In addition to the constant risks of physical injury due to machinery malfunctions and accidents, railroad work also puts employees at serious risk of long-term health complications as well. One of the most common and debilitating side effects that railroad work can have is the development of chronic asthma, which may severely limit a worker’s ability to perform tasks or even force them to retire early. If you believe your asthma diagnosis is connected to your time working in and around diesel locomotives, a conversation with a New York railroad asthma lawyer may be in your best interests. An experienced railroad injury attorney could determine whether you have grounds for claim and work to get you fair financial compensation, putting your best interests and those of your family first every step of the way.
What Type of Illnesses Can a Railroad Employee Sustain Due to Hazards On The Railroad?
While railroad workers are exposed to various hazardous substances in the course of a typical workday, the contaminant most commonly associated with long-term lung damage and disease is exhaust from diesel-fueled engines. Beyond just asthma, inhalation of diesel fumes is known to increase a railroad worker’s risk of contracting various other diseases as well, including lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and “black lung.”
Unfortunately, even though the negative effects of diesel exhaust have been known for decades, many employers in the railroad industry have —and in many cases, still continue—to force employees to work in unsafe conditions. This dramatically increases the susceptibility of these workers to serious health problems. As experienced New York railroad asthma attorneys know all too well, poor ventilation in work areas, the collection of soot and dust inside train cabs, and work performed alongside operating engines all expose workers to dangerous diesel fumes, with potentially devastating long-term consequences.
What Options Do Railroad Employees Have for Seeking Compensation?
For most workers in the state of New York, injuries and illnesses stemming from hazardous workplace conditions would serve as grounds for a workers’ compensation claim, through which an impacted worker could seek compensation for certain economic damages without having to prove negligence by their employer. Railroad workers must seek compensation for work-related health problems through the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which requires them to prove that their employer negligently failed to provide safe working conditions for them.
On the bright side, successful FELA claims allow recovery for both economic and non-economic damages. In other words, with help from a railroad asthma lawyer in New York, a current or former railroad worker could seek compensation for virtually any negative impact stemming from their work-related asthma, including medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, loss of past wages, physical pain, shortness of breath and even emotional anguish.
Speak with a New York Railroad Asthma Attorney Today
Even a mild case of asthma can impose significant limits on a person’s personal and professional life, and more severe cases may leave a formerly dependable worker completely unable to perform physical tasks. Even if you suffered any ill effects from asthma many years after working as a railroad employee, you may still have grounds to seek financial recovery for every one of those effects.
However, since FELA claims can be complicated and difficult for inexperienced individuals to manage on their own, enlisting professional help should be your top priority before pursuing one yourself. Call today to schedule a meeting with a New York railroad asthma lawyer about your unique case.