If an illness or injury caused the premature death of a family member employed by the railroad, you may have a claim for compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA provides support for family members if they have lost a loved one due to cancer or other medical ailments connected with work on or near trains or locomotives. For years, employers in the railroad industry subjected their employees to hazardous conditions without sufficient safety measures. Those companies can and should be held liable for the harm caused to workers and their families. A New York railroad injury lawyer could help file a claim and take steps necessary to establish liability to help provide for the family in the future. Speak to a seasoned railroad injury attorney to learn about filing a New York railroad premature death lawsuit.
Eligibility to File a Claim for Premature Death
FELA specifies that when a railroad employee suffers death, the railroad may be required to pay damages to that employee’s personal representative. The compensation award is designated for the benefit of a surviving husband, wife, or child. If the employee does not have any surviving family, then compensation may be paid to the parents of the deceased or other specified next of kin.
Therefore, the person designated to manage the affairs of the deceased is the one to file a claim for premature death, but the parties who will obtain funds to meet future needs are the closest family members. A knowledgeable New York premature death lawyer could evaluate a situation and determine the parties entitled to recovery.
Types of Recoverable Damages
When working conditions on a train or in a rail yard or shop or along the tracks cause severe disease or injury that results in premature death, the family members may receive compensation to offset a variety of losses. These include:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills of the deceased
- Lost wages relied on for support
- Lost benefits and services the deceased would have provided
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
A skilled railroad lawyer could help recover compensation for each applicable factor regardless of whether a case settles in advance or proceeds to trial. An experienced attorney could calculate the value of each aspect based on legal precedent to determine a fair amount of compensation under the circumstances. This figure provides a basis to evaluate the fairness of any settlement offers.
Conditions That Can Lead to Premature Death in the Railroad Industry
Workers in all sectors of the railroad industry could have been exposed to substances or dangerous conditions that could cause a premature death. For instance, laborers who maintain the right of way may have been exposed to toxic chemicals such as high levels of pesticide while spraying weeds or silica while dumping ballast.
Engineers, conductors, and shop employees were often exposed to asbestos both on trains and in shops.
Many substances used in the railroad industry are carcinogenic and can cause conditions such as lung cancer. An attorney could review the facts of the case and help injured claimants file a New York railroad premature death lawsuit.
How a New York Railroad Lawyer Help With a Lawsuit
An experienced legal advocate can help in many ways if you believe railroad working conditions may have caused a premature death in your family. An attorney could investigate to determine who may be at fault and which parties could be held liable.
A railroad lawyer could handle questions and settlement negotiations, preventing missteps that could jeopardize recovery. To learn more about the nuances of filing a New York railroad premature death lawsuit, call for a consultation.