Shoulder Impingement in Railroad Workers

Shoulder Impingement in railroad workers is common due to the vast amount of dangers on the job.

What is Shoulder impingement Syndrome?

Shoulder impingement Syndrome occurs when inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles, known as shoulder bursitis, causes the shoulder blade to rub against them, tear them and impede healthy circulation. As shoulder impingement decreases blood flow to the shoulder joint overtime, the rotator cuff muscles continue to fray and cause severe pain.

Although shoulder impingement can affect anyone from athletes to construction workers, railroad employees have a particularly high risk of sustaining this shoulder injury due to the physical nature of their jobs, as well as the dangers associated with the railroad industry.

Railroad Shoulder Injuries and FELA

As a result, lawmakers have enacted a special set of laws, known as the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), to protect the rights of railroad workers, should they be injured while working. Complex and regularly amended, FELA generally awards injured railroad workers larger settlements than traditional workers' compensation laws, as long as the injured parties can prove that another person's negligence or recklessness caused or intensified their injuries.

Before filing a workers' compensation claim, it's essential that injured railroad workers meet with an experienced FELA lawyer to learn more about their legal rights and find out if they are entitled to a settlement via FELA. If you or a loved one is a railroad worker who has suffered from shoulder impingement syndrome, the skilled and experienced FELA attorneys at Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. can help you. Call us today to discuss your circumstance, (800) 773-6770.

Causes of Impingement Syndrome

While repetitive motion strain and aging can put individuals at risk of developing impingement syndrome, in many cases, this condition results from some acute traumatic event, such as a:

  • collision (such as when railroads collide with objects on the tracks)
  • crushing incident (in which an object falls on an individual)
  • heavy lifting accident
  • fall (either from a height or due to a slippery surface)

Railroad workers will have a higher risk of developing shoulder impingement syndrome if their work calls for them to regularly have their arms overhead.

Factors that May Lead to Torn Rotator Cuff

Lack of treatment for shoulder impingement can lead to more severe injuries, such as a torn rotator cuff (when the shoulder muscles tear in half).

To prevent more serious injuries, it's crucial that railroad employees understand the symptoms of shoulder impingement so they known when to seek emergency medical care. Impingement syndrome symptoms may include:

  • difficulty reaching around the back
  • impaired range of motion in the shoulder
  • pain radiating from the shoulder down the side of the upper arm
  • pain when lifting the arms overhead or lowering them from a raised position
  • weakened shoulder muscles

Shoulder Impingement Injury FELA Claims: Getting Help

Injured railroad workers should seek immediate medical attention for a proper diagnosis. Once their health is stable and they have started necessary treatments, it's also important that injured parties meet with an experienced FELA attorney for a free initial consultation.

During this meeting, injured railroad employees can find out if FELA entitles them to a settlement. They can also get expert advice regarding the best manner in which to pursue their case.

Those who choose to work with a FELA lawyer can benefit from:

  • access to a network of experts who can verify their medical claims when official testimony is needed
  • aggressive, professional representation in court, arbitration and/or mediation proceedings
  • delayed payment for legal services, as FELA attorneys work on contingency to encourage injured railroad workers to seek the settlements they deserve

Because FELA is a highly specialized and complex body of law, it is essential to consult an attorney who has experience and a proven track record of success in handling these types of cases. For experienced and dedicated representation you can count on, contact a FELA lawyer today. All consultations are free of charge and we will not request payment until compensation is awarded.