Is My Employer Liable for an Equipment Malfunction?

Most railroad employees come into contact with multiple pieces of huge equipment and heavy machinery every day. They know that if these machines are used improperly, they are at risk of being seriously injured. When a piece of equipment malfunctions, however, a worker could still be seriously injured even if they took every required precaution. 

When is an equipment malfunction negligence?

If you found yourself in this situation, you might be confused as to whether or not you are eligible to file a FELA claim, since you will have to prove that your employer was liable.  

An experienced Virginia railroad injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can explain how the FELA process works and when your employer can be held liable for defective railway equipment. Call our Norfolk-area law offices today and schedule a free consultation with a qualified member of our legal team. 

What Injuries Can Equipment Malfunctions Cause?

Sadly, there are a lot of severe injuries that can happen when a piece of defective equipment is used. If the injury does not get better or is unable to heal beyond a certain degree, it could be regarded as catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries have a considerable influence on the injured victim’s quality of life, and while the injuries might not necessarily be permanent, they will require a significant amount of medical care.

When a piece of equipment malfunctions or is defective, workers can experience traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and crush injuries, just to name a few. In turn, these injuries can lead to broken bones, amputations, paralysis, and nerve damage, all of which can be painful and life-altering for railroad workers. Due to the severity of these injuries, they may have to endure lost income, pain, suffering, and a decreased quality of life. 

When Does This Constitute Negligence?

In order to be eligible for financial compensation via the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, you will have to show that your employer committed negligence. This includes those who make no effort to alleviate the risk of worker injuries by obeying safety protocols. Likewise, if a worker notifies their employer that a piece of equipment is not working properly and the employer does nothing to address the problem, they could also be held responsible for any injuries that take place.

Normally, employees who sustain an injury while they are working can file a FELA claim that is supported by the Safety Appliance Act. However, the Safety Appliance Act only applies to FELA claims if the train is in use. In other words, if the injury occurs when the train is stopped for inspection or maintenance, the SAA may not be used to support a claim. Instead, the injured worker will have to move forward with a traditional FELA claim.

If you were injured by a piece of defective equipment or machinery due to employer negligence, you need to contact an experienced Virginia FELA attorney right away. 

Speak With an Experienced Lawyer

The railroad equipment malfunction attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been successfully handling claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act and the Safety Appliance Act for more than forty years. 

If you were injured while performing duties directly related to your job as a railway employee, schedule a free case evaluation by calling our Norfolk-area law offices at (833) 997-1774 or by filling out the form on our website. Our experienced legal team will work hard to ensure that you get the justice and the financial compensation that you are entitled to for your damages. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you and your family through this difficult time. 

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