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Shapiro & Appleton

VA Railroad Injury/Disease Claims Fall Under Various Laws

Railroad workers who work in interstate commerce are not covered by worker's compensation -- they are covered by the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA). The FELA was originally enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1908. The FELA is much better than worker's compensation because it allows a worker to file a lawsuit, obtain a jury trial and to be awarded monies for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, for permanent impairment or scarring, without pre-set caps or formulas. On the other hand, a rail worker must show some state or federal regulation has been violated, or show the fault or negligence on his employer in order to recover anything from the railroad.

When we refer to diseases, we include: asbestos, silicosis, lung cancers, mesothelioma, diesel exhaust lung disease, chemical solvent/solvent exposures, chemical caused lung/breathing disease and cancers, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress disease, repetitive stress knee, hip, neck, back, elbow or shoulder injuries/syndromes, cancers from radiation/radioactive exposures. We have actually handled each of the above disease process and injury claims throughout the Eastern states, including Florida, Georgia (GA) , South Carolina (SC), North Carolina (NC), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV), District of Columbia/Washington, DC, Ohio, (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Maryland (MD), Kentucky (KY), Tennesssee (TN), and in others.

Claims under this law applying to railroad worker injury and disease claims, including those causing wrongful death, must be brought within 3 years of the when the claim "accrues." However, decades of legal decisions have ruled the the 3 years only starts to run from when the worker knew or should have known that the claim was caused by the occupational workplace (exposures or an event in the workplace). In disease cases, it often requires a careful review by our experienced lawyers, to determine if and when the 3 years has begun.

This federal law applies to injury and wrongful death claims to workers hurt/injured on the job working for a railroad. For a non-employee, who has an injury or disease claim against a railroad, the lawyer must determine what state or federal laws apply to the claim or claims against the railroad(s).

Our firm has handled (no exaggeration) hundreds of railroad injury, disease, and wrongful death lawsuits and claims against railroads under a wide variety of state/federal laws, and in virtually every state in the Eastern U.S.A. Needless to say, when we notify an Eastern based railroad we are representing a worker or family of a worker, the railroads know who we are.
Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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