Working on the railroad is a dangerous profession. An acute hazard on the job could lead to sudden death. In many cases, working on the railroad could result in an individual contracting a fatal illness over time. If your loved one passed away due to their time working on the railroad, the decedent’s surviving estate may be eligible to recover compensation. A premature death lawyer could review the facts of your case and prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of your loved one. A compassionate railroad injury attorney could advise you of your legal options and help you make the best decision for your family.
The Legal Basis for a Wrongful Death Claim
A premature death claim connected to a worker’s time spent as an employee is similar to many other wrongful death cases. According to the Federal Employers Liability Act of 1908, United States District Courts and the courts of every state have the jurisdiction to hear these claims brought on behalf of deceased railroad workers’ families against owners. However, much like a wrongful death claim, the fact that an individual passed away due to occupational hazards is insufficient on its own to prevail in a claim.
To win a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff’s premature death lawyer must prove that:
- The worker’s condition that led to death was the result, even in part, of working for the railroad
- That the railroad was negligent in allowing that condition to manifest
- That the worker died as a result of that condition
For example, if a shop worker contracts lung cancer after suffering exposure to diesel fumes, it appears that there is a clear connection between their employment and their condition. However, it is also necessary to provide evidence of how that employer’s failure to provide protection caused the toxic exposure. Examples may include not providing proper ventilation, having inadequate training programs, or not providing employees with breathing masks. Additionally, it does not matter if the individual also smoked cigarettes because the railroad cause need only be a part of the cause of the cancer
A skilled lawyer who has experience handling with rail worker premature death claims could help families to initiate and pursue claims against negligent railroad companies.
Incidents that May Lead to Premature Death
A premature death could occur due to being exposed to the hazards of working on the railroad. Perhaps the most visible example of this dynamic is the carcinogens prevalent in the railroad industry. Known hazardous substances such as asbestos, diesel fuel, silica, industrial solvents, chemical weed sprays, and even creosote could cause premature death after even short exposure times.
If there is a substantial connection between the onset of these conditions and a worker’s employment, the railroad company could be held liable. In most employment situations, this would allow a surviving family to pursue payments through a workers’ compensation insurance program. However, the railroad industry is a prominent example of an industry that is not required to provide this protection. Instead, family members must directly take legal action against the railroad for their negligence that led to the death.
Let an Attorney Help With Rail Worker Premature Death Claims
The death of a loved one could be difficult for any family. These deaths could become even more tragic they could have been prevented. However, an experienced lawyer could help bring your family some financial relief while you grieve. A wrongful death lawsuit could help to provide compensation to a family following the death of a former railroad worker. Many of these jobs expose people to known carcinogens and other hazardous materials that could contribute to cancer and other health complications. If there is a connection between exposure to hazards and an employee’s premature death, that railroad may be liable for damages.
A knowledgeable attorney who has experience handling rail worker premature death claims could work to make the causal connections, to demonstrate railroad owner negligence, and to demand fair payments needed to set things right. Whenever you are ready, call to schedule a consultation.