Injured by farm vehicle, why can’t I claim?

Two years ago I suffered serious injuries while working on a farm, when my employer’s son rode a road-legal quad bike into me. I went to a number of different solicitors who all advised me nothing could be done because the accident happened on private land. How is it fair that I cannot claim when I have been injured through no fault of my own?
Jason, Bedfordshire

 

Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.
Firstly a claim could be considered against the farm’s public liability insurer, or the farmer personally in the event that the motor insurer was not liable.

That said, ignoring the above and assuming the farm you were on was not accessible to the public, until recently your solicitors would have been right in what they told you. However, a recent case brought before the European Court of Justice involving a tractor driver, found the Road Traffic Act 1988 to be in conflict with Article 3(1) of the First Motor Insurance Directive 1972, which made it a requirement that all EU member states implemented measures to ensure that vehicles in their territories were covered by compulsory motor insurance.

I suspect that the Road Traffic Act will be updated to reflect the above case. But in the meantime it has been established that European member states (in this case the UK Government) can be liable to pay compensation to individuals who have suffered a loss by reason of that member state’s failure to implement an EU directive into national law.

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