Abels & Annes
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Tractor-Driving Simulator May Prevent Injuries to Children

Injuries to children on the farm has almost been a given since the dawn of life in the U.S. Farm work is challenging and dangerous, and farm owners often rely on their children for the survival of the farm.

However, a recent article highlights a group that is trying to prevent injuries to children in this industry. The article focuses on a group of researchers who hope to prevent children from dying in tractor accidents. The approach they advocate is a state-of-the-art driving simulator which may help determine when kids can safely operate farm equipment.

The researchers cited the fact that teens are at least four times more likely to die on a farm than in any other workplace as a motivation for their work. Operating farm equipment, including tractors, is the leading cause of death and a top cause of injury among children who work in agriculture. “Our goal is to try to develop knowledge that makes it easier to prevent these accidents,” said Tim Brown, a University of Iowa researcher who helps run the National Advanced Driving Simulator in Coralville.

The article notes that research results eventually could be used to revise voluntary guidelines for parents and employers about when teenagers are ready to perform a variety of farm tasks, from mowing along a fence line to using a manure spreader.

The U.S. Department of Labor actually tried to address the problem earlier this year with laws that would have limited children’s ability to operate farm equipment. However, the Obama administration dropped the proposal after farm families and groups denounced it as overreaching and an attack on their way of life.

It is unlikely that farms will soon allow their informal source of child labor to be taken away, but this type of research may assist farm families in the protection of their children while they work.

Injuries to children can result from the following (among many other accidents):

  • Auto accidents – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14.
  • School bus accidents – Thousands of children are injured every year in school bus accidents. Often these injuries are very serious, as children do not wear seat belts while riding on most school buses.
  • Swimming-related accidents – Swimming is a favorite summertime activity for many kids. However, according to USA Today, near-drownings are in the top injuries that lead to children being hospitalized over the summer.
  • Sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, or clergy member is startlingly common. In fact, in 2011 Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, settled a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George, and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago involving sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack in the amount of $3.2 million dollars, $300,000 of which was placed in escrow for services.

Injuries to children that are a result of negligence can be a very challenging experience for any family. However, when a child is hurt, parents or guardians of a minor under the age of 18 can bring a claim or lawsuit on the child’s behalf.

Abels & Annes, P.C. has represented many hurt minors and their families, and we understand the importance of recovering compensation for their injuries. Serious injuries to children can require lifelong medical care and treatment, and that treatment can be extremely expensive for parents or guardians. We look to recover present and future costs when representing an injured minor.

If your child has been injured, request a Free Personal Injury Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a lawyer now.

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