Since they spend so much time around diesel locomotives, railroad employees who work as machinists are especially susceptible to both workplace injuries and long-term health complications, like cancer Either way, getting injured or sick due to railroad work can be devastating both personally and professionally, as you may be unable to return to work for a long period of time—if you are able to return at all. While railroad workers with job-related health problems often have grounds to seek financial restitution through the Federal Employers Liability Act, your first priority before pursuing any kind of claim yourself should be talking to a knowledgeable railroad injury attorney about your legal options. With help from a New York machinist injury lawyer, you should be able to effectively pursue the best course of action for your unique situation.
Injuries and Illness On the Railroad | New York Machinist Lawyer
In the course of operating, maintaining, and even just inspecting machinery in train yards, machinists in the railroad industry are constantly exposed to various dangerous chemicals. Most notably, asbestos dust is a near ever-present contaminant in the air around diesel locomotives. Long-term exposure to asbestos is correlated with lung cancer, mesothelioma, and various other forms of lung diseases and cancers.
The Dangers of Industrial Solvents
Industrial solvents and cleaners, typically used by machinists in the railroad industry have been shown to cause numerous diseases, including cancer and various neurological conditions. Diesel fumes can also lead to serious health issues as well, including increased risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and the development of asthma. Last but certainly not least, anyone responsible for operating or working around heavy machinery may be at risk of catastrophic harm in a crushing accident, or simply long-term damage due to repetitive stress on ligaments and joints.
Regardless of the nature of a railroad machinist’s condition, FELA allows them to seek compensation directly from their employer if they can prove that their employer’s negligence directly led to the unsafe conditions that caused their injury or illness. A New York machinist injury attorney could provide essential assistance both with collecting evidence of employer fault and presenting that evidence in a comprehensive FELA claim.
How Can Railroad Employees Seek Compensation For Damages?
While FELA fills a similar role for railroad workers that workers’ compensation insurance does for employees in other industries, the two systems are not identical to each other. Workers’ comp claims do not require a finding of negligence on an employer’s part, but as a consequence of that, they only allow recovery for certain economic damages. Conversely, FELA claims require claimants to prove negligent conduct by their employer, however, even the slightest amount of negligence may trigger FELA liability. Once a worker is able to demonstrate this, they can recover for a much wider variety of losses.
Depending on the circumstances, a New York lawyer may be able to help an injured railroad machinist pursue restitution for damages like:
- Medical expenses
- Costs of future rehabilitative care
- Short-term wage loss while recovering from an injury
- Long-term earning capacity lost due to a chronic illness or permanent injury
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
If applicable, legal counsel could also help surviving family members of a deceased machinist file a FELA claim over a work-related injury or illness that directly contributed to their loved one’s death.
Contact a New York Machinist Injury Attorney Today
Machinists fulfill a critical role in the locomotive industry, but they often also put themselves at risk of serious harm while doing so. If you or someone you know got hurt or contracted a debilitating disease because of work maintaining train engines or operating machinery in a shop or railyard, the steps you take to seek financial recovery after the fact could have an immense impact on your physical and financial future.
Once retained, a New York machinist injury lawyer could explain all your options to you and relentlessly pursue a positive outcome to your situation. Call today to learn more about the help a seasoned attorney could provide.