A significant portion of Pennsylvania’s economy still relies on the Commonwealth’s extensive rail networks. The movement of goods and people across the land provides thousands of people with gainful employment. From people who work on moving trains, to maintenance workers, to people employed in stations, the risk of injury remains high. These scenarios can include accidents that cause physical harm and exposure to dangerous materials that can increase the chances of developing cancer. If a railroad is responsible for allowing these injuries or diseases to occur, they carry liability to provide compensation for a worker’s losses. A Pennsylvania railroad injury lawyer could help to pursue claims in local courthouses on behalf of injured railroad workers. An experienced railroad injury attorney could work to explain how a person’s status as a railway employee changes the usual workers’ compensation laws and demand fair payments from employers.
The Federal Employers Liability Act and Railroad Injuries
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) controls worker claims following injuries or illnesses that arise out of workplace injuries on the railroad. This applies not only to workers who perform their jobs on the trains themselves, but also to maintenance workers, people that work to fix rails, and even employees in stations.
This law overrides local workers’ compensation laws that normally render a workplace injury a matter for workers’ compensation insurance companies. The FELA specifically states that injured or ill railway workers have the right to demand compensation from their employers for their losses, if those losses are due to the railroad company’s negligence. This can involve pursuing a lawsuit in a state or federal courthouse. A dedicated Pennsylvania railroad injury attorney could help to explain how federal laws control claims for compensation following railway injuries.
What Types of Injuries Could Affect Railroad Employees?
Working on the railroad presents workers with many hazards and the potential for injuries. At the simplest level, a worker may suffer an injury from a falling tool or a malfunctioning piece of machinery. This can affect workers on the trains themselves or people employed in maintenance shops. Even something as basic as a slip and fall on an oil patch can indicate employer negligence and entitle a worker to compensation.
Other examples of workplace-related injuries are more complex. There is a high prevalence of workplace illness connected to time spent working for the railroads. Exposure to toxic substances such as creosote, asbestos, and diesel fumes increases the risk of developing malignant cancers. A railroad that exposes its workers to these substances is just as liable for the resulting injuries as those that allow oil to remain on a shop floor. A skilled Pennsylvania railroad injury attorney could help to investigate the causes and effects of injuries that occur because of doing one’s job for the railroad.
Let a Pennsylvania Railroad Injury Attorney Help to Pursue the Case
Injuries that occur while in the employ of a railroad company place many workers in a difficult legal position. Unlike most workers who enjoy protections under the workers’ compensation laws, railway employees must seek compensation for their losses directly from their employers. In many instances, this may involve taking a case to court.
Fortunately, an experienced Pennsylvania-licensed railroad injury lawyer may be able to help. They could work to investigate the cause of an injury or illness and to connect that condition to an employer’s negligence. They could also aim to measure the extent of your losses to demand appropriate payments in court and settlement talks. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your claim.