Traumatic Railroad Personal Injuries
Traumatic Injury FELA Claims
Railroad workers are exposed to the risk of serious bodily injury and death
every day and when accidents happen, they can have a devastating effect.
The injuries are often extremely painful and many will never fully heal.
Bills for emergency treatment and medical care can be financially crippling
, and the worker is often forced out of work to recover. If your accident
was caused by the negligence of your employer, the Federal Government
ensures your right to file a lawsuit for monetary damages with the help
of an experienced FELA attorney.
Common Types of Railroad Injuries
Here are some of the most common types of traumatic injuries which result
in a personal injury lawsuit:
Many of the injuries that railroad workers sustain will leaving a lasting
impact in the form of scars, discoloration, amputation, bone breaks and
fractures that heal only partially, and other types of disfigurement.
Plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery can be extremely expensive and
will often be followed by an extended period of recovery, and the procedures
are often less effective than desired. A FELA claim can include damages
for pain and suffering to compensate for the victim's loss of self-esteem.
Second and third degree burns are among the most excruciatingly painful
injuries a railroader will sustain, and the treatment often includes skin
grafts or even amputation of a limb. Explosions, hose ruptures, engine
fires and electrical burns from extremely hot metal surfaces are among
the most common causes of burn injuries in addition to burns resulting from
chemical solvent exposure.
A fractured or broken bone will nearly always result in a recovery period
lasting several weeks or months, costing the railroad worker his wages.
Slip and fall accidents on oily or wet surfaces or while walking on ballast
are common causes of bone breaks and fractures, as well as the skeletal
stresses attendant to heavy lifting and repetitive motions.
Railroad workers frequently receive head injuries of various types, either
due to falling tools or freight, or because of a slip and fall accident.
The victim may suffer skull damage or brain injury regardless of wearing
a helmet or hard hat. Injuries to the head often leave facial scars, broken
or missing teeth, and structural disfigurement from a broken nose or other
types of disfigurement, as well as requiring expensive medical treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries often lead to serious symptoms which can significantly
reduce the victim's overall quality of life. Changes to the victim's
personality and behavior, reduced cognitive ability, difficulty understanding
and expressing emotions, as well as a persistent headache, slurred speech
and loss of coordination are only some of the long term affects you may
suffer after a railroad accident.
Mild traumatic brain injuries are normally referred to as concussions,
and they are common among railroad workers. Many of these injuries will
go untreated and will not develop full symptoms for some time after the
accident. Concussions are classified according to severity, and symptoms
include headache, blurred vision, and difficulty balancing, as well as
difficulty concentrating and personality changes.
A back injury can lead to severe chronic pain and it may force you out
of your job. Railroaders who suffer injuries to the spinal cord are often
forced into early retirement or must change careers, as well as having
to make major accommodations to live with the pain and avoid flare-ups.
You may require chiropractic care, massage or physical therapy, and if
the injury is severe, it may lead to some form of back surgery, such as
a fusion or a discectomy.
The neck is especially vulnerable to injury, whether from sudden torsion
or whiplash in a collision, or a slip and fall accident, or from being
struck by falling objects or carelessly handled equipment. Neck injuries
often cause chronic sharp or dull pain, migraine headaches, nervous system
dysfunction and reduced lack of motion, and may require an extended period
of recovery in a brace or using some form of rehabilitative treatment.
Loss of Limbs
Losing an arm or a leg in a railroad accident may not only be a tragic
event, it may also put an end to your career and place your livelihood
at risk. Whether you suffered a severed limb in a traumatic amputation
with a coupler or if your limb was crushed by cargo or a freight car and
had to be surgically amputated, you deserve to be compensated for your
pain and suffering, as well as for your loss of future income and earning power.
The freight cars, locomotives, cargo and equipment in use in a rail yard
are all exceedingly large and heavy, and anyone working in and around
them is at risk of suffering horrific injuries which result in crushed
bones and internal organs. Most accidents of this type are avoidable,
and when negligence on the part of the company is at fault, the victims
are entitled to compensation.
Electrocution accidents are a common cause of injury for railroad workers.
They frequently cause burns, tissue damage or cardiac arrest, and many
are fatal. Exposed wiring, high voltage arcs and lighting strikes while
working on the track are among the leading causes of electrocution accidents.
Heavy lifting, such as in moving equipment and freight, is likely to cause
spinal disc herniation which occurs when the outer layer of a vertebra
is damaged and allows a portion of the vertebral nucleus, the "shock
absorber" between the discs, to bulge out. The disc material presses
against the spinal cord or a nerve root causing debilitating pain in many cases.
Injured Ligaments & Tendons
Tendons, the tissues which bind the muscles of the body to the skeleton,
and ligaments, which stabilize the tendons and the joints, are susceptible
to injury when sudden or extreme forces are applied in an accident. A
stretched or torn ligament is referred to as a sprain, while a torn tendon
is a rupture. Healing may require immobilization and physical therapy,
as well as surgery in some cases.