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Since it passed in 1908, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) has helped thousands of the nation’s railroad workers receive compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of employers. However, many are under the misconception that only injuries like broken bones, lost limbs, and head trauma apply to these claims. If you’ve suffered an occupational disease due to the negligence of a railroad company, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explains what you must know about these conditions and FELA while exploring how a railroad cancer lawyer can help you.

What Are Occupational Diseases?

In general, occupational diseases are any illnesses or conditions that are commonly associated with a particular industry. For example, many construction workers suffer from hearing loss, while coal miners suffer pneumoconiosis or black lung disease. Unfortunately, the railroad industry is no different, as many who work on the nation’s railways can become sick due to their job.

Many railroad workers are exposed to substances that can harm them over time. These include, but are not limited to, diesel exhaust, asbestos, silica dust, industrial solvents, herbicides, and welding fumes. These substances have been linked to various forms of cancer such as lung cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, mesothelioma, as well as respiratory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis

In most cases, these conditions will take many years to develop after exposure. It is important to regularly and consistently monitor your health when exposed to these substances, as early detection is essential to treating and managing conditions.

Am I Eligible for a FELA Claim?

Upon your diagnosis, it is essential to bring a claim for FELA compensation as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are time limits for filing claims and many wait too long after their diagnosis to consult an attorney about a claim. It is also important to tell your attorney and your doctors about all the ways you may have been exposed to toxic substances during your career.

To receive compensation, it must be proven that your company knew the harm associated with exposure to these substances but failed to enact safety measures or take the proper steps to protect employees. This is negligence, which is a fundamental factor in receiving a claim under FELA.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be life-altering. Unfortunately, with a diagnosis often comes astronomical medical bills and pain and suffering. If you believe your employer’s negligence played a role in your diagnosis, our team at Doran & Murphy can help. We take great pride in providing help to the nation’s railroad workers. Contact us today so we can review your circumstances.