Railroad workers who weld locomotive parts together may develop occupational diseases as a result of inhaling toxic welding fumes. When workers suffer lung disease or other medical conditions as a result of welding work, they may have claims under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA. A New York railroad welding fumes lawyer may be able to assess your case and determine whether you have a viable claim for damages under FELA.
Workers who develop severe and permanent illnesses as a result of their welding work for the railroad may be unable to work and incur substantial medical expenses. Getting legal advice in this situation to protect your rights can be crucial. A railroad injury lawyer may be able to represent your interests in seeking damages for your losses.
What Are Some Common Side Effects of Railroad Welding Fume Exposure in New York?
Railroad workers often must perform welding of locomotive parts as a portion of their job duties. Welding fumes typically contain various kinds of metal, depending on the materials being welded. Continual exposure to welding fumes can have both short-term and long-term effects.
Potential short-term effects of exposure to welding fumes include throat dryness and coughing. Some workers develop “metal fume fever,” which has flu-like symptoms. The more problematic side effects of welding fume exposure, however, are long-term.
Some of the most toxic metals produced by welding fumes are manganese, lead, nickel, cadmium, and chromium. Although some of these metals are essential dietary minerals, inhalation of these substances in large amounts can be deadly, leading to lung cancer, toxic encephalopathy, and bladder cancer. Other medical conditions that can result from inhalation may include:
- Reduced lung capacity
- Kidney failure
- Stomach ulcers
- Nasal, laryngeal, and pancreatic cancers
Central nervous disorders also may develop from heightened levels of various metals in the blood of workers. The types of metals welded also has a direct impact on the kind of medical conditions that may result. The assistance of a railroad welding fumes attorney in New York can be critical in helping ill workers get the compensation that they need.
Proving Negligence in Railroad Welding Fume Claims
Filing a claim under FELA based on railroad welding fume exposure requires evidence that of negligence on behalf of the employer. Some examples of potential negligence in welding fume cases may include:
- Failure to provide ventilated workspaces for welding
- Lack of proper or adequate safety equipment and gear
- Failure to establish and enforce safety protocols for welders
- Lack of training about following safety procedures for welding
A railroad welding fumes lawyer in New York can help gather the evidence necessary to prove a FELA claim. Legal counsel can examine medical records, evaluate the exposure to welding fumes, and begin to build a valid claim for damages under FELA.
What Types of Damages May Be Recovered in a Railroad Welding Fumes Case?
Damages may be available for workers who are injured due to employer negligence that exposed them to toxic fumes from welding. For instance, workers may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses related to their medical conditions that developed from welding fumes. FELA authorizes workers to receive compensation for their lost wages, perhaps indefinitely, based on the circumstances.
General or non-economic damages also may be available in FELA claims based on welding fume exposure. These damages include physical pain and suffering, loss of support to family members, and emotional trauma, among others. Injured workers may seek these damages under FELA, although most workers cannot seek them under their state worker’s compensation systems.
Call a New York Railroad Welding Fumes Attorney for Advice
Even if workers take some precautions to avoid exposure to welding fumes, those measures may not prevent occupational diseases such as cancer and lung disease. When employers are negligent in keeping railroad workers safe, they may face liability for the costs of the injuries to their workers. A New York railroad welding fumes lawyer can be a vital component in your quest to hold railroads accountable for their negligence.
A FELA claim may permit you to achieve some level of financial security while battling your illness. You also may be better able to access the ongoing medical care that your illness necessitates. Call today to discuss your legal options.