Every year, hundreds of railroad workers, including foremen, suffer injuries and develop illnesses in the course of their regular work duties. Accidents, derailments, chemical exposure, and other incidents all can lead to catastrophic injuries and medical conditions for workers. When foremen injuries occur as a result of railroad negligence, injury victims may have a means of legal recourse to hold railroads accountable for their wrongful and unsafe behaviors. Seeking damages from rail carriers when their negligence has led to your injuries may help prevent similar injuries to other workers in the future. You also may be able to collect much-needed compensation to assist you with medical bills and lost wages. An experienced railroad injury lawyer can be critical in helping you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled under federal law.
Common Sources of Illnesses for Foremen on Railroads
Railroad foremen are often in charge of directing crews or gangs of workers who construct, maintain, and repair railroad track. Although they may not directly be doing as much or the same work as the laborers, they still can suffer from severe illnesses caused by exposure to various hazardous substances in their daily duties. Some of these dangerous substances may include:
- Silica from digging, moving, and dumping granite ballast, or workers operating ballast regulators, brooms, and tampers
- Diesel exhaust from diesel-operated machines, passing locomotives, and heating in railroad camp cars
- Asbestos from insulation and fire shields behind stoves in camp cars, as well as asbestos rope stored in drums of diesel fuel
- Creosote from railroad ties treated with creosote
What Types of Illness Could a Foreman Develop?
These materials can result in devastating illnesses for the foremen who are exposed to them. Foremen may develop various types of cancers, including lung cancer, and mesothelioma may result from chronic exposure to these toxins. Other potential illnesses can include asbestosis, pulmonary disease, and leukemia.
Filing Claims for Compensation Under FELA
Injuries to foremen and other railroad workers can be devastating, and these workers have the right to seek compensation for their losses. Building a strong claim for benefits under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA, 45 U.S.C. § 51, however, is not always an easy task. Rail carriers are accustomed to defending against FELA claims and customarily do everything possible to minimize their liability.
Often, injury victims who choose to work directly with a claim agent for their employer will receive an immediate settlement offer. Nonetheless, this settlement offer is likely to be extraordinarily low since the agent has a vested interest in paying you as little as possible for your injuries. The bottom line is that a railroad claims agent is not operating in your best interests.
By enlisting the assistance of seasoned railroad injury lawyers, injury victims may have a better chance of reaching a full and fair settlement of their claims. They may be able to receive compensation sufficient to meet their medical needs and provide them a source of income while off work. In the case of permanent impairments, they may be able to obtain the compensation necessary for support and future medical care.
What is the Deadline to File a FELA Claim?
Railroad workers who have suffered job-related injuries or illnesses should report their injuries or medical conditions to their employers right away. Failure to immediately report an incident can lead to claims by employers that the injuries did not occur in the workplace. Supervisors also may try to talk foremen and other workers out of formally reporting their injuries, whether to maintain their clean safety records or avoid accusations of negligence.
Injured railroad employees have three years under FELA in which to file their claim for damages against negligent railways. This deadline gives injury victims ample time to seek legal counsel and develop a plan of action to seek compensation for foremen injuries. Consulting an experienced railroad injury lawyer may be vital to a successful claim.
Injuries to Foremen in the Railroad Industry
Foremen injuries can be overwhelming and stressful, particularly as you are struggling to both pay your bills and recover from severe injuries. Getting the legal advice in this situation may be crucial to your ability to seek and receive the damages that you deserve.
Not only can you seek compensation for your losses, but you also can hold negligent railroads accountable for their negligent behavior. Taking the step to file a FELA claim can not only benefit you, but it can prevent others from suffering similar injuries or illnesses in the future. Call today to schedule a consultation.