Kennewick Personal Injury Lawyers

Kennewick Farm Vehicle Accident Lawyers

Skilled advocacy victims of farm vehicle collisions

It’s normal to focus on interstate, state, city, and rural roads when thinking about vehicle accidents. It’s easy to focus on cars, 18-wheelers, and motorcycles. The truth is that many vehicle accidents involve farm vehicles. As the weather starts to warm, agriculture work throughout the Tri-Cities region will begin. There are many different types of farm vehicles that will be on the roads – tractors, harvesters, small trucks, balers, seeders, fertilizer spreaders, and other vehicles.

Farm vehicles provide unique problems for their operators and for all other vehicles and people on the roads. They’re usually slow, wide, tall, and heavy. They can take up whole lanes of traffic.  The operators of farm vehicles and the drivers who travel on the same roads both need to understand the state and local traffic rules and common safety precautions that should be followed. At Telaré Law, our Kennewick farm vehicle accident lawyers understand the unique issues involved when farm vehicle accidents happen. We demand compensation from the liable drivers for all your economic and personal damage.

How do farm vehicle accidents differ from other types of accidents?

Farm tractors and other vehicles are generally taller and wider than other vehicles. They’re also heavier than most cars. These factors mean that when a passenger car or a motorcycle collide with one, the people in the passenger car are likely to take the brunt of the force.

When a passenger car and a farm vehicle collide, the farm vehicle is likely to strike higher up on the passenger car than other vehicles. Farm vehicle accidents with pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders are likely to be deadly or cause severe injuries – especially if a combine harvester or a baler is involved in the crash.

Like commercial trucks, farm vehicles also need a lot of room to turn because of their length and their width. Operators who fail to look for or see a car nearby can easily crush that car. The larger the farm vehicle, the more likely the operator will need to shift into another lane. Sideswipe accidents are more common because passing a farm vehicle because it’s going so slowly is often treacherous – especially on one-lane country roads.

Small cars can become pinned under large tractors. The cargo from the farm vehicle may spill onto someone, on a car, or just create havoc on the road.

There’s also a strong chance that tractors can roll over.

Why do farm vehicle accidents happen in Kennewick?

In order to prove that a farm vehicle operator or another driver caused a vehicle accident, it’s necessary to understand why accidents involving farm vehicles happen. Some of the causes include:

  • Impatience. Many car and truck drivers want to pass slow-moving farm vehicles. Passing can be quite difficult when the farm vehicle takes up most or all of a lane, in curves, and on roads that only have one lane in each direction.
  • Blind spots. Many tractor operators, harvester drivers, and other farm vehicle drivers have difficulty seeing cars, motorcycles, bicycle riders and people that are near them. Adding to this difficulty is that, unlike many commercial trucks, farm vehicles don’t have rear-view mirrors, side-view mirrors, or sophisticated technology such as video cameras to assist them.
  • Fatigue. Agricultural work is hard work. Many farmers work from dawn to dusk. There’s financial profit in making deliveries before the sun goes down. Drivers often do more than just drive. They load and unload the vehicles too. Tired drivers are dangerous drivers.
  • Impairment. Drunk driving laws don’t only apply to cars, motorcycles, and trucks – they apply to all moving vehicles. Driving a tractor along a road while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous.

What kinds of injuries are caused by farm accidents?

Farm vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries or deaths. Our Kennewick personal injury lawyers represent victims who have catastrophic, permanent, or serious injuries including:

Victims of any farm vehicle accident injury should seek immediate medical help. The police should help you get to the nearest hospital.

We demand compensation for all your current and future damages including your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, loss of function, loss of consortium, and property damage.

Is it legal for farm vehicles to be on the road in Kennewick?

The answer is that it depends on the type of vehicle and other factors. Washington State law provides that “A tractor designed for agricultural use, when towing a trailer which is carrying farm produce from one farm to another, is required to have either a vehicle license under [state law] or, in the alternative, a ‘farm vehicle’ decal under § 3, chapter 202, Laws of 1967 (RCW 46.16.025).”

Other statutory conditions may apply, such as the inclusion and use of hazard warning lights and reflectors. Farm vehicles should generally indicate that they are slow-moving vehicles with an emblem.

Generally, tractors are not required to be registered with the state DMV nor are the owners required to have automobile insurance (though insurance is advisable). There are other requirements, which can be read here. Operators of farm vehicles do need to act reasonably. There are safety requirements for “escort vehicles,” and vehicles carrying oversize loads. Vehicles that are wider than 10 fees must have red flags attached to the vehicle. There are also lighting requirements and requirements for night-time movement. Slow-moving triangles may be required. There are additional rules for farm convoys.

How can drivers and other non-farmers avoid farm vehicle accidents?

There are a number of steps that drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders should consider when they are near farm vehicles. These safety measures include:

  • Pass cautiously.
  • Do not rush.
  • Stay far away from a far vehicle that is turning.
  • Know what vehicles around you are doing in relation to the farm vehicle.
  • Be certain you have room to pass or move behind the farm vehicle if you enter a lane of oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t pass near intersections, in curves, on hills, on “No Passing” roads, on bridges, at railroad crossings, or in tunnels.
  • Don’t pass if there is a double-yellow line.
  • Don’t make assumptions about the path or kindness of a slow-moving farm vehicle operator.
  • Be sure the operator of the farm vehicle sees you – honking and using your lights can help.
  • Be aware that farm vehicles don’t have turn signals.

Do you have a farm vehicle accident attorney near me?

Telaré Law maintains an office in Kennewick at 819 South Auburn St. We also represent accident victims and families in our Richland office. When necessary, we see clients in their homes, at healthcare facilities, and through video conferences.

We’ll answer your questions, explain your rights, and fight to obtain all the compensation you deserve.

Injured in a Tri-Cities farm vehicle accident? Call Team Telaré today

Agriculture is the lifeblood of America. Apples, asparagus, basil, carrots, cherries, and other types of food products are major staples of the Washington economy. With this productivity comes risks. Farm vehicles are involved in many accidents due to their unique attributes. When injuries or fatalities occur, you need the seasoned Kennewick farm vehicle accident lawyers at Telaré Law on your side. We represent farm vehicle accident victims in Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla, Pullman, Othello, Moses Lake, Ritzville, and all of Southeast Washington. Call our Kennewick personal injury lawyers now or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

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