Injuries From Railroad Accidents Lawsuit. Are you a railroad worker injured on the job? The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) grants injured railroad workers the right to sue their employers for negligence in either state or federal Court. By filing a FELA claim, an injured railroad worker can file suit seeking compensation for wage loss, future wage loss, medical expenses and treatments, pain and suffering, and for partial or permanent disability. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim which generally provides only a limited benefit, a FELA claim allows up to 100% recovery of damages caused by the negligent act of a railroad employer or a co-worker.If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to seek legal advice from an attorney with extensive experience with FELA claims as soon as possible, as these lawsuits are governed by a strict statute of limitations.
If you don’t act quickly, you could forfeit your right to any recovery. The FELA claims lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP offer free lawsuit consultations to injured railroad workers. We urge you to contact one of our FELA claims lawyers today,
to insure your rights are protected.
What is Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)?
FELA was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1908 in response to the high rate of accidents on the rails, and injury and death among railroad workers. Prior to the passage of FELA, few railroad workers or their families received any compensation for the injuries they sustained on the job. Prior to the passage of FELA, a worker whose own negligence caused or contributed to his injury, even in a very small way, could not recover damages from the railroad.
In 1939, Congress improved FELA by eliminating assumption of risk as an available defense in any situation.
The changes also made it a crime for a railroad to intimidate employees to keep them from providing information about an accident to an injured railroad worker or his attorney. In the 1950s, a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions liberalized FELA definitions of “cause” in workers’ favor. Today, if railroad negligence played even a slight role in an employee’s injury, the railroad will be liable for a portion of the worker’s damages.
FELA applies a pure comparative negligence standard to injury cases, whereby an injured worker’s total damage award is reduced only to the extent that their own negligence caused or contributed to an injury. Put another way, FELA does not require an employer’s negligence to be the proximate cause of an injury. If the injured worker can show his employer’s negligence played some part in causing his injury, the worker will be entitled to damages. For example, if the worker is found 25% negligent and the railroad is found 75% negligent, the railroad would be responsible for paying 75% of the worker’s damages.
Injuries that are typically the subject of FELA lawsuits include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis)
- Slip and Fall injuries
- Solvent exposure injuries
- Whole body vibration (WBV) injuries
FELA covers freight railroad workers, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) workers and commuter railroad workers. Any injured railroad employee is eligible to file a FELA claim, even if their job does not involve working around trains. Families of railroad workers killed on the job may also recover losses associated with the death of their loved ones.