Workers' Compensation And Farm Hands: Do The Laws Apply?

If you are currently considering employment with a dairy farmer but have concerns about the potential injuries you face, that is perfectly normal. You may also wonder about insurance, since most farm hands do not receive medical coverage via the farmer they work for. Without medical coverage, your next concern is, undoubtedly, whether or not workers' compensation laws even apply to your potential new position. There are actually some very special regulations just for your specific situation, and this is how a workers compensation attorney would address any injuries you receive while working on a farm.

Seasonal/Migrant Workers vs. Full-Time Farm Hands

First things first: if you are working as a seasonal worker taking in crops on a farm or you are a migrant worker (one who moves from place to place picking fruits and vegetables), then workers comp laws do not apply to you. There is no coverage required under law to address your situation in the event that you are hurt while on the job. On the other hand, if your job is full-time, and you are working for a farmer who has not properly declined workers' compensation insurance, then you are (and should be) covered.

That means that the farmer that hires you to milk cows, round up the herd, bring in the harvest and muck out the barns has this type of insurance for at least three work hands and is current on his monthly payments. Ergo, if you get kicked by a cow, slide in a pile of manure and crack your head on a cement barn floor or get a hand caught in farm machinery, the farmer has to pay. If he or she does not submit a claim for your injuries, the farmer is then in violation of the law and you need to consult with an attorney.

Suing Whether You Are Covered or Not

If you do take a job with a farmer, be sure to ask if he or she has workers' compensation insurance covering himself, family members, and farm hands. That way, if anything untoward should happen to you on the job and the farmer does nothing about it, you will be able to tell your attorney that you were told there were comp benefits. In this case, you can sue the farmer for not filing a claim for your injury. If you are not covered at all and still take the job but become injured, and the farmer does nothing to help you with your medical bills, you can contact a civil suit lawyer instead of a workers' comp lawyer in order to proceed with a lawsuit.

For more information, talk to an attorney like John J Bublewicz Attorney At Law.