Every time a railroad worker clocks in on the job, he relinquishes a bit of power over his safety and over the occurrences of the day. A railroad worker must put his faith in motorists, pedestrians, and above all his coworkers to prevent accidents. Nevertheless, frequent serious and sometimes fatal accidents happen due to the negligent or deliberate acts of others, and the worker is forced to observe the horrific event firsthand.
When that happens a railroad worker may suffer from a serious condition known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even though he was never physically hurt in the crash and even though he was not responsible for the accident. PTSD sufferers relive the horrific event over and over again in a way that can significantly interfere with their jobs and with their personal lives.
The Federal Railroad Administration Takes PTSD Seriously
In February 2011, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded a grant to address post traumatic stress disorder in train crews. The $50,000 grant was awarded to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which has been charged with developing a program to address the onset and treatment of both PTSD and ASD (Acute Distress Disorder). The FRA is particularly worried about the onset of PTSD or ASD following a pedestrian train death or a death at a highway rail crossing.
How PTSD Could Affect Your Life
The FRA and many medical professionals take PTSD seriously because of the potentially significant affects that the condition can have on the people who suffer from it. Post traumatic stress will manifest itself in several ways. For example, some PTSD sufferers relive the event over and over again in ways that interfere with their day to day functioning, while other PTSD victims relive the event in nightmares that keep them from getting the rest that they need to function during the day. Still other sufferers begin to avoid anything that triggers flashbacks, and thus are unable to do their jobs as they did prior to the accident. Not all sufferers actively avoid their triggers, but these suffers in particular are acutely aware of potential triggers, and operate in a perpetually nervous and distracted state.
Getting Help from a Railroad Injury Lawyer for PTSD
If you have suffered PTSD or ASD after a train accident fatality, then you may be entitled to help and to compensation for your injuries. The type of care you require and the amount compensation you deserve are directly linked with how seriously PTSD has impacted your life. If you have incurred medical bills, if you have lost income, or if you have suffered other financial setbacks because of your railroad injury, then it is important to contact a railroad injury attorney to discuss your case.