Esophageal cancer is a painful and sometimes deadly cancer that can sometimes result from ongoing exposure to occupational hazards. Railroad workers can be put at an especially high risk of developing esophageal cancer because they often work in close contact with substances such as diesel exhaust and asbestos. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer due to working on the railroad, you should retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney. A Pennsylvania railroad esophageal cancer lawyer could investigate your claim and help you hold your negligent employer accountable for damages. If the railroad company’s negligence is to blame – even in part – for your cancer diagnosis, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. Discuss your rights and legal options with a seasoned railroad cancer attorney.
What Is The Role of Negligence in Railroad Esophageal Cancer Claims?
Negligence must be proven on the basis of four, separate elements. These are a duty, breach of duty, causation, and harm. A railroad company owes its employees a legal duty of care to make reasonable provisions for their welfare and wellbeing. Therefore, if the railroad company breaches its duty, such as by neglecting to provide safe working conditions, and an employee later develops esophageal cancer as a result, the company could be responsible for the employee’s damages. Other common examples of railroad employer negligence relating to esophageal cancer claims are failing to properly train workers, noncompliance with federal safety regulations, and the use of unsafe equipment.
Exposure to Toxic Substances
There are a variety of risk factors that could make a person more prone to esophageal cancer, such as obesity, smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption. However, none of these factors disqualify a railroad worker from compensation. Esophageal cancer can also arise from negligent exposure to toxic substances like diesel or asbestos. Diesel exhaust is one of the most common chemicals that railroad workers deal with on a daily basis, including trackmen, laborers, and engineers. Diesel exhaust is comprised of a complex assortment of chemicals, including carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, and carbon, which can be incredibly damaging to the throat, lungs, and esophageal passageways.
Another common toxic substance that railroad employees often encounter is asbestos, particularly in aging railway cars. Asbestos contains tiny particles that are easily inhaled and disperse throughout the airways and other passages like the esophagus. The scarring caused by asbestos can later result in malignancy, sometimes 20 years or more after the person was exposed to the substance.
Seeking Compensation Under FELA
The Federal Employers Liability Act offers an opportunity for railroad workers who have sustained injuries or occupational illnesses to hold a negligent employer accountable. A skilled Pennsylvania attorney can help a plaintiff file an esophageal cancer claim against a railroad company for damages such as lost wages, pain, suffering, and medical bills. The worker may also be entitled to compensation for their emotional distress, psychological anguish, and disability resulting from the company’s negligence.
When Is THe Deadline to File a FELA Claim?
Most FELA cases have a three-year filing timeline, which means that if a worker does not start their claim within three years of being injured, they miss out on compensation. However, with claims involving the long-term ramifications of a railroad company’s negligence, such as esophageal cancer, the timeline can be extended. Often, a worker who is exposed to toxic substances like diesel or asbestos will not receive a cancer diagnosis until many years down the line. In cases such as this, the worker would have three years from the date they learned of their illness to file a FELA claim or when they first realized that claim could be work-related. This is a complicated area of law and only an experienced Pennsylvania railroad esophageal cancer attorney can determine if that time period has run.
Reach Out to a Pennsylvania Railroad Esophageal Cancer Attorney
A Pennsylvania railroad esophageal cancer lawyer could answer your legal questions and advocate for the successful resolution of your claim. If you or a loved one were unreasonably subjected to dangerous substances or chemicals by your railroad employer and you have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, an attorney can help you fight for the full and fair compensation you are owed. Call now to discuss your claim and legal options.