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Is the railroad responsible for injuries suffered by employees who are in transit to or from their terminal in a company-supplied vehicle or service?

Legally, railroads are responsible for the negligence of their agents while performing duties for the railroad. Courts typically consider transportation services a railroad provides to get employees to and from trains to be agents, or arms, of the railroad. Therefore, if an employee is a passenger in a vehicle provided by the railroad to transport him or her to or from a train and is injured due to the negligence of the driver of the vehicle or to a defect in the vehicle, the railroad may be responsible for the injuries.The exception is when a wreck is caused by someone else who is not working for the railroad. For example, if a transportation van is legally stopped at a stop signal and is struck from behind by another vehicle, it is usually the negligent driver who struck the transportation vehicle who is held responsible for the injuries and not the railroad. Also, if an injury is caused by a defect in a vehicle neither the transportation company nor the railroad knew, nor should have known, about, courts will typically find that negligence on the part of the rail operator or its agent does not exist.On the other hand, if a defect is related to a failure to properly inspect or maintain a vehicle, courts will typically find that the defects is of a nature that a railroad should have anticipated and, then, hold the railroad liable for injuries due to the defect. I’m frequently asked whether a railroad employee should complete an accident report for a transportation company if they’re hurt in the transportation company’s vehicle. My answer is usually yes. The form provides documentation of the incident for future reference. The employee should take care to complete the accident report form accurately and make an effort to get a copy of the completed form for his or her records.Learn more: As Carolina and Virginia attorneys specializing in FELA and railroad injury law, we offer hundreds of pages of information to help you learn your rights and recover compensation if you’ve been hurt on the job, riding trains or crossing rail tracks.

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Is there any cost associated with your law firm analyzing my potential railroad injury case involving cancer or mesothelioma?

No. Our firm offers free initial consultations. If you decide to hire us, we only charge a contingent fee, meaning that we only charge a legal fee if there is a successful verdict in your case.  As with most all law firms, we also advance case costs and court expenses on behalf of a client and do not ask the client to advance those sums-they are repaid at time of settlement.

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If I was a cigarette smoker for decades, and was then diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, am I not able to file a claim?

You can still file a claim. Medically, there are many studies that show cigarette smoking has nothing to do with the cause of mesothelioma cancer, which is almost exclusively related to having prior asbestos exposure in your work career or during your lifetime.  Regarding lung cancer, cigarette smoking is a known cause of lung cancer, but asbestos is also a carcinogen and also a known cause of lung cancer.  Many medical studies showed that workers who were significant smokers, and who also had asbestos exposure, had a 50 to 80 fold relative risk increase over non-smoking/non-asbestos workers, in contracting lung cancer.  This is called “synergy” and makes the risk of lung cancer extremely great for smokers who breathed asbestos, and most had no idea that their risk of lung cancer was so vastly increased because of the mix between smoking and asbestos fibers.

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