$157 THOUSAND

Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

our client results

Indiana’s Agriculture

Agriculture is a key component of Indiana’s economy, contributing $37.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2011, according to Indiana University. Agriculture production supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs, 103,000 of which are directly involved in crop production and processing.

Farming has a higher-than-average injury and illness rate. Each year, according to the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council, an estimated 1 out of every 9 Indiana farm families experiences an injury requiring medical attention, and between 20 and 25 members of farm families die as the result of farm work-related injuries.

A farmer who employs one or more persons has the legal responsibility to assure safe and healthful working conditions under the William-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Agriculture employers have the general duty to supply employees with a workplace free from all recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious harm to employees. There are also specific health and safety regulations enforced by OSHA for farms which employ more than 10 people.

Indiana farm injury lawyer Mike Stephenson, of McNeely Stephenson, has been helping injured Hoosiers for more than 30 years. This includes folks who were injured in farm accidents, car and truck accidents, and other workplace accidents. If you have been hurt while on the job in the Indiana agriculture industry, call Mike Stephenson at 855-206-2555 for a free consultation.

What are some of the dangers inherent in farm work?

Tractor accidents are the most common cause of farm injuries. When Purdue University analyzed 20 years of data, they found that tractor accidents accounted for 47% of Indiana farming fatalities, most frequently occurring because of a tractor upset or rollover. The most effective way to prevent tractor overturn deaths is the use of Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS), but, nationally, only about half of all tractors used on farms are so equipped.

The OSHA roll-over protection standard (ROPS) for larger farming operations requires that all tractors with more than 20 horsepower manufactured after October 1976 must be equipped with a roll-over protective structure. Low-profile tractors used in orchards, barns, hop yards and green-houses are exempt from the standard when use of the roll-over protective structure would substantially interfere with normal operations. Also exempt are tractors using loaders, cornpickers, and other such attachments when ROPS would interfere with their operation. As soon as that use is not necessary, however, the ROPS must be returned to the tractor. Farm operations which are subject to OSHA regulation must provide annual training to every employee about safe tractor operation.

Other types of fatal injuries involving tractors are caused by power takeoff (PTO) entanglements, contact with overhead electrical wires, poor maintenance and road collisions. In 2012, there were nine Indiana fatalities involving collisions between motor vehicles and agricultural equipment, including Amish buggies and pony carts.

Respiratory disease affects farmers and farmworkers at a higher rate than other workers. Some of the disorders associated with exposure to airborne dusts in farming are hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), chronic bronchitis (CB), acute pulmonary symptoms (APS), asthma, and mucous membrane irritation (MMI). These are caused by antigens found in silage, in spoiled hay and grain and in swine confinement facilities.

Exposure to pesticides can result in acute and chronic toxic reactions. Manufacturers of these frequently used farm chemicals have a duty to warn the user about proper application techniques and the hazards the products present. Likewise, agricultural operators have a duty to provide adequate training and safety gear to those farm workers who are involved in applying the chemicals.

Failure to maintain equipment can lead to farm injuries and fatalities. Pushed by the constraints of weather and the market, a farmer may decide to continue using a piece of equipment that is not functioning properly, putting off necessary repairs that could save a worker’s life but would have a negative effect on profits.

What types of injuries are common in farm accidents?

Even when a farm accident doesn’t cause a death, it can cause severe injuries. Purdue University’s analysis of 2012 farm accidents noted amputations, head, and spinal cord injuries and accidents requiring the use of medical helicopters for transport to a trauma center. These types of serious injury can result in disability and loss of earning capacity, huge medical and rehabilitation expenses, and unending adjustments for a farm worker’s family.

What can an injured farm worker do?

A person who was injured on an Indiana farm because of the negligence of the farm operator, lack of training or safety supplies, or failure to comply with governmental regulations should contact Indiana farm injury lawyer Mike Stephenson. If the injury resulted from machinery that was dangerously designed or manufactured, or from toxic chemicals, Mike Stephenson will seek justice from the company that produced it.

Victims of personal injury may be entitled to receive compensation for their medical expenses (both past and future), loss of income, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Why Mike Stephenson?

Mike Stephenson has been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982. A court case can be expensive, and if you’re an Indiana farm worker who has been injured on the job, you may not think you have the money to go after a negligent employer. As a partner in McNeely Stephenson, Mike will put the resources of his firm to work for you. Call 1-855-206-2555 or use the online contact form to discuss your accident with Mike. You’ll find him to be a concerned and compassionate advocate, and someone who won’t be afraid to fight for your rights even if it involves taking on one of Indiana’s agriculture giants or their insurance companies.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
October 15, 2018 / Personal Injury, Truck Accidents
How About Some Good News?

It’s not all bad news these days, despite how you might feel after regular exposure to the media. Our state police have received a high honor related to keeping us safe on interstates and Indiana state roads. The enforcement officers and civilian employees of the Indiana State Police’s (ISP) Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division were acclaimed best in the nation at making sure large trucks obey our laws and safety standards. Their ove...

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

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The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

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Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

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The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

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Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states