Although modern technology has shifted the traditional roles of railroad brakemen, many Ohio railroad workers still hold this job title within a railyard or aboard a working locomotive. Unfortunately, while those technological advances have made this job much safer than it once was, there are still plenty of hazardous working conditions that brakemen may find themselves dealing with. Any one of these could cause a worker to sustain long-term damage to their health. If your current or former railroad employer failed to provide a reasonably safe working environment for you, you might have grounds to seek compensation for any damages stemming from that environment with a FELA attorney’s assistance. If your injuries specifically stem from your work as a brakeman, it can be helpful to seek out an Ohio railroad brakemen injury lawyer with experience handling claims such as yours.
Working Hazards Faced by Brakemen and Conductors
Just like anyone who works in physical proximity to locomotive engines and rail cars, brakemen are at constant risk of suffering physical trauma or crushing injuries if they are in the wrong place when a train goes into motion or a braking mechanism is engaged. Even a single reckless act by a coworker or piece of malfunctioning equipment could cause an accident that leaves a brakeman unable to work. They also face extensive medical bills on their long road to recovery.
Additionally, working so close to railcars and within railyards exposes brakemen to all manner of hazardous materials, from diesel exhaust to caustic chemicals to asbestos in older buildings and cars. Years of exposure to these often-carcinogenic substances are correlated with a wide range of cancers, lung diseases, and other chronic and potentially life-threatening conditions. Experienced Ohio railroad brakeman injury attorneys know these facts all too well and could help someone who is suffering from these diseases.
Seeking Financial Recovery Through a FELA Claim
Most people who work in the state of Ohio have access to their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance in the event that dangerous conditions at work lead to them sustaining a serious injury or illness. Railroad workers, on the other hand, are covered by federal law rather than state-level workers’ comp systems. The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was established in 1908 with the expressed goal of reducing the appallingly high accident and injury rate within the railroad industry.
FELA claims work like typical personal injury litigation in the sense that injured claimants must show that their employers were negligent in some way in order to recover compensation. Instead of having to prove someone else’s negligence was the direct and primary cause of their damages, injured or ill railroad workers only need to prove that their employer’s negligence contributed to causing their injuries in some way.
A railroad employer that failed to provide a reasonably safe workplace by not providing appropriate safety equipment, maintaining negligent hiring practices, or doing something else irresponsible may be liable for both economic and non-economic consequences of an employee’s condition. A railroad brakeman injury lawyer in Ohio could explain how this process works in more detail during an initial consultation.
Speak with an Ohio Railroad Brakeman Injury Attorney Today
As one of the many people responsible for working directly on and around trains in railyards, brakemen face dangerous workplace hazards every day. If an employer’s negligence allows one of those hazards to cause preventable harm to a brakeman, that worker could have legal standing to pursue fair financial recovery from the company responsible for harming them.
An Ohio railroad brakeman injury lawyer could provide the assistance you might need to secure the favorable case result you deserve. Learn more by calling today.