When it comes to asbestos exposure in the workplace, many people never consider the potential risks associated with diesel locomotives. The reality is that asbestos exposure is common, particularly among older trains. Asbestos was commonly used to wrap the pipes that fed the heater in the cab and was also frequently present in brake shoes.
The presence of asbestos in diesel locomotives has led to a number of chronic illnesses, including cancer. If you were exposed to asbestos during your time working on diesel train, you might be entitled to compensation. Learn about your rights regarding asbestos exposure by speaking with a railroad injury attorney.
Risks of Asbestos Exposure
There are detrimental and potentially life-threatening health conditions that stem from exposure to asbestos. The nature of a person’s exposure will play an important part in determining the severity of any conditions that arise.
Not every railroad worker that comes into contact with asbestos is guaranteed to develop serious health problems. The amount of exposure is an important factor. The longer and more frequent the exposure to asbestos is, the more likely it is health issues are to develop. A person that smokes or has prior breathing conditions is also at a higher risk of serious medical conditions.
The most serious condition linked to asbestos is mesothelioma. This disease is a rare form of cancer that impacts the membrane lining the lungs, chest cavity, and other body parts. The warning signs for this type of cancer might not be evident for decades after exposure occurs. These signs often start with shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains. More serious symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling, fluid buildup, and vomiting. In time, mesothelioma is often fatal.
Although the risks of asbestos exposure were known for years, asbestos remained on locomotives for decades. Many workers that spent years in the railroad industry breathing in these toxic particles are only now beginning to show symptoms of mesothelioma. But they have a right to pursue a claim for compensation.
Compensation for Asbestos Exposure
In many cases, the carelessness or recklessness of the railroad industry is to blame for the asbestos exposure that a worker experienced over the years. These workers have an opportunity to seek monetary compensation for this exposure and the medical conditions that result from it. Railroad workers have the right to pursue a claim against their employer under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). This law allows workers to pursue a lawsuit in federal court that could lead to significant financial compensation.
There are different forms of monetary compensation available for workers exposed to asbestos in diesel locomotives. These damages are often centered on the medical expenses a worker faces when dealing with mesothelioma and other conditions. Other damages also include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Death benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mental anguish
The scope of the illness will determine which damages might be available.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Asbestos Exposure in Diesel Locomotives
If you believe you were exposed to asbestos during your railroad career, you could be at risk of developing mesothelioma or other serious health concerns. An attorney could help you pursue compensation if you have developed symptoms of these serious issues. Before you move forward with a claim on your own, consider discussing your options with an attorney. Reach out to us at your earliest convenience.