For those who work on the railroads, there are numerous pieces of heavy machinery and equipment they come into contact with on a daily basis. As always, there is a risk of injury if these machines are not used correctly. However, when equipment malfunctions occur, you may become injured despite taking the necessary precautions. As such, you may not know whether you can file a FELA claim, as you must prove your employer liable. Keep reading to learn more about how this process works and when you can hold your employer accountable with the help of a defective railcar equipment lawyer.
What Kind of Injuries Can Occur From Equipment Malfunctions?
Unfortunately, there are a significant number of catastrophic injuries that can occur when there is defective equipment in use. When an injury does not improve or cannot improve past a certain point, it can be considered catastrophic. Generally, these have a significant impact on the life of the injured party, and while they may not always be permanent, they need considerable medical treatment.
When equipment is defective or malfunctions, you may experience crush injuries, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injuries, among other severe damages. These can cause amputations, broken bones, nerve damage, and paralysis. Unfortunately, these injuries can be unbearable for workers. As a result of the severity of these wounds, you may experience a loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
When Are These Considered Negligence?
In order to receive compensation through the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), you must prove your employer was negligent in some capacity. Unfortunately, this includes employers who do not mitigate the risk of damages by adhering to set safety standards. Similarly, if an employee informs an employer that machinery is not functioning properly and they do nothing to remedy the issue, they can also be held liable for any damages that occur.
Generally, those who suffer an injury while working on railroads may file a FELA claim in which the Safety Appliance Act (SAA) can help strengthen a claim. However, SAA is only applicable to FELA claims when the train is in use. This means if the train is stopped for maintenance or inspection and the injury happens, you cannot use the SAA to support your claim. Instead, you must continue with a standard FELA claim.
When you’ve been injured by heavy machinery as the result of your employer’s negligence, it is essential to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Doran & Murphy, our dedicated legal team will work with you to fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can guide you through these challenging times