Cumulative Trauma Injuries
Not all injuries that railroad workers suffer on the job are the result of trauma. Employees can continuously be exposed to unsafe working environments and practices on the job. If a railroad worker has repeated stress to a particular body part, over the course of many years, the damage caused by this repetitive stress can cause the condition to become degenerative. As a result, even workers who have not suffered a traumatic accident at work can become seriously disabled.
As with all trauma cases, railroad employees have three years to bring a claim under FELA. For cumulative trauma cases, the date that this time starts rolling begins from the date that the employee knew or should have known he or she was injured as a result of the railroad working environment. For example, if an injured employee tells his physician that he thinks the hip or knee pain he has been experiencing is related to his years of work on the railroad, he must bring a claim for those injuries within three years from that first doctor's visit.
It is extremely important to discuss with experienced counsel early on if you suspect that you have a cumulative trauma injury so that the time to bring the claim against the railroad does not expire.
If you believe you are suffering as a result of cumulative trauma, please contact the experienced FELA attorneys at Davis, Saunders & Miller for a case evaluation today.