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
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
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.
YOU'D LIKE A FREE "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS" BOOKLET OR DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR 2006
CALL US AT 1-800-328-1096 OR
CONTACT US THROUGH OUR WEBSITE.
What To Do If You're Injured
A Warning Regarding Claim Agents
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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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Friday, October 24, 2014