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Railroad Newsletter Articles
personal injury lawyers

CUMULATIVE TRAUMA

More and more railroad workers are coming to us to with injuries, such as back, neck, and shoulder injuries, resulting from years of work. Common questions injured workers ask when dealing with their injuries center around how the injuries came to be without one specific accident.

Injuries caused by years of repeated movements or certain body postures are known generally as cumulative trauma injuries. Repeated movements or body postures produce an overload on muscles that cannot recover before the next or repeated strain placed on them. The physical features of work that are most frequently cited as risk factors for cumulative trauma injuries include: rapid work pace; repetitive motion patterns; insufficient recovery time between physical jobs; heavy lifting and other forceful physical exertions; vibration; and low temperature. Extended exposure to these risk factors has been associated with the development of low back disorders, shoulder disorders, and other injuries.

Under the FELA, a railroad has a duty to provide its employees with a reasonably safe work place and equipment, proper training, and suitable methods to perform their assigned work. A railroad’s failure to institute timely ergonomic measures to control the hazards of exposure to long-recognized cumulative trauma risk factors may be a violation of the federal law.

If you think your injury was caused by cumulative trauma, give us a call to discuss your legal rights to compensation. Act quickly, because the law requires that you protect your rights under the FELA within three years from the date a reasonable person knew or should have known that his injury was related in some way to his railroad job. Our firm has helped many workers both recently and throughout our history to recover fair compensation for on-the-job cumulative trauma injuries.

the law -- federal employer's liability act

FELA applies to all railroads engaged in interstate commerce and to their employees whose work furthers interstate commence.  Interstate commerce includes running across state lines and handling freight.  It applies equally to big-line and short-line railroads

  • Both union and non-union workers are covered under FELA.
     

  • To recover damages under FELA, an injury must be caused by negligence (no matter how small) on the part of the railroad.  Negligence is defined as doing something that a reasonable person would do, or failing to do something a reasonable person would do, under the existing circumstances.
     

  • In cases under FELA, the statute of limitations is three (3) years from the date of the injury.  The time limit usually begins to run on the day the injury occurs.
     

  • Railroads have a legal duty to provide a safe place for employees to work.  This includes providing adequate help, safe equipment, suitable tools, and proper working conditions.  If any injury results because a railroad fails to provide these things, or due to another employee's carelessness, the railroad is responsible.
     

  • In certain cases, however, the time limit begins to run when the injured employee knew, or reasonably should have known, he or she sustained an injury and that the injury was caused by some condition or substance in the workplace.  These cases usually involve occupational injuries, such as hearing loss or silicosis, that occur over a  period of time rather than on a single day.
     

  • If a claim is not settled with the railroad or a lawsuit is not filed in the proper court within these time frames, the claim could be barred.

If you have any questions on this or another FELA or railroad-related question, please Contact Us directly.

IF YOU'D LIKE A FREE "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS" BOOKLET OR DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR 2006 CALENDAR BOOK,
CALL US AT 1-800-328-1096 OR
CONTACT US THROUGH OUR WEBSITE.

Related Topics:

Railroad Injuries
What To Do If You're Injured
A Warning Regarding Claim Agents
Railroad Workers' Rights
Railroad Successes

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Eckman, Strandness & Egan P.A.

319 Barry Ave. South Suite 100, Wayzata, MN 55391-0597
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 597, Wayzata, MN  55391-0597
(952) 594-3600 | (800) 328-1096   Fax (952) 594-3601
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Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2014