Dedicated Tractor Rollover Attorneys Serving Las Vegas and All of Nevada
Farm work consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. According to USA Today, as recently as 2021, agricultural equipment operators placed seventh on the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of occupations with the highest fatal-injury rate.
Injury rates are difficult to track because so many agricultural workers are self-employed or work on small farms that aren’t required to report labor statistics. Despite that, the statistics we do have show that farm equipment operators are 5 times more likely to be fatally injured than workers at “regular” jobs.
The 2.6 million agricultural employees working with heavy equipment and livestock are perpetually at risk of serious injury. Arguably, tractor overturn accidents are a leading cause of fatal or debilitating injuries on farms across the country. If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been lost in a tractor rollover or another farming accident, the experienced tractor rollover lawyers at Burg Simpson can help.
In and around Las Vegas, we are renowned for seamlessly merging our community-focused approach with the expansive capabilities of our national presence. For over four decades, our commitment to championing the rights of personal injury victims has not only stood the test of time but has also earned us numerous accolades for our unwavering excellence and determination.
Call us at 702-668-2070 for a FREE case evaluation so we can discuss your potential claim. We are proud to work with our neighbors in the Las Vegas area and throughout Nevada.
How Common Are Tractor Rollovers?
Tractor rollovers are a significant concern in farm-related accidents in Nevada and nationwide. They are among the most common and deadly types of agricultural accidents in the U.S. According to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), transportation incidents, including tractor overturns, are the leading cause of death for farmers and farmworkers in the U.S, with rollovers accounting for a significant portion of these fatalities.
The National Ag Safety Database compiled some eye-opening statistics that were updated in 2014:
- An estimated 130 tractor overturn deaths occur each year.
- Tractor rollovers are “the leading cause of fatal injuries on U.S. farms.”
- In a lifetime, 1 of 10 tractor operators will have a rollover accident.
- 80% of people killed in tractor overturn accidents were experienced tractor operators.
Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Agriculture § 1928.51(b)(1) requires Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) to be provided in every agricultural tractor produced after October 25, 1976. Several studies and surveys have shown that while safety advancements like ROPS have reduced the number of fatalities, rollovers still pose a significant threat.
At Burg Simpson, we recognize the severity of tractor rollover incidents and the devastating impact they can have on Nevada’s agricultural workers and their families. We advocate for proper safety measures and the rights of those affected by such accidents.
What Causes a Tractor to Roll Over?
Tractor rollovers predominantly occur due to a combination of mechanical, environmental, and human factors. While Nevada’s specific landscape and farming conditions will likely play a role, common causes include:
- Center of Gravity Issues
Tractors may become unstable when attached to heavy equipment or traveling while carrying loads in a raised position. A shift in the center of gravity, especially on sloped terrains, can trigger a rollover.
- Speed & Turning
Taking a turn too sharply or at an excessive speed can result in the tractor tipping over.
- Uneven Ground & Terrain
Nevada’s diverse topography means tractors might traverse ditches, embankments, or uneven fields, increasing the risk of a rollover.
- Excessive Load Size
A load that exceeds the tractor’s capabilities could cause the operator to lose control or the vehicle to become unstable.
- Mechanical Failures
Defective parts, poor maintenance, or equipment malfunction can all contribute to rollovers.
- Inexperienced Operation
Lack of training or inexperience can lead operators to make errors, exacerbating rollover risks.
Establishing negligence in tractor rollover cases often hinges on a thorough understanding of these causes and regulations set down by the Nevada Legislature. At Burg Simpson, our skilled Nevada farming accident lawyers aid victims, helping them navigate the legal system in pursuit of just compensation. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation today.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered in a Tractor Rollover Accident?
Tractor rollovers, given the sheer size and weight of these machines, often result in severe injuries, some of which can be life-altering. Common injuries sustained in such accidents include:
- Crush Injuries
These can occur if a person becomes trapped under the tractor, leading to fractures, internal organ damage, or even fatalities.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
The force of a rollover can damage the spinal column, potentially resulting in partial or complete paralysis.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Even with protection, the head can sustain trauma leading to concussions or more severe brain injuries.
- Fractures & Broken Bones
Limbs, ribs, and other bones may fracture from the impact or if caught between the tractor and the ground.
- Lacerations & Abrasions
Broken glass, metal shards, or rough ground can cause cuts and scrapes, some of which can be deep and lead to significant blood loss.
In extreme cases, a limb might get severed during the accident or require surgical amputation due to the extent of the injury.
- Whiplash & Neck Injuries
The sudden jerking motion can strain or damage the neck muscles and vertebrae.
Machinery attached to the tractor when the rollover occurs could have electrical currents running to it. If contact is made with that current, an electric shock could occur.
Given the severity of these injuries, timely medical intervention is crucial. At Burg Simpson Nevada, we understand the profound impact these accidents can have on victims and their families, and our tractor rollover lawyers diligently advocate for their rights, pursuing the compensation they deserve for their devastating losses.
What Kind of Damages Can You Pursue in a Tractor Rollover Accident?
