Neck & Back Injuries

Railroad employees that work in yards or on trains are working in an environment that is often filled with jerking, jolting motion. Coupling and uncoupling railroad cars or just starting and stopping a locomotive can cause sudden unexpected motion. This type of job exposure can result in injury to the neck and back.  Often times the railroad employees  working in the maintenance of way gangs throughout the country are constantly exposed to working conditions that cause herniated disks in their neck and back.

Cervical and lumbar spine injuries are often painful, frustrating experiences because there are so many diagnostic options. Many times a physician will work through potential sources of pain involving neck muscles, and end up with a diagnosis of a disc problem that isn’t going to heal with time. Railroad workers who suffer a neck injury in the yard, in a repair facility or in the field, should assume that it will take a thorough medical check and some time to repair or heal the injury. Often times, the emergency room will only perform x-rays to verify there are no broken bones. But what needs to be done is to have an MRI. Often time, Gordon & Elias, will have a railroad employee tested by an orthopedist and an immediate MRI demonstrates whether there is a herniated disk or not. If not, then the employee can go back to work after their muscle injury resolves and no one knows they consulted with Gordon & Elias. However, if they do have a herniated disk, then they know how serious it is. Information is crucial to assist in making the correct decision.

Pressure from Claims' Agents

All railroad employee injuries are covered under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) which gives the employee the right to sue the railroad for negligence when an injury is incurred. FELA has been in place for over one hundred years, during which time railroad operating companies have developed a strategy for minimizing liability exposure. An employee with a neck and/or back injury will immediately be contacted by a Claims' Agent and be pressured to lie about their injury, where they got hurt and to not make a claim.

Protecting your FELA Rights

Agreeing to any proposal from a Claims' Agent other than submitting the injury report is a huge mistake, especially in the case of neck and/or back injuries. Neck and back injuries may also involve disk damage which won’t become apparent until extensive medical tests are conducted.

Any railroad employee with a neck and/or back injury should seek immediate medical attention to relieve the pain. Often a neck must be immobilized in order to take pressure off the injured muscle, ligament or spinal area. Aside from medical expertise the injured railroad employee should also seek legal advice from 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.