If asked about worker’s compensation for railroad workers, most people might think about accidents—such as a derailing train or collision. But there are more injuries that your employer could be liable for.

When it comes to railroad worker injuries, crashes might get the most media attention. However, there are also diseases that can result from a railroad career.

Whether your job caused your injury or illness, you have protection under the law. The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) exists so that you can seek compensation for any resulting medical bills, changes in lifestyle and loss of ability to work.

What diseasecan come from a railroad career?

There are multiple ways you could be exposed to dangerous substances while working. Asbestos fibers, fumes from fuel and cleaning compounds or other harmful chemicals may enter your body without you realizing. Longer exposure to diesel fuel can lead to an increased chance for lung cancer. Your employer may be liable for any diseases you contract as a result of your railroad work.

What can I do about my illness?

The results of exposure might not show up for years. Even if you haven’t worked on trains for a long time, your former job might be what caused your illness. FELA can cover any illness caused by your work, so you may still be eligible to file a claim.

The statute of limitations for FELA is three years. Luckily, that three years begins after your diagnosis. It is still good to move forward with your claim as soon as you can, so you can get the help you deserve.