Brain Injuries

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report in 2001 that stated 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries every year. More telling is the statistic that 230,000 people are hospitalized for traumatic brain injury every year and survive. One third of those survivors will suffer the onset of permanent disability, according to the CDC.

Brain injuries have the symptoms of pain and temporary dysfunction as do all injuries. The difference for brain injuries is that they can cause permanent changes in behavior: these changes may include not only impaired sight or speech but also a change in emotional demeanor and in cognitive skills.

Brain injuries on railroad job sites are caused by incidents that result in impact to the head – as are traumatic brain injuries in any instance. For railroad employees however, the jobsite possibilities for head trauma that cause brain injury are present on a daily basis. Railroad yards feature heavy equipment that is constantly in motion, is about to be in motion, or mistakenly goes into motion while workers are engaged in repairs or some other task. For instance, often times the jacking bar on track jacks disengages and hits the prson in the jaw, face or head casing closed head injuries.

FELA Rights for Workers with Brain Injuries

The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) was passed in 1908 specifically to allow railroad employees to sue their employers over on-the-job negligence. FELA cases have been a fixture in the railroad industry for over a century. An employee who suffers any sort of injury that could impact the brain should seek medical attention immediately and file an accident report with the proper supervisory personnel.

Brain injuries are less predictable than injuries to other parts of the body. A traumatic brain injury such as a concussion can have lifelong consequences, which will not be apparent for a significant period of time. A railroad employee who has suffered a blow to the head should consult with a FELA attorney about compensation rights and with a physician about the potential long-term effects the injury may have on the brain.

Railroad representatives will try to settle over liability implications immediately. Any injured employee confronted with pressure to settle over a traumatic brain injury needs legal assistance in order to protect his or her rights. The long term diagnosis for a brain injury may require time, the use of a neurologist together with a neuropsychologist.

At Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. we are a law firm that practices FELA railroad injury law nationwide. It is not designated by any specific Union and that is just fine with them. Their goal is to provide excellent representation; only utilize Board Certified Physicians in the medical treatment of their clients; get statements from witnesses and photographs as soon as hired; advance funds, interest free and where ethically permitted, to their clients so they can pay their bills while off of work; and, most importantly, treat their clients like family and with the respect, honor and dignity that they deserve. Call 800-773-6770 to speak to a REAL FELA attorney.