Railroad Injury

Enacted in 1908, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) protects the rights of railroad employees and entitles them to compensation if they are injured on-the-job and can prove that their injuries resulted from an employer’s, co-worker’s or equipment manufacturer’s negligence or recklessness.

In most cases, FELA settlements are significantly greater than awards offered through a state’s traditional workers’ compensation laws.

FELA Attorneys

FELA attorneys work to protect the rights of the injured. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted over 100 years ago to provide railroad employees with a means of obtaining compensation when they are injured in the course of their work (and it provides benefits for the dependent survivors of railroad workers who are killed on the job).

Representing the Injured

Railroad work can be dangerous, but employer railroad companies have the legal duty to provide the safest possible work environment for employees. Sometimes such safety measures are expensive, and railroad companies skimp on them or eliminate them. Thousands of railroad employees are hurt every year in the U.S. due wholly or in part to safety violations or other dangerous conditions that result in, for example:

  • brain and spinal cord injuries
  • back and shoulder injuries, and head and neck injuries
  • permanent disability
  • broken bones
  • foot or leg injuries from working on ballast

A Complex Field of Law

FELA attorneys are, in effect, personal injury attorneys whose goal is to obtain fair compensation for their injured clients and families. However, FELA is specific to railroad workers, and it is not simply a “railroad version” of personal injury law. The case of a railroad worker who has been hurt or killed on the job is best handled not by an attorney who handles solely personal injury cases (or workers’ compensation cases) but rather by a FELA attorney who knows this field of law in-depth.

Different from Workers’ Compensation

For example, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act is unlike workers’ compensation in several ways:

  • Workers’ comp laws are state statutes; FELA is federal
  • The requirements for receiving workers’ comp benefits are much easier to meet than the requirements for FELA benefits. In fact, an injured railroad worker (via his or her attorney) must prove that the railroad was negligent – at least in part – for the injury or fatality
  • When an injured railroad worker or his family is awarded FELA benefits, the compensation is often much greater than the benefits that would be provided by workers’ compensation

Talk to a FELA Attorney in Your State

Whatever the circumstances of your injury (or your loved one’s death), if it happened on the job at a railroad, a FELA attorney can help. For more information about how to pursue a FELA lawsuit, contact us today. You can get answers to all of your questions and learn about your legal rights under FELA.

FELA Origins & History

FELA was originally passed after President Harrison highlighted the dangers associated with working in the railroad industry. In a famous speech to Congress, President Harrison likened the railroad workers to soldiers enduring the tribulations of war.

Since then, many modern technologies and safety measures have been enacted and have since significantly reduced such risks. However, railroad workers still have an elevated potential of being seriously injured or killed while working due to factors such as:

  • collisions
  • derailments
  • exposure to toxins
  • frequent use of heavy machinery
  • heavy cargo loads
  • highway-rail accidents (which occur when railroads interact with highway traffic at train crossings)
  • human error
  • the time needed to stop speeding, heavy trains
  • track and equipment defects

In fact, the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis reports that, from January to March of 2009, there were:

  • nearly 2,500 railroad accidents
  • 1,600 injuries
  • 150 deaths

Types of Railroad Injuries

Some of the most serious types of injuries railroad employees sustain while working include (but aren’t limited to):

  • back and neck injuries
  • broken bones
  • burns
  • crushing injuries
  • disfigurement
  • dismemberment
  • electrocutions
  • permanent disabilities
  • traumatic brain injury

FELA Rights & Injury Settlements

Following a serious railroad injury, it’s vital that injured railroad workers:

  • Receive emergency medical care to prevent further damage to their health (and, in the worst cases, death)
  • Follow through with all long-term prescribed care for the best chances of recovery
  • Consult with an experienced FELA railroad attorney to learn more about their legal rights and entitlements

Experienced FELA lawyers will have the experience needed to evaluate an injured employee’s claims, and help them pursue the compensation they are entitled to. For more information about your individual FELA claim, contact us today.

Exposure to Diesel Fumes

Exposure to diesel fumes presents serious risks to railroad workers - the risk of developing pulmonary (lung), brain, and other-organ disorders, including cancer. The link between exposure to diesel fumes (also known as diesel smoke or diesel exhaust) and serious medical problems has been well established for decades and is well known to the railroad...

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FELA Claims

FELA claims are made by railroad employees who are injured in the course of their work, and by the family members of railroad workers who are killed on the job. A FELA claim must be filed by either of these parties in order to obtain compensation for the losses incurred, such as: medical treatment wage...

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FELA Insurance

Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) insurance provides monetary benefits to railroad workers who are severely injured while working and who: can prove that the negligence of a railroad company, co-worker, or equipment manufacturer contributed to the injuries file their claim within three years of sustaining the injury Families of railroad employees killed on-the-job will also...

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FELA Law Case Settlements

FELA settlements are monetary awards granted to railroad workers who are injured at work as the result of an employer's, co-worker's or equipment manufacturer's negligence. FELA, properly known as the Federal Employers Liability Act, was enacted in 1908 to protect the rights of railroad employees as a result of the increased dangers they face on...

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FELA Laws

FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act) laws were instituted in the early 1900s. At the time, the railroad industry in the U.S. had expanded very dramatically. Few safety guidelines or precautions were used by the railroad companies, which were in stiff competition for routes and revenue. As a result of the gross lack of safe working...

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FELA Lawyers

A FELA law firm is the best place for an injured railroad worker to get experienced, knowledgeable legal representation. Not all law firms take FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act) cases. This area of law is complex and specific, intended to protect the rights of railroad employees and their families to compensation for injuries, income loss,...

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FELA Railroad Lawsuit Injury

A railroad lawsuit injury is an injury that an employee suffers during the course of his/her railroad employment which was caused- in whole or part- by the railroad company. A person who suffers a railroad lawsuit injury may be able to seek relief for his losses through a personal injury lawsuit under the FELA. The...

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FELA Trials

FELA trials involve personal injury lawsuits in which injured railroad employees seek compensation from railroad companies via court proceedings. Although many FELA cases are settled out of court (either via mediation or arbitration), in some cases, injured parties will have to prove their claims in a trial before a jury. While the FELA trial process...

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Railroad Injuries

FELA Railroad Injury Cases The term FELA injuries refers to physical harm railroad workers sustain on-the-job as the result of an employer's, co-worker's, or equipment manufacturer's negligence or recklessness. Common types of FELA injuries include (but aren't limited to): back, head, and neck injuries broken bones burns coupling and spinal cord injuries crushing injuries disfigurement...

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