak in plain, jargon-free English.
Your case will also be conducted on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. You will never pay anything towards the costs of your case. We have a funding model called Compensate that lets us pay these costs ourselves – we then recover the costs from the other side after your case is settled. The only money you will ever part with is a small success fee which is deducted from your final settlement – as of April 2020 this is also never more than 20% (this percentage includes VAT). So for example, if your case settles for £10,000 then you will leave with £8,000 after our fee is paid. This will be fully explained to you and set out in plain English when you get in touch.
If you have been injured in a farming or agriculture accident we encourage you to seek expert, independent legal advice as soon as possible.
No win no fee personal injury solicitors
The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases. It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses.
A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful.
In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.
Compensate 'no win no fee' funding
Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.
If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.
On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer
Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.
In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.
Beware of compensation offers which may be too good
We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.
- How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
- If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
- Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
- If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
- It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
- These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.
We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value.
Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.
Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown
Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.
Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.
Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors
For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.
0333 200 5926
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Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm
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