Railroad Injury and FELA Lawyers in NJ
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted by Congress in 1908 to address the large quantity of work-related injuries and deaths within the railroad industry, leading to action from our railroad injury lawyers in NJ.
Enacted to provide railroad employees a safe place to work and give them and their families the right to gain compensation if injured in a work-related accident, FELA allows employees that are injured to seek compensation with lawyers for:
- Wage loss
- Future wage loss
- Medical expenses and treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Partial or permanent disability
Additionally, if the railroad employee is killed on the job, survivors are able to recover damages.
FELA was, “…intended to place upon the railroad employer the burden of the lives and limbs [and lungs] consumed in the wake of the railroad’s dangerous operations.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas.
Traumatic Date Certain Injury or Death – The railroad or employer bears responsibility for injuries if it failed to take the proper steps to protect the safety of its workers. Under FELA, the railroads have a duty to provide a safe place of work for their employees. This extends to equipment and tools, along with working conditions. If an employee suffers railroad injuries due to carelessness or negligence, the railroad is held responsible and liable to the injured worker for any damages suffered through lawyers and litigation.
Railroad Fault/Railroader Lack of Fault–When a railroad accident happens, the employee, foreman and supervisor are required to obtain a statement as to how the work-related accident occurred immediately. It is advised to speak to an experienced FELA attorney before making your statement. For a railroad employee, it is imperative that the initial statement clearly places blame for the cause of the accident on something that the railroad did, or failed to do. The initial statement should also clearly state that the employee complied with all safety rules at the time and that any action or inaction played no part in the cause of the injury.
Prompt Reporting and Legal Counsel – A railroad employer’s safety rules require that the accident is promptly reported to eliminate the railroad’s opportunity to claim that the injury occurred off the job. Do not allow a foreman or supervisor to talk you out of immediately reporting an injury for any reason.
Processing of US RRB and Supplemental Sickness Benefits – When a railroad worker has been injured on the job, the first concern is his/her family’s need that the time between the worker’s injury and receipt of sickness benefits is as short as possible. Our FELA attorneys will provide you with the necessary US RRB and Supplemental Sickness Forms and coordinate the completion of those forms by you and your doctor, so that this period of time is as short as possible.
Importance of Quality Medical Care – Unlike most state workers’ statutory schemes (NJ and PA), the railroad employer has no control over your healthcare providers, allowing you to select the treating physician of your choice.
Occupational Illness or Death – Today, the railroad industry is still regarded as one of the most dangerous industries in the country, with railroad injury lawyers in NJ being on your side. Not all railroad-related injuries and deaths are due to accidents and derailments. Many railroad employees are diagnosed with lung-related illnesses as a result of occupational exposure to harmful materials and substances such as asbestos, chemicals, PCBs, diesel fumes, rail dust, cleaning agents and various other harmful substances.
Failure to warn or failure to provide appropriate respiratory protective equipment can result in the railroad being held responsible for a railroad worker’s injuries.
Frequent Occupational Illnesses and Injuries for Railroad Workers
Toxic Exposures – Many rail workers have been exposed to asbestos, diesel fumes, silica, metals, solvents or other hazardous materials. This can result in a number of symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, frequent head and/or chest colds and more. It is important to schedule an appointment and request chest x-rays and Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) immediately. If any abnormalities are found, you should promptly contact our FELA lawyers.
Cumulative Trauma and/or Repetitive Motion Injury – Railroad workers are at risk not only for date-certain injuries and/or pulmonary illnesses due to toxic exposure, but also injuries caused by the forceful repetitive use of their hands and other body parts. This may involve vibration, awkward positioning and extreme temperatures causing repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and/or worn out body parts.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – The main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling it the hands, elbows or arms; hand, elbow or arm pain and loss of grip strength. It is important to immediately see a doctor and have them perform tests on your hands, elbows and arms to test for carpal tunnel syndrome. If the results are in any way abnormal, you should promptly contact our FELA lawyers in NJ.
Worn Out Body Parts – If you have had multiple lost-time work injuries due to a worn out body part, especially if surgery was required, and you were told by a doctor that you should no longer do your railroad work, you may be able to file a claim for a repetitive motion injury or worn-out body part.
Hearing Loss and Audiometry – Railroad workers are exposed to excessive noise pollution in the workplace. If you have suffered from hearing loss or have noticed a change in your hearing, contact our FELA lawyers today.
Under FELA, a railroad worker has three years from when he/she knew or should have known that he/she sustained a railroad work-related injury to bring a FELA lawsuit. FELA lawsuits should be filed promptly and well before any statute of limitations concerns to ensure that the worker can receive full compensation for their injuries.
Contact our experienced FELA lawyers today or get a free consultation for more information about bringing a FELA lawsuit. You can also call us at 855-800-0093 for additional details.