crew working on railroad

When railroad workers or their families call us with questions about railroad work and cancer, the issue of cigarette smoking often comes up. Most people do not think they can have a claim if smoking may have caused their cancer. People want to know: Can I still have a FELA claim for cancer even if I smoked cigarettes? The answer is yes and we have addressed this in prior blogs. Particularly when railroad workers suffer from lung cancer. Smoking and asbestos exposure may both be to blame. The reason is something called synergy. Simply put, smoking and asbestos can work together to cause lung cancer. Even if you smoked cigarettes, you may still be able to bring a claim against the railroad for cancer.

People also often tell us they did not think they could have a claim because they left the railroad so long ago. They ask: Can I still have a claim even if I left the railroad many years ago? The answer, again is yes. The reason is a concept called latency. Latency means that asbestos takes many years to cause disease. Think about how you might catch a cold. If an infected person breaths on you today, you might catch their cold tomorrow. Asbestos is different. You can get a disease related to asbestos today even if the exposure to asbestos happened twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Asbestos takes many years to do its damage. So even if you left the railroad many years ago, you may still be able to bring a claim for cancer today.

Many railroad workers are also concerned they previously settled a case with the railroad. They often think if they have already settled a case, they cannot bring another claim for cancer. The question is: Can I still bring a claim for cancer even if I have already settled a case with the railroad? The question is a difficult one, but the answer is often yes. Settlements usually require signed release agreements. One of the terms of most release agreements is that the injured worker will not bring another claim against the railroad. However, these agreements may not be enforceable depending on the state where you live, the state where your exposure occurred, and the circumstances under which the release agreement was signed. Only an experienced FELA attorney can determine whether you can bring a second claim or not. Call us to evaluate your specific circumstances.

Synergy, latency, and prior releases are all common subjects for questions railroad workers and their families have about cancer claims. We can answer those questions for you. call us today at 1-800-374-2144 for more information. Time limits are important in FELA claims, so you should not delay.