Updated February 20, 2020

Does Workers’ Compensation Apply to Farming Accidents?

Farming is extremely dangerous—the agriculture industry, alongside construction and mining, is rated as one of the most hazardous professions in the world.

Due to the dangerous and physical nature of agriculture work, farming accidents are common. In the United States, 60 to 70 out of every 100,000 farm workers are killed annually, and an additional 33% suffer a nonfatal injury.

To help with expenses after an on-the-job injury or illness, employees may have the option to file a workers’ compensation claim.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp,” is a type of insurance purchased by employers that covers employment-related illnesses and injuries.

If an employee is injured and files a workers’ compensation claim, they can receive payment for covered expenses if that claim is approved. Expenses covered by workers’ compensation include the following:

  • Medical care
  • Portion of lost income
  • Retraining costs
  • Compensation for permanent injuries
  • Benefits to dependents or survivors

Following a workers’ compensation claim, an employee cannot bring any other type of legal claim against their employer related to their injuries.

There are several situations in which compensation may be denied:

  • Drug and alcohol tests show the employee was under the influence at the time of the injury
  • Employee was not on the job at the time of the injury
  • Employee was violating a company policy or law

Self-inflicted injuries are also not applicable.

Most employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees by law; however, many states list some industries and employer circumstances as exempt from requiring the coverage.

What is Agricultural Exemption?

In several states, including Indiana, some employers are not required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Each state establishes different rules. Common exemptions include independent contractors, casual laborers, student workers, volunteers, and farm and agriculture employees. In those cases, coverage may be optional.

Because farm and agriculture employees are often listed as exempted occupations, many farmers do not carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. However, it is usually possible to voluntarily purchase workers’ compensation as a protection for both the employer and employees.

What are the Next Steps?

If you are a farm employer, visit with legal counsel and insurance professionals to determine what course of action you should take when it comes to employee injuries and accidents.

If you are a farm employee, remember that navigating legal issues following a farming accident or injury is complicated. It is in your best interest to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

Contact a Farming Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured as a result of a farming accident, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Farming Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you with the next steps in pursuing a farming accident case. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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