The hazardous nature of work on the railroads prompted lawmakers to provide a means for injured workers to recover compensation from their employers. While the dangers posed by accidental injuries have long been understood, only recently has it come to light that conditions in the railroad industry also significantly increase workers’ risks of developing cancer. Filing a railroad cancer lawsuit could help you seek the compensation you need for medical expenses and other damages you have experienced. In addition, proceeds from a lawsuit could provide for future needs for yourself and your family if you were diagnosed with cancer after working in the railroad industry. Speak to a railroad injury attorney to discuss your case.
Initial Steps in Filing a Railroad Cancer Case
The first step in a railroad cancer lawsuit does not involve the legal system directly at all. However, this step is essential to build a solid foundation for a case.
The railroad worker should undergo a thorough medical evaluation and follow the instructions of the doctor. To recover compensation for cancer caused by working conditions, an employee will need evidence regarding the type and severity of the illness. Examinations and consultations with physicians can provide this vital evidence. It will also be necessary to gather evidence linking the cancer with the exposures to carcinogenic substances on the job.
The next critical step is to consult an experienced legal advocate. An attorney familiar with railroad cancer cases can explain the process, assist with the collection of evidence, work to protect the rights of the victim, and help avoid actions or statements that could be used by the employer to deny liability.
What a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit Involves
When a railroad employee suffering from cancer files a lawsuit, the case may be filed in either state or federal court.
Federal Employers Liability Act
The law under which the worker will seek compensation is the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, filing a railroad cancer lawsuit under FELA requires the worker to show that the negligence of the employer caused or contributed to the cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to collect evidence associated with the cancer and how working conditions may have caused the cancer. An attorney will often work with expert witnesses to prove this causal connection.
If the causation is clear, the employer may offer to settle the case. It is important to ensure that a settlement provides fair compensation for the effects of the illness and the future needs before accepting a settlement. An analysis of legal precedent could provide grounds for evaluating the adequacy of a settlement offer.
Soon after an injured worker files a lawsuit, the employer may ask the court for summary judgment. This is basically a request to cancel the lawsuit on the grounds that there is no evidence the employer did anything wrong. It is necessary to show the railroad employer’s negligence just to get past this hurdle so that the court can decide the merits of the case.
Let a Railroad Injury Attorney Help
While courts do not require an individual filing a railroad cancer lawsuit to be represented by an attorney, most claimants find it beneficial to work with an experienced legal advocate familiar with recovery under FELA. The railroad employer will be represented by seasoned lawyers who know how to take advantage of opportunities to fight a claim. Injured employees deserve to have equal experience fighting to protect their interests.
It may be particularly challenging to prove that the employer was negligent in failing to protect employees from dangers posed by toxic substances or that those substances caused the disease suffered by the employee. Call today to get started filing a railroad cancer lawsuit.