Sacramento Grain Auger Accident Lawyer
A grain auger is one of the most hazardous machines used on farms. It is basically a long tube used to transport grain from the ground to a grain bin. It typically has a screw-shaped shank controlled via a gear at the top of the auger. When the shank turns, the grain is propelled upward in the auger’s tube.
Hi, I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury or death due to a grain auger accident, please call me today for free, friendly advice. I can be reached at 916.921.6400.
Why Grain Augers are So Dangerous
One mistake or one oversight can result in an auger operator losing a limb or losing their lives. This is due to the fact that manufacturers neglect to utilize important safety features such as intake screens and shields that would significantly decrease the risk of a serious injury that may occur.
Types of Injuries Suffered in Grain Auger Accidents
Unfortunately, the harms suffered by workers involved in grain auger accidents are oftentimes quite serious and may result in debilitating bodily injuries. The most common types of injuries include:
- Amputation Injuries - Loss of a limb (e.g., hand, arm, leg, etc.)
- Broken bones
- Ligament tears
- Severe cuts and lacerations
If you have suffered traumatic injuries, or if one of your family members has been injured or died driving an auger, or if you have lost wages due to auger injury, you may be entitled to compensation−including payments over and above Worker’s Compensation.
Ways Employers Fail to Reduce the Risk of Grain Auger Accidents
Due to the safety risks associated with grain augers, there are state and federal regulations associated with operating and maintaining a grain auger. Unfortunately, after a serious accident, evidence usually surfaces indicating that the incident could have been avoided, if only the employer or another worker had taken necessary safety precautions. Below are some examples of safety protocols that have been recommended by federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are often ignored include:
- Fencing was not used to prevent individuals not involved in the operation of the grain auger (e.g., non-trained employees, visitors, etc.) from entering the work area.
- Someone under the age of 18 was allowed to operate a grain auger or was allowed to enter the area where the auger was in use.
- The auger lacked a protective shield (despite the fact that OSHA requires the placement of a guard on certain types of grain augers).
- The power was not shut off properly.
- The grain auger was not properly lowered to a horizontal position prior to moving the auger from one location to another.
- A worker failed to recognize the presence of a power line prior to raising the grain auger into position.
- The grain auger was not placed on a gravel pad or on level ground.
- The auger operator was not properly trained concerning the safe operation of the equipment.
- The auger was not clearly labeled with safety warnings.
- The auger had a design defect (products liability).
Financial Restitution for Your Harms and Losses is Available
If you or a loved one was seriously injured by a grain auger you may be entitled to compensation for the harms and losses you suffered in the accident. For example, you can pursue financial compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Incurred and future medical expenses including the cost of emergency treatment, physical therapy, prescription medications, surgeries, etc.
- Lost income due to time missed from work, including wages you would have earned in the future if you are unable to return to work.
- Emotional and psychological anguish (routinely referred to as pain and suffering)
If you were harmed by a grain auger during the course of your employment, you have the right to pursue financial restitution through California’s workers’ compensation system. Under workers’ compensation, your employer is legally obligated to pay the costs of your medical care and lost wages. Depending on the facts of your case, if you are a worker injured by the negligence of a third party or a design defect in the auger, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the third party.
If you were visiting the auger facility and were not employed, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the owner of the facility.
The Statute of Limitations Requires Legal Action Be Taken Within Two Years
If you suffered a serious injury in a grain auger accident, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a civil lawsuit. It is essential that you take action in this two-year period because if you fail to do so, your case will likely get thrown out of court.
However, just because California law allows you to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years, does not mean you should wait until the day before expiration of the statute of limitations to call an attorney. In fact, the sooner you speak to an attorney about your potential case, the better. This is because your attorney needs to investigate the accident, collect and review accident reports filed by state authorities and law enforcement, compile and analyze your medical records, interview any eyewitnesses, etc. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident so they can get to work on your behalf right away.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
When an accident occurs at a large farming facility, you will likely be pitted against a team of claims adjusters, insurance company representatives, and defense lawyers who have a singular goal in mind – reduce or deny liability for the accident. This is why it makes sense to hire a seasoned personal injury lawyer. Getting top-notch legal representation helps level the playing field between you and the farming company. Having an attorney on your side also helps in the collection and preservation of vital evidence that will be needed to prevail in court.
A skilled and seasoned Sacramento grain auger accident lawyer can assist you in navigating the complex personal injury litigation process, from pre-trial discovery all the way to a jury trial. I am ready and able to help you and your family.
Sacramento Grain Auger Accident Lawyer
I’m Edward Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury or death due to a grain auger accident, please call me today for free, friendly advice. I can be reached at 916.921.6400.
I have been practicing personal injury law since 1982, helping injured people and their families members recover after serious accidents. Many of my past client’s reviews are available for your inspection on: Google+, Yelp, and Avvo.
The organization known as the Million Dollar Advocates has recognized my work in obtaining verdicts and settlements worth a minimum of one million dollars or more for my previous clients.
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