Head Injuries

On a railroad job, a head injury can be accompanied by a number of other physical mishaps. There is only so much protection a safety helmet can provide, particularly if it is knocked off during the accident that results in injury. The jolting railroad engine or car that can cause back damage can also result in a head injury.

There is another category of head injury that is common to railroad workers and that is injury to the face. Falling tools or engine components will do more damage to a face than to a head that’s covered by a helmet. Facial trauma can include loss of teeth, a broken jaw, eye injuries and lacerations. However head injuries that traumatize the entire cranium are more often the result of falls, failure of standing surfaces and the sudden, unexpected movement of equipment when the worker is in an exposed position.

Head Injuries and FELA

The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) was passed in 1908 specifically to provide railroad workers the access to legal recourse when injured on the job. FELA cases require the employee to prove some degree of negligence on the part of the employer, but allow for damages that are not permissible for workers who are covered by standard worker’s compensation.

Because the railroads have been facing FELA lawsuits for a century, they have developed a legal strategy to minimize liability by securing a quick settlement agreement with the injured employee. A worker who has suffered a concussion on the job isn’t going to know the long term consequences of that injury for a few weeks after the injury – sometimes longer.

Protecting FELA Rights

Railroad workers who suffer head injuries of any type should refuse to sign anything other than the accident report to the railroad. The first priority should be medical treatment; so often head injuries involve internal damage that is not apparent to those present at the scene of the accident.

Along with cautious medical attention to the head injury, the employee should seek out an experienced FELA attorney. A FELA lawyer can take the pressure for settlement off the employee and can assess the possibility of a liability lawsuit against the railroad for negligence that led to the head trauma.

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.