Few industries pose a consistently greater risk of injury to workers than the railroad industry. That is especially true when those workers spend most of their workday aboard or around moving locomotives. Even though engineers do not face quite as many physical hazards as other railroad workers, they can still sustain serious and long-lasting harm to their health through exposure to dangerous substances and stress injuries caused by repetitive motion. Any rail workers who get hurt or ill because their employer acted negligently in some way could have grounds to pursue compensation through a FELA claim with a qualified railroad injury attorney’s assistance. If you are a current or former engineer dealing with health problems related to your railroad career, a Pennsylvania railroad engineer injury lawyer is available to help.
Engineer Injuries That Could Justify Litigation
There are various ways that negligence by a railroad company increases the risk that one of their engineers gets hurt in an accident or contracts a long-term illness due to unreasonably dangerous working conditions. In the former context, engineers commonly suffer injuries on the job related to slips and falls, equipment failures and malfunctions, and poorly designed or maintained seats.
As for illnesses, engineers are often exposed to just as many dangerous chemicals and carcinogens as any other rail worker, especially if they work with the windows of their cab open to get a cross-breeze in the warmer months. Exhaust from diesel engines and asbestos fibers from older insulation materials are both correlated with an increased risk of mesothelioma. The risk also increases for various other harmful and deadly illnesses like lung cancer and asbestosis. A Pennsylvania train engineer injury attorney could review a particular worker’s circumstances and help determine whether they could have grounds to pursue financial compensation.
Rules for Pursuing Compensation Under FELA
While the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) that is enshrined in federal law takes the place of a standard state-level workers’ compensation system for railroad workers, it does not work the same way. Rather than automatically imposing liability on employers for certain damages stemming from workplace injuries or illnesses, FELA imposes a basic duty on railroad companies to provide reasonably safe workplaces for their employees. It also allows those employees to seek compensation if their employer’s negligence contributes to causing them harm.
Successful FELA claimants could recover for both economic and non-economic repercussions of a work-related injury, including past and future medical bills, lost work income, lost earning capacity, physical and psychological pain, and lost quality of life. As a railroad engineer injury lawyer in Pennsylvania could explain, prospective claimants have just three years after sustaining injury—or three years after being diagnosed with a chronic illness caused by unsafe working conditions—to formally start the litigation process.
Talk to a Pennsylvania Railroad Engineer Injury Attorney Today
Railroad engineers perform vital work inside every railyard and aboard every operating train in the country. The railroad industry literally could not function without them. Unfortunately, the crucial role these workers fill does not make them immune from the various hazards and dangers that come with railroad work, some of which have the potential to cause them lasting harm.
A Pennsylvania railroad engineer injury lawyer could explain your rights, help you review your recovery options, and advocate for your best interests from start to finish of whatever litigation you want to pursue. Call today to schedule a consultation.