Modesto Farm Accident Lawyer
Modesto, like most Central California towns, runs on its booming agricultural industry. Located in the San Joaquin Valley directly between the Tuolumne River and the Stanislaus River, Modesto has very fertile soil. It is a major producer of walnuts, milk, corn silage, and several other key crops.
Modesto’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry rests on an extensive network of farm owners, farm workers, commercial truck drivers, tourists, and local residents who support these operations. Each set of people involved in this massive process, though, faces a great risk of an accident on and around the area’s many farms.Hazards of Farming and Ranching
Farming is ranked as one of the most hazardous professions in the United States. Each year, more farmers die in the course of their work than firefighters or police officers. In Modesto, farmworkers face additional hazards from the intense heat common to Central California in the summer. Additionally, seasonal floods put farmers at great risk of water injuries.Common Accidents Involving Modesto Farm Workers
In addition to some unique environmental concerns, Modesto farmers face many of the same hazards as other farmers around the nation. Common farm accidents involve:
- Exposure to pesticides, fungicides, and other toxic chemicals
- Tractors and other pieces of heavy harvesting machinery
- Food processing machinery
- Enclosed crop storage areas
- And nighttime harvests
Across the variety of accidents listed above, injuries to the extremities are the most common. Hands and arms are commonly crushed or broken in the course of normal farm operations. Many farmworkers also suffer debilitating back injuries and sometimes serious head trauma. Finally, working conditions at farms often mean that workers suffer respiratory distress during many different farm accidents.Fatal Modesto Farm Accidents
In rare cases, people may die in accidents on farms. This is more likely to occur when heavy machinery is involved. Fortunately, these accidents are less common in Modesto. In fact, most fatal farm accidents in Modesto are related to high temperatures and resulting heat injuries.Risks for Young Farm Workers
Young farm workers are considered to be at high risk for accidents on farms, largely due to the type of jobs they perform. Young farmworkers are often smaller than adult farm workers and are consequently used for more jobs in enclosed areas and smaller spaces where they are more likely to be injured.Risks to Children Living Near Farms
Children living near commercial farms are also at risk from many of the same types of accidents. Access to farms is often not restricted, so local children are often tempted to play in these areas. Grain silos, tractor barns, and cornfields are just a few farm areas that may seem like fun to a child but carry a significant risk of major injury.
Major farms have a duty to attempt to restrict access to dangerous areas and post signs warning of these dangers. Failure to do so can make that farm liable in the event of an accident.Risks to All Residents Near Major Farms
All people who reside near farms face an elevated risk of farming-related accidents because they share the roads with farming machinery. This machinery can include tractors, hay balers, and even the commercial trucks used to transport farm products. Each of these vehicles tends to move slower than normal traffic and often extends into the opposing lane.
These conditions make the risk of accidents involving this heavy machinery higher. Consequently, accidents with farm equipment are one of the most common farm-related accidents in Modesto.Farm Tourism Industry in Modesto
Other farm hazards come from less traditional sources, including farm tourism. Modesto’s agricultural industry is supplemented by tourism and revenue from visitors to local farms. The surrounding Modesto area is home to several major farms, including the E&J Gallo Winery, the largest winery in the world. Modesto is also home to DeRuosi Nut, a major nut producer. Both of these farming operations attract thousands of visitors each year while also entertaining locals year-round.Hazards for Farm Visitors
Although visiting local farms can be a fun way to spend a weekend while supporting local businesses, it can also be dangerous. Many visitors forget that these are often active farming operations that expose visitors to many of the same farmwork hazards.
The most common accidents involving farm visitors are slip and falls. The smooth floors used in production areas of farms often become slick from spilled liquids or inclement weather. This then creates a major hazard for visitors.Accidents at Modesto Farmers’ Markets
Farmer's markets are another key element of Modesto’s agricultural industry where accidents may also occur. In accidents at farmer’s markets, liability is determined by who was negligent and caused the accident. This may be one of the farmers selling their goods or the coordinator of the market itself. Seeking the assistance of an experienced farm accident lawyer can help in these situations.Determining Responsibility in Farming Accidents
Determining liability in any accidents involving farms can be complicated for several reasons. First and foremost, like most major industries, farming is dominated by a division of labor. This means many people are involved in the various aspects of farming, from planting to harvesting and transportation. In an accident, any one of these people may play a role and may therefore be responsible.
Additionally, safety records on many farms are poor. This can make it difficult to determine if an accident was truly an accident or the result of sustained negligence on the part of the farm owner. These problems make it essential to contact an experienced Modesto farm accident lawyer if you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving the agricultural industry.Modesto Farm Accident Attorney
I'm Ed Smith, an experienced Modesto farm accident lawyer. An unexpected accident can be devastating, but an experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. If you or a loved one is injured in a farm accident, please call injury lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 to schedule a free consultation at our Modesto office.
1015 12th Street, STE 7
Modesto, CA 95354
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.20.21]