Hanford sits in the middle of California’s Central Valley which is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the U.S. With dozens of farms in and around Hanford, local see plenty of farm trucks and equipment scattered throughout the region.
These trucks are vital to Hanford farmers planting, harvesting, hauling, spraying, fertilizing and many other necessary tasks. Operating these trucks can be dangerous and injuries and deaths occur when accidents happen.
When Hanford residents get injured or killed in a farming accident, Maison Law stands ready to get justice and fair compensation for the victim. Martin Gasparian is the founder of Maison Law, and he believes that when someone is injured due to another’s negligence, they should get justice and fair compensation for their injuries.
Types of Farm Truck Accidents
Farm vehicles are used to do just about anything on a farm, and accidents can happen at any time. Some of the most common types of accidents involve:
A tractor is a general term for an all-purpose farm vehicle that can pull, push, haul and are used to perform many vital tasks. The most common tractor accident happens when a tractor tips over with the operator risking getting caught in the machinery.
Tractors use attachments or are used to pull machinery to do various tasks:
- Tip Overs
- Falling into Machinery
- Hitting Power Lines
- Risky Maintenance (Clearing Blockages)
Passing Farm Vehicle Accidents
California law recognizes that farm equipment needs to be moved to different tracts of farmland, and the basic requirements for a motor vehicle are relaxed a bit:
- No age requirement for operator
- No driver’s license requirement
- Vehicles don’t have to be registered
- Lights and reflector requirements are relaxed
- Height and weight requirements relaxed
This is important for farmers to operate their equipment successfully farm their land. However, it also means that certain accidents are going to happen when these vehicles get out on the road with the faster moving cars with impatient drivers. Some of the most common accidents are:
- Left Turn Collisions: The most common passing accident happens when the farm vehicle turns left off of the road and the driver pulls a bit to the right so it can make a wide left turn, then motorist sees it move to the right and then passes only to have the rig turn back left.
- Rural Bridges: Some rural bridges are narrow leaving little room for vehicles to pass, yet some try anyway. Either the passing vehicle hits the farm vehicle, or if the tractor has high wheels with large lugs and the operator moves to the right to avoid the oncoming or passing car, it can climb the rail and tip over.
- Passing Cars/Trucks: Other passing crashes include vehicles passing in no-passing zones, at the base of a hill or incline, in a curve or in any situation where oncoming traffic visibility is low. Either the passing car hits another car head-on or it hits the farm vehicle while attempting to avoid the oncoming car.
- Rear-end: While technically not a passing vehicle accident, it occurs when a car comes upon a slow-moving farm rig, and doesn’t slow enough, or bails on an attempt to pass because of oncoming traffic and hits the farm vehicle from behind.
Farm Tractor Liability
In any accident, the at-fault person or company is required to pay for the damages. When a driver is at fault in a passing or rear-end accident, then the driver’s insurance company will pay. However, many times, it’s not so simple as to who is at fault. In a tip-over accident, it may be the operator, but it also might be faulty design, defective equipment or many other problems that led to the accident.
How to Determine Liability
The best thing to do is to contact an attorney who has experience in farm tractor accidents and to find out your rights and possible sources of compensation. In many cases, the fault is not obvious, and only after a thorough investigation can the at-fault party be determined.
Once liability is determined, then the injured victim is entitled to certain damages allowed under the law. In California, the law allows for all losses stemming from the negligence of the party. The most common damages are:
- Medical Bills (Past and Future)
- Rehabilitation (Past and Future)
- Damage to Bicycle or Replacement
- Travel Costs
- Missed Time from Work
- Future Loss of Income
- Permanent Disability
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish/PTSD
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.
After any farm truck accident involving a serious injury in Hanford, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.