Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are old news for railroad workers. If they’re track men or switchmen, there’s the ballast, which can cause a “slip and twist? as easily as a slip and fall injury. For engineers and car maintenance crews, there’s the climbing in, out and over railroad rolling stock. Many engineers have suffered knee injuries—along with back and neck injuries—while in the cab. The jolts associated with coupling cars to an engine can cause off balance falls or weight positioning due to a worn out, faulty seat.

The knee is a complicated joint that is an impressive piece of human architecture. However it has a lot of moving parts, all of which can be traumatized. Twisted knees due to missteps or slips on an uneven surface can cause ligament and tendon damage, usually a partial or complete tear. While professional athletes can heal from knee surgery in a matter of months or a season, such is not always the case with career railroad workers, nor should it be expected.

Impact trauma can break a kneecap into two or more fragments, and that requires surgery which will confine the patient’s ability to walk for months. If a leg is caught in a crush situation in the railroad yard, it’s the kneecap that’s going to give way first.

Legal Considerations for Railroad Employees with Knee Injuries

The relationship between railroad employer and injured employee is defined in the Federal Employers Liability Act, a unique piece of legislation passed in 1908. The law allows the employee to sue the employer for negligence, if working conditions played a part in the injury. Employees covered by worker’s compensation do not have that opportunity.

Under FELA, an employee with a knee injury may sue for damages due to unsafe working conditions and may also seek compensation if the injury has caused sufficient damage that returning to the old job is not a possibility. The law requires that loss of future earnings be considered in a FELA lawsuit filed by an injured employee.

Legal Help for FELA Injury Cases

Because future functionality is always an open question with a knee injury, the injured employee should contact a FELA attorney as soon as possible. Railroad supervisory personnel will try to pressure an employee into signing a quick agreement that amounts to a buyout of the employee’s right to sue under the provisions of FELA. The wiser choice is to work with an experienced FELA attorney.

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.