Meniscus Tear Injuries in Railroad Workers

The physical nature of railroad occupations, as well as the inherent risks associated with the railroad industry put individuals who work these jobs at a greater risk of sustaining severe injuries, such as meniscus tear injuries.

The meniscus, which is made up of the lateral and medial meniscus, is the shock-absorbing cartilage that surrounds the knee joint and evenly distributes an individual's weight across it. As one of the most common types of knee injuries, meniscus tears can occur as a result of repetitive motion strain, aging or an isolated traumatic event – such as a fall, railroad collision or lifting accident.

When railroad workers sustain a meniscus injury, it's essential that they seek immediate medical attention to prevent further damage to their health. Once their health is stable, they should also meet with an experienced FELA lawyer to learn more about their legal rights.

If you have suffered a railroad-related meniscus tear, contact the experienced FELA attorneys at Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. for help today.

What is FELA?

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is a statute that specifically protects the rights of railroad workers in the event that:

  • They are injured on-the-job.
  • Their injuries were caused or intensified by an employer's, a co-worker's or an equipment manufacturer's negligence or recklessness.

In most cases, FELA awards are higher than settlements granted via general workers' compensation laws. As a result, it's essential that injured railroad workers meet with a FELA lawyer before filing a workers' compensation claim (as doing the latter could terminate their coverage by FELA).

Lateral Meniscus Injuries

The lateral meniscus is the tough piece of cartilage that resides on the outside of the knee joint. Symptoms of a lateral meniscus tear may include:

  • inner knee pain, particularly when pressure is applied to the knee joint
  • joint pain
  • stiffening or locking up of the knee joint
  • swelling
  • “popping” sensation when the injury occurs
  • “catching” sensation when moving the lower leg

To properly diagnose a lateral meniscus tear, doctors will perform imaging tests, such as MRIs and x-rays.

Medial Meniscus Injuries

The medial meniscus is the durable cartilage on the inside of the knee joint. In addition to having similar (if not identical) symptoms to lateral meniscus tears, medial meniscus tear are also diagnosed in a similar manner.

As with lateral meniscus injury, medial meniscus damage is typically treated with:

  • physical therapy
  • modified activity
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • knee braces
  • ice, compression and ultrasounds

Meeting with a FELA Lawyer

Once an injured railroad worker has started treatment, it's also important that (s)he meets with an established FELA attorney to find out if FELA entitles him/her to a settlement for the injuries and losses incurred.

During a free initial consultation, FELA lawyers will thoroughly evaluate an injured party's case and give expert advice regarding the best manner in which to pursue the claim (depending on an individual's unique needs and specific circumstances).

Those who choose to work with a FELA attorney will likely be compensated for losses including:

  • outstanding hospital bills
  • future, ongoing treatments
  • lost wages, lost ability to work
  • permanent disabilities and disfigurement
  • future living expenses (should permanent disability prevent them from earning a living)
  • emotional pain and suffering

Have you or a loved one suffered a torn meniscus after working in the railroad industry? If so, contact a FELA attorney at Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. who will evaluate your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.