All workplaces pose a risk of injury for employees, but some place workers at far higher risk than others. The railroad industry can pose a significant risk of danger for employees. However, when trackman injuries occur, injury victims may have legal recourse against their employers in some cases. Railroad workers enjoy specific protections under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). This federal law provides compensation to injured railroad workers in some situations. When you have suffered injuries while working on the railway as a trackman or in another position, an experienced lawyer may be able to help. Reach out to a dedicated railroad injury attorney to learn about your legal options.
What Are Some Common Railroad Trackman Injuries & Illnesses?
A railroad trackman works with a crew to install new railroad tracks and maintain existing railroad tracks. This crew physically removes and replaces damaged areas of the track, replaces or repairs switches, and cuts and installs new railroad tracks. These individuals routinely work with heavy machinery to adjust, install, restore, and repair all aspects of railroad tracks.
Individuals working as trackmen are prone to sustain severe injuries due to the usual hazards of their job. Falls and mishaps with large equipment are only a few examples of how a railroad trackman can suffer severe injuries, many of which are life-threatening. Fortunately, these injuries to a trackman may be compensable under FELA.
The materials used in railroad maintenance and construction can lead to the development of severe illnesses and medical conditions in railroad workers. These workers routinely are exposed to diesel exhaust, silica dust, creosote, asbestos, and other chemical fumes. These chemicals, which arise from locomotives, diesel-powered machinery, and other construction materials, can cause significant medical problems for individuals working as trackmen.
How Does A Railroad Employee File A FELA Claim?
When railroad workers develop illnesses or sustain injuries on the job, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits like employees of other companies. Railroad workers must file claims under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA, 45 U.S.C. § 51. Claiming compensation under FELA, however, is far more challenging than claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
FELA requires injury victims to prove that the railroad owner or operator committed negligence in causing their illnesses or injuries. Negligence requires evidence that the owners or operators of the railroad company acted in careless disregard for the safety of their workers by failing to maintain a safe workplace. A diligent railroad personal injury lawyer may be able to assist injured workers in building strong claims for compensation under FELA.
Calculating Losses For a Claim
The impact of a severe injury can be devastating for railroad employees and their families. They may suffer various losses for which they may be able to recover compensation under FELA. Some of the potential damages that may be available include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Family members of injured railroad workers also may have claims for injuries. The loss of economic support, emotional distress, and loss of companionship of their family member all are potentially compensable damages in a FELA claim. By seeking the advice of a railroad injury attorney, individuals may be able to seek compensation for their losses.
The nature and extent of the damages available in cases involving trackman injury or illness differ widely according to various circumstances. The permanency of the injury or disease, its effects on the ability to work, and the likelihood of future medical treatment all affect the value of damages. Legal counsel can be vital in helping assess the value of a railroad injury claim.
Reach Out to a Railroad Trackman Injury Attorney Today
Railroad trackman injuries can be life-altering and permanently disabling in some cases. Individuals who have sustained injuries as a result of rail carrier negligence may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Federal law provides a potential remedy for injured railroad workers to pursue their claims.
The railroad industry is a dangerous one for all workers. Congress has acknowledged those dangers by requiring railroad companies to maintain reasonably safe working conditions for their employees. When companies are negligent in providing a safe workplace or failing to train and provide employees with safety equipment, they may be liable for any injuries that result. Schedule a consultation today.