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Who is Held Accountable if You’re Injured by Livestock While at Work?

Vanasse Livestock Injury Workers Comp Lawyer PA

People tend to romanticize the idea of working with animals. We hold veterinarians and animal shelter workers in high regard, and visualize pastoral images of lambs, calves and chickens when we think of farm work. The reality of the situation is far different. A report conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in the five-year period between 1992 and 1997, animals were either partially or entirely responsible for 375 fatal on the job injuries, accounting for one percent of all of the fatalities during that period. During the same period of time there were 75,000 animal-related injuries that were not fatal. These types of injuries result in significant harm, with employees having to seek medical attention and take time from work in order to recuperate.  If a worker is injured on the job and their employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, then those injuries would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury was the result of negligence on the part of a third party, then the employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible. The Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law has extensive experience in helping injured workers get the justice they deserve. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

When livestock are present as part of the work environment, their actions are generally included in the owner’s legal responsibilities. Though farm animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, horses and cows may be considered domesticated, they are still capable of causing serious injuries to those who are around them, including those who are working with them.  Injuries and accidents can include:

  • Animal bites
  • Animals trampling on an employee
  • Animals charging at employees
  • Animals knocking over or crushing an employee
  • Animals goring an employee with their horns
  • Diseases being transmitted to employees from animals

Those who own the animals are responsible for taking actions to protect their employees from their animals. These actions may include providing proper training, providing appropriate fencing and equipment to provide a barrier between employees and the animals, establishing safety protocols for what to do when animals escape or get out of control, and making sure that first aid supplies are available to provide immediate care to anybody who has been injured.

Under workers’ compensation rules, an employer cannot be held personally responsible for injuries sustained by their employee for animal attacks on the job, but the owners of the animal can be, and so can third parties who may have contributed, or to whom the animals belonged. Employees do, however, have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits to provide compensation for medical care and lost wages. For information about how to access these benefits or for representation, contact the Pennsylvania law firm of Vanasse Law.