It is widely known in the railroad industry that workers are exposed to various occupational hazards and toxic chemicals on a day-to-day basis. From engineers to conductors to laborers to machine operators, railroad employees are frequently exposed to dangerous substances like asbestos, diesel exhaust, and silica dust. Prolonged exposure to these types of occupational hazards can lead to cancer. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with esophageal cancer after working on the railroad, it may be time to speak with an Ohio railroad esophageal cancer lawyer. A knowledgeable railroad cancer attorney could advise whether you may be justified in bringing a negligence claim against the railroad company seeking damages. A lawyer could also assist you with filing a claim.
Common Railroad Toxins That Can Lead to Esophageal Cancer
Railroad workers are often exposed to extremely toxic chemicals while on the job. Many of these substances are known to cause severe illnesses such as asthma, various cancers, and heart attacks.
How Dangerous is Asbestos to Railroad Workers?
Asbestos exposure is one of the leading causes of esophageal cancer and railroad workers. When asbestos is inhaled, long-term injuries to the tissues of the esophagus can result. Asbestos is common in older railroad cars, locomotives, and buildings. The material has carcinogenic properties, and carcinogens can create an environment ripe for cancer by inflicting severe damage at the cellular level.
Diesel engine exhaust also has carcinogenic properties, which is why prolonged exposure to hazardous fumes may eventually cause a railroad worker to develop esophageal cancer.
Exposure to Silica
Another highly dangerous substance that railroad workers have frequent exposure to is silica. Track laborers and machine operators are at particular risk of dangerous silica exposure during rail bed construction because silica is commonly found in granite and limestone ballast. Frequent silica exposure can result in scar tissue, lung damage and inflammation which may lead to malignancy down the line. An Ohio attorney could review your esophageal cancer case to assess your eligibility to pursue damages from the railroad company.
Filing an Esophageal Cancer Claim Under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act
While worker’s compensation insurance covers many occupational injuries and illnesses, railroad workers do not have access to this kind of coverage. However, workers who suffer injuries due to the negligence of the railroad company can pursue compensation under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).
A FELA claimant must be able to demonstrate that the negligence of the railroad company was a cause for their cancer. Importantly, it need not be the only cause. Therefore, individuals that smoked cigarettes may also bring claims for occupationally-related cancer. Recovering compensation under FELA often poses particular difficulties. Railroad workers pursuing a FELA claim due to an esophageal cancer diagnosis should enlist help from an Ohio attorney who understands the intricacies of the laws involved.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable Under FELA?
Several types of compensation may be claimed under FELA. A railroad worker may recover economic damages, such as their lost wages, hospital bills, cancer treatment costs, and other specific financial losses. Non-economic forms of compensation for the individual’s pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and diminished earning ability may also be collected in a FELA case.
Deadline to Hire an Ohio Lawyer & Initiate a Cancer Claim
The general deadline to initiate legal action under FELA is 3 years from the date the worker sustains harm. However, in the case of a cancer diagnosis, the malignancy may not be discovered until years after the initial exposure to a toxic substance. In these circumstances, the filing period often does not commence until the worker receives an esophageal cancer diagnosis and the worker knows or should have known that the cancer has been caused by exposures at the railroad. Consulting with an experienced FELA lawyer is the only way for a railroad worker to avoid the risk of missing the deadline.
Contact an Ohio Railroad Esophageal Cancer Attorney
If you would like to discuss whether you may qualify to file a FELA claim, you can schedule a consultation with an Ohio railroad esophageal cancer lawyer. An attorney could help you evaluate your legal options and assess the value of your potential claim. Call now to schedule a consultation.