In tractor rollover accidents in Nevada, victims and their families can pursue various damages depending on the specifics of the accident and the injuries sustained. Compensatory damages typically fall into two main categories:
Actual damages, often called special or economic damages, represent tangible losses suffered by a victim. They aim to restore the injured party to their financial state prior to the accident. They can include but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Increased living expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
General damages, also known as non-economic damages, compensate for non-tangible losses. They address the emotional and psychological impact of an injury rather than specific financial costs. They can include but are not limited to:
- Pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
In cases of egregious behavior or gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded in an effort to punish the defendant for their behavior and dissuade others from behaving similarly. However, this type of damages is extremely rare.
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §616A.110(1)–(9) excludes agricultural workers from the state workers’ compensation law. Though their employers are not required to offer them coverage, an employer “may elect to provide coverage.”
If a tractor operator was employed by an employer that provided workers’ comp insurance and the accident occurred during the course of their job, they could be entitled to benefits under Nevada’s workers’ compensation system. These benefits might include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits for dependents
- Mileage reimbursement
However, it’s important to understand that when workers’ compensation applies, employees typically cannot sue their employers for personal injury, except in rare circumstances like intentional harm. They can, however, potentially pursue claims against third parties, like manufacturers or maintenance providers, if they played a role in the accident.
Given the complex nature of damages and compensation in a rollover case, we recommend seeking the legal advice of a Las Vegas tractor rollover lawyer. Burg Simpson’s experience in Nevada ensures affected individuals and families navigate the system effectively in the pursuit of the compensation they rightly deserve. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
Who Is Liable in a Tractor Rollover Accident in Nevada?
Liability in a tractor rollover accident in Nevada can be complicated, and determining it often requires a comprehensive examination of the circumstances leading to the accident. Potentially liable parties could include:
- Tractor Operator
If the rollover occurred due to operator error, negligence, or a failure to adhere to safety protocols, the operator might be found partially or wholly responsible.
- Farm or Property Owner
Owners may be liable if they did not provide adequate training, failed to maintain equipment, or did not establish proper safety measures.
- Tractor Manufacturer
If a defect in the tractor’s design or manufacturing contributed to the rollover, the manufacturer could be held responsible.
- Maintenance Provider
Entities tasked with maintaining and repairing tractors may be liable if poor or negligent maintenance caused or contributed to the accident.
- Third Parties
Other individuals or entities, like contractors or other equipment providers, could also bear responsibility if their actions played a role in the incident.
It is essential to note that Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence system as per NRS § 41.141. This means that a plaintiff can still recover damages even if they are found to be partly responsible for the accident, as long as they are not found to be more negligent than the defendant. The plaintiff’s compensation would be reduced by the percentage they were found to be at fault.
Given the complex nature of liability, seeking the expertise of a Nevada tractor rollover lawyer ensures thorough investigation and representation for those affected by overturn accidents.
How Can You Reduce the Chances of Tractor Rollovers?
Before we discuss how to reduce tractor rollover accidents, let’s briefly explain how to avoid injury. The best way to protect workers from rollovers is to equip tractors with Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) that safeguard the operator in case of a rollover.
As of 2011, NIOSH reported that 41% of tractors were not equipped with ROPS. Yet, installing and using ROPS, in conjunction with a seatbelt, can reduce the risk of injury during a rollover by 99%, according to the National Tractor Safety Coalition. With this relatively inexpensive modification, countless lives can be saved.
Reducing the risk of tractor rollovers requires a combination of equipment care, informed operational practices, and adherence to safety guidelines. Here are several preventive measures:
- Wide Stance
Utilizing tractors with a wide wheelbase and a low center of gravity can inherently reduce rollover risks.
- Speed Management
Maintain moderate speeds, especially on unfamiliar or challenging terrains. Rapid accelerations or decelerations can destabilize the tractor.
- Avoid Sharp Turns
Always make gradual turns, particularly when moving at higher speeds or on slopes.
- Stay Updated on Maintenance
Ensure that brakes, tires, and steering components are well-maintained. Regularly inspect the tractor for mechanical issues.
Provide comprehensive training for operators, emphasizing safety protocols and risk awareness. Nevada’s agricultural communities and organizations often offer safety courses.
- Plan Routes
It is wise to pre-plan routes to minimize risks when working on uneven or sloped terrains. Avoiding backing down hills and driving around ditches instead of across them can also help prevent rollovers.
Contact a Las Vegas Tractor Rollover Lawyer at Burg Simpson Today
In Nevada, tractor rollover accidents highlight the vital importance of safety in agricultural operations. At Burg Simpson, we’re committed to representing affected families. Your welfare and rights matter to us. Until precautions are taken across the board, we will continue to find justice and pursue compensation for you and your loved ones.
Our experienced farming accident lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims. We have local know-how, national resources, and a stellar reputation, and we’re ready to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
If you have been hurt or a loved one lost in a tractor overturn accident, call one of our tractor rollover attorneys at 702-668-2070 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation to discuss your potential claim.