Railroad workers face the potential for serious injury due to the very nature of the environment in which they work. If you have been injured on the job as a railroad worker, here is what you need to know.
Aside from the risk of serious physical injury, railroad workers regularly fall victim to exposure to asbestos, chemicals, PCBs, diesel fuel, rail dust, cleaning agents, and various other harmful contaminants. This exposure often results in a number of lung conditions and illnesses.
These injuries and illnesses frequently affect a worker’s ability to return to the job, as well as, their medical health. In addition, the mounting medical bills and lost wages quickly add up, increasing the stress and pressure on the injured worker and his or her family.
The Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA)
If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Job-related injuries suffered by railroad workers are covered under a special federal provision called the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA).
FELA is comparable to workers compensation in New Jersey, except that if you are injured railroad worker, you have to prove that the railroad’s negligence caused the accident in which you were injured, instead of simply having to prove that the injury occurred and was work-related.
Proving negligence on the part of the railroad can be difficult and is why you need to seek the help of an experienced railroad accident lawyer immediately after being injured. If you and your attorney can prove that the railroad is at fault for your injuries, you will be entitled to four categories of damages: medical expenses, lost wages, disability & disfigurement, and pain & suffering. Together, these damages can amount to a sizable award.
The Statute of Limitation for FELA Claims
FELA has a three-year statute of limitations. This means any claims under the act need to be settled or appropriately filed prior to the three-year anniversary of the injury. Traumatic injuries, such as cuts, lacerations, and broken bones are simple to assess for statute of limitations purposes. They begin to run when the injury occurs.
However, in cases involving occupational diseases such as asbestosis or carpal tunnel syndrome, courts have held that the statute of limitations begins to run when the injured employee knows or should have known of his injury and its relationship to his or her employment. In this case, the statute of limitations begins to run when a physician tells the worker that he or she suffers from an occupational disease.
In either case, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced railroad accident attorney as soon as you have been injured on the job or suspect that your illness is related to your work at the railroad.
Contact Workman’s Compensation for New Jersey
Receiving FELA compensation for a work-related railroad injury is your right. But, the law is very complex. An experienced railroad accident lawyer can help.
Most railroad accident lawyers offer a no-cost initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. This means you will pay nothing until and unless they recovery damages on your behalf.
We assist clients in New Jersey with finding reputable and competent legal representation for work-related injury claims. Call Workman’s Compensation for New Jersey today to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.