Progressive Injury FELA Lawsuits

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    Basics of FELA Lawsuits for Progressive Injuries

    In the realm of legal cases, Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) lawsuits concerning progressive injuries occupy a significant position. These claims come into picture primarily when railroad workers suffer injuries or illnesses over time because of their job conditions. The process might seem complicated, but once you grasp the basics, it is just a matter of time to understand relevant observances.

    Railroad workers who suffer injuries are not run-of-the-mill workers’ compensation cases, they instead fall under FELA. Here, being hurt on the job doesn’t automatically result in financial compensation. It becomes crucial for the injured railroad worker to demonstrate that negligence by the employer caused or contributed to their injury for a successful FELA claim.

    For instance, if unsafe work conditions, inadequate training, or faulty equipment lead to an injury, a worker can file a FELA lawsuit to seek damages. The compensation usually covers medical expenses, lost wages, and in certain cases, pain and suffering as well.

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    FELA Lawsuits

    The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (known as FELA) protects railroad workers suffering from these repetitive stress injuries. In order to obtain compensation, a railroad worker must show that the railroad’s negligent behavior ultimately led to their injury. Negligent acts on the part of the railroad include unsafe conditions, equipment, or environment.

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    Hearing Loss FELA Claims

    Hearing loss is another common type of progressive injury, often caused by repetitive motion throughout the span of years. High levels of noise (associated with working onboard or near locomotives) contribute to hearing loss. Until recently, many railroads have failed to provide adequate hearing protection for employees, as hearing loss still occurs for many.

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    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FELA Lawsuits

    Repetitive motion in an intense work environment is known to cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Common trouble areas susceptible to this condition include the hands and wrists. People most often afflicted are construction workers, assembly line workers, and office personnel – or anyone who repetitively flexes their wrists and hands.

    Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel can range from a tingling sensation to a gradual decrease of feelings in the fingers. The early stages of Carpal Tunnel are treated by wearing a brace to decrease numbness and pain. Surgery is also a form of treatment that can relieve most or all of the pain. If not treated, the condition can result in loss of function and a career-threatening situation.

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    Railroad Injury Statistics

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics article on railroad-related work injuries, the injury rate for railroad workers is more than double the rate for all other workers. This even includes non-railroad workers such as brake, signal, and switch operators – demonstrating the hazardous nature of this industry. From 1993-2002, there were a total of 1,221 railroad worker fatalities. Of these fatalities, 62% involved non-railroad workers, 24% involved workers in the railroad transportation industry, and 14% involved railroading workers in other industries.

    In terms of progressive injury, carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for the most common nerve compression disorder of the upper extremity. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 260,000 carpal tunnel release operations are performed each year. Not only does carpal tunnel syndrome cause extreme pain, discomfort, and medical expenses, but it results in the highest number of days lost among all work-related injuries. About half of the carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss.

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    FELA cases with serious injuries can leave you out of work and take a long time to settle. In the meantime, Uplift can help. Call us today at (800) 385-3660 or apply online.

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