Farmers Are Now Protected From “Agritourism” Personal Injury Lawsuits
Farms might be fun to visit, but they can also be quite dangerous. Large, potentially violent animals can snap at any time, causing injuries to innocent people. There is also a plethora of heavy machinery, such as tractors, ATVs, and similar things. Simply slipping in the mud can be enough to cause serious injuries. However, Pennsylvania farmers are now receiving considerable legal protection against personal injury lawsuits thanks to a new bill passed in 2021.
If you have been injured while visiting a farm in Pennsylvania, don’t give up hope just yet. You can still get in touch with a personal injury attorney and fight for your rights in an effective manner. Even though this new bill provides farmers with considerable legal protections, you can still explore your options and see whether there is any route towards a settlement. These settlements can provide you with compensation for medical expenses, missed wages, and much more.
What’s in the Agritourism Bill?
In late June of 2021, it was reported that the Pennsylvania General Assembly had passed an “Agritourism Bill” that offers legal protection for farms that invite the public onto their properties to participate in various activities. These activities may include corn mazes, hayrides, mud runs, and other similar pastimes. This bill was intended to grant farm owners “reasonable protection” from personal injury lawsuits. Farmers say that this new bill will help them stay in business, and many are struggling right now due to the pressures of Covid-19. On June 30th of 2021, all the bill needed was a signature from Governor Tom Wolf – but he vetoed a similar bill in November.
Can I Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you are injured during an agriculture activity on someone’s farm in Pennsylvania, you are not completely banned from filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can still take legal action, since the bill leaves a few notable doors open for injury victims. Firstly, farms still have a legal obligation to warn you of any potential dangers. If they fail to warn you of these dangers, they may still be liable for your injuries. Note that a “warning” could be something as simple as a sign posted in a visible location.
In addition, the bill seems to only provide protections if the injuries sustained are due to “circumstances beyond the farm’s control.” This means acts of gross, reckless negligence will probably still result in a personal injury lawsuit. The bill also specifically states that the farm owners must take “reasonable steps” to ensure the safety of visitors. Participants in activities also need to sign a waiver beforehand. Similar bills have been passed in many other states.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you need assistance from a skilled Northeastern Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, reach out to the Needle Law Firm. We have the experience and resources necessary to help you file a personal injury lawsuit, even if the defendant has considerable protections under bills passed by Pennsylvania lawmakers. No one should be able to get away with negligence, especially when this negligence leads to serious injuries. Reach out today, and we can help you move forward in an efficient manner.