A Chicago personal injury lawyer from our firm recently read about an Illinois railroad welder was awarded a $1.05 million dollar verdict against Union Pacific Railroad when his twenty-year career came to a screeching halt due to injuries sustained while working for the railroad company. The plaintiff was injured in January 2010 while he was working in Springfield, Illinois, lifting heavy equipment. He was not provided with adequate and safe equipment or a welder’s helper. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the railroad failed to provide him with a truck with a working mechanical lifting device, causing him to sustain injuries to his back and spine. He was later diagnosed with herniated lumbar disks and nerve root impingement and required surgery to correct his back problems. These injuries ended his career with Union Pacific and he was then rejected from 99 percent of all jobs that he applied for, seriously diminishing his earning capacity.
The trial lasted eight days and the jurors deliberated for eight hours prior to returning with the $1.05 millions dollar verdict for the plaintiff. The lawsuit was brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, an act designed to protect and compensate injured railroad workers. As long as the injured worker can prove that the railroad was at least partially negligent in causing the injury, the worker can recover for that negligence. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys know that every employee has a right to a safe workplace, no matter their profession.
While the railroad industry has its own piece of protective workers’ rights legislation, all employees have the right to keep their employers honest and trustworthy through workers compensation’ laws. When you are injured on the job, you have the right to file a workers compensation claim. Per the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers that are injured while on the job. These injuries include physical injuries as well as diseases. Like railroad workers, all Illinois workers are protected by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented injured employees and have used the Act to file claims against negligent employers to the benefit of our wrongfully injured clients. Aside from the rights afforded under the Illinois workers’ compensation act, Illinois employees have a right to file other kinds of claims when they are injured at work. These claims include but are not limited to construction accident injury lawsuits, Jones Act lawsuits, farming accident lawsuits, and premises liability lawsuits. Our attorneys have experience in representing injured workers in all types of lawsuits. If you have been injured at work as a result of employer negligence, consider contacting us for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.