Michigan Locomotive Injury Lawyers
The rail industry is a crucial part of the nation’s infrastructure. However, railroading is also a dangerous occupation. Unlike most other occupations, the rail industry falls outside the scope of traditional workers’ compensation laws, relying instead on the complex Federal Employers’ Liability Act. At Sommers Schwartz, our dedicated team of workplace injury lawyers has unique experience handling FELA claims on behalf of injured rail workers.
What Are a Locomotive Engineer’s Duties?
A locomotive engineer operates passenger and freight trains. Engineers must monitor instrument panels, use their knowledge to issue warning signals, and anticipate any possible issues with the train’s function. Most engineers are also responsible for performing pre-and post-trip inspections to ensure the train complies with federal safety standards.
Types of Work Environments
Locomotive engineers spend most of their time ensuring a train’s safe operation and are often found in the cab at the front of the train. However, locomotive engineers occasionally must visit other parts of the train to conduct inspections or communicate with other railroad employees.
Common Locomotive Engineer Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 135,000 railroad workers and 37,000 locomotive engineers across the United States. Despite the relatively low number of railroad employees, the rate at which engineers and other railroaders suffer serious injury or death while on the job is nearly double the rate of other occupations. For example, in 2019, almost 3,900 railroad workers were seriously injured, and nine died during their employment.
Working with trains presents many hazards. A few of the most common causes of locomotive engineer injuries include:
- Electrocution accidents.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Hearing loss.
- Lead poisoning.
- Repetitive use injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
If you were injured as a locomotive engineer in an on-the-job accident or developed a serious medical condition related to your employment, you might be entitled to compensation through a FELA claim.
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a federal law that provides a way for injured railroad workers to obtain compensation after a workplace accident. Railroad workers are not covered under state workers’ compensation laws, which may sound like a bad thing. But in most situations, FELA provides a more effective means to recover compensation after a workplace accident.
Under FELA, an injured locomotive engineer can bring a personal injury claim against the railroad to recover damages for their injuries. To succeed in a FELA claim, the injured worker must establish that the employer’s negligence caused their injuries. These cases often involve hazardous work environments, exposure to dangerous chemicals, dangerous or defective equipment, or the development of occupational illnesses. In short, a FELA claim is appropriate anytime a railroad company’s negligence causes a workers’ injury.
Unlike a traditional workers’ compensation claim, railroad workers who successfully bring a FELA claim can recover compensation for their economic and non-economic damages, including amounts for:
- Medical bills.
- Future medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Decrease in earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
Contact the Knowledgeable FELA Claim Attorneys at Sommers Schwartz for Immediate Assistance
If you were injured while working as a locomotive engineer, the experienced FELA lawyers at Sommers Schwartz can help you effectively pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
The Sommers Schwartz railroad injury practice group is led by Arvin Pearlman, a nationally recognized authority in FELA claims. Since 1979, Mr. Pearlman has handled all types of FELA claims, making him one of the most experienced attorneys in this complex and unique area of the law. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your work-related injuries, give us a call at 800-783-0989 today. You can also reach us through our online form.