man after exposure to harmful substances

When most people go to work, it seems like a given that they can complete their job duties in a safe environment. However, this is not always the case. For railroad workers, sustaining injuries and illnesses because of their occupation is far from uncommon. Despite implementing laws to make job sites safer, many railroad employees receive life-changing diagnoses annually. As such, familiarizing yourself with the most common illnesses these employees can endure and how they can recover compensation for the expenses is critical. The following blog explores what you should know about these circumstances and how a railroad cancer lawyer can help you fight for the damages you deserve.

What Can Cause Railroad Workers to Fall Ill?

Railroad workers are exposed to many hazardous materials at a high rate due to the nature of their jobs. Not only can the train emit harmful substances, but it also transports dangerous materials that workers often have to handle. Additionally, if they are working on a job site, it may be necessary to use harsh chemicals to kill weeds.

Generally, diesel and welding fumes can harm employees, as they may breathe these substances in. Additionally, asbestos can cause severe illness, as these minuscule fibers can enter the air and, when inhaled, attach themselves to the lungs.

Solvents, silica dust, creosote, and lead are all hazardous substances workers often handle or come into contact with that can lead to railroad-related illnesses because of repeated and prolonged exposure.

What Are the Most Common Illnesses?

Unfortunately, the most common illnesses for railroad workers exposed to these substances are cancers. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Mesothelioma
  • Lymphoma

Aside from cancer, railroad employees can also suffer from COPD, scleroderma, and pulmonary fibrosis. All of these illnesses can result in high medical bills, pain and suffering, and a diminished quality of life.

What Should I Do if My Diagnosis is Work-Related?

Receiving a life-changing diagnosis can be devastating. Though it seems like no amount of compensation can revert your life to the way it was, ensuring you receive damages for the illness you’ve suffered because of a negligent employer is critical.

Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), railroad workers can file a claim against their employer if they were negligent. For example, if your employer did not train you on how to handle these materials or did not provide proper personal protective equipment, they can be found negligent and thus must pay a portion of your medical bills.

It’s necessary to understand the statute of limitations for these matters. As many illnesses can take years to develop, the three-year statute of limitations for FELA claims may seem impossible. However, when it comes to illnesses, the statute begins when you were diagnosed and knew or should have known that the diagnosis was caused by your work.

As you can see, many factors can influence the outcome of your FELA claim. That’s why connecting with an experienced attorney from Doran & Murphy to help you get the compensation you are entitled to is critical. Our firm understands the impacts a cancer diagnosis can have on your life. When caused by a railroad company, we believe you should fight for the funds you deserve. Contact our team today to learn how we will fight for the justice you deserve.