Railroaders have one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs in the country. They have a high risk of encountering hazards on the job that can cause severe injuries and even death.
Because the work is so critical and the job so dangerous, since 1908, the U.S. has had a special law specifically protecting railroaders. Railyard and train workers can turn to the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) for compensation when they are injured at work. The law also provides benefits to the families of railroaders who die of work-related illnesses or injuries.
Obtaining benefits under FELA requires the help of an experienced and knowledgeable workplace accident attorney. An Alice railroad injury lawyer is familiar with the law and knows how to obtain maximum compensation for injured workers.
Hazards Railroaders Face at Work
Railroad yards are full of activity as well as hazards. Workers are at risk of being hit by a train or heavy equipment in the yard. Falls from a height are also a risk for carpenters, electricians, welders, and others who may have to work above ground level. Electrocution is always a possibility.
Workers on the trains risk injury from a collision or derailment. Exposure to heated metal on trains can cause burns, and train workers are vulnerable to injuries from flammable cargo exploding. All railroaders risk injury from a slip or trip and fall. Exposure to toxic substances and hazardous materials is common among railroad workers, and falling objects can cause significant head injuries.
A railroad worker is entitled to compensation when they get hurt because the railroad does not provide a safe working environment. An Alice injury attorney could investigate an incident and find evidence of the railroad’s failure to provide a safe working environment.
What to Do After an Accident at Work
The process for obtaining compensation for work-related injury claims is different for railroaders than for people working in other industries. Railroaders often must file a lawsuit to get the compensation they deserve, so it is vital to take certain steps to preserve their rights.
Get Medical Care
The first step in an accident claim is getting medical attention, even if the injury seems minor. Many injuries do not produce symptoms immediately, but a medical professional could screen the worker, rule out a serious injury, and advise them about steps to ensure they do not aggravate the condition.
Report the Injury or Illness
A worker should report the injury or condition and complete an accident report at the first opportunity. Reporting at the time of the accident is best, if possible. Sometimes, a railroader develops a work-related condition like tendonitis, hearing loss, or cancer. The worker should report the diagnosis with a doctor’s note as soon as they receive it.
A worker reporting an accident sometimes faces questions from a supervisor or management. Workers should avoid discussion about the incident beyond reporting the facts. Getting photos of the accident scene and contact information from any witnesses can help an Alice attorney build a compelling railroad injury case if filing a lawsuit becomes necessary.
Contact an Attorney
Engaging a legal professional to help prepare and present a claim is critical. Railroads have teams of employees whose job is to limit the amount the railroad pays in worker injury claims. Working with an Alice lawyer with experience handling railroad injury claims levels the playing field.
Some railroaders might be reluctant to pursue a claim against their employer due to fear of retaliation. The Federal Rail Safety Act at 49 United States Code § 20109 makes it illegal for a railroad to fire, suspend, demote, or take other action against a worker for reporting a work-related accident or illness.
Pursue Compensation for a Railroad Injury with an Alice Attorney
You deserve compensation when you develop an illness or suffer an injury because the railroad you work for did not provide a safe working environment. Unfortunately, railroaders sometimes have to fight to get the compensation they are entitled to receive.
Contact an Alice railroad injury lawyer for help. They could ensure you present the strongest case possible to maximize your compensation. Speak with a knowledgeable lawyer today.