Attorneys For FELA Injury Claims

Bremseth Law Firm, in Minnetonka, Minnesota, a western suburb of Minneapolis, is recognized as one of the Midwest's leading FELA claims litigation firms, with success claims throughout the Midwest, Central and Western United States. Our FELA lawyers are ready to make sure you and your family receive the medical and pay benefits you are entitled to after an injury working on the railroad.

Have A Specific Question About Your FELA Claim? Visit These Pages:

Three Basic FELA Case Requirements

Injured railroad workers must establish three factual requirements to recover damages under the FELA:

  1. The injuries must occur in the course and scope of the employee's work duties with the railroad. Injuries do not have to occur on railroad property, so long as they occur "on the job."
  2. The railroad must be engaged in interstate commerce between two or more states.
  3. The railroad must have caused or in some way contributed to the injuries sustained by the railroad employee.

Pre-existing conditions. For a worker to qualify for damages, that worker must either injure a part of the body never previously injured, or aggravate a previous injury. Any injury that aggravates or accelerates a pre-existing physical condition is considered a new injury under the FELA.

Occupational diseases, like lung cancer, dermatological conditions or asbestos-caused diseases, are considered an occupational injury, but it is necessary to show that the disease was caused by employer negligence.

The FELA is complex, incorporating case law from many thousands of case decisions. It is natural to have other questions about what FELA does and does not allow. This website gives brief descriptions of the kinds of injuries that are covered, and the extent to which you may be compensated. It also provides answers to questions asked most often.

Roots As Historic As Our Nation's Railroads

The FELA, passed in 1908 and revised and enhanced several times in the years since, is a powerful antidote to these unjust practices. It holds that railroad companies have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, provide properly maintained tools and equipment, implement safe work practices and ensure that the number of workers is always sufficient for the work to be done.

Violations of any of these conditions are sufficient to file a FELA compensation claim. Railroad workers and surviving family members need to understand that they have rights under the FELA. Even if a worker does play a contributory role in an injury, that worker still has rights under the law.

What FELA Is...

Historians regard the FELA as groundbreaking social legislation, which ignited other reforms of the last century. Prior to its passage, no railroad worker had leverage to demand, much less win, compensation for injuries. Railroads utilized a set of dodges and rationalizations to avoid legal responsibility:

  • They claimed that workers were not entitled to compensation because they knew the risks when they accepted the job.
  • Companies refused compensation when the injury was caused by a fellow worker, invoking the "Fellow Servant Doctrine."
  • They used the principle of contributory negligence to refuse compensation if a worker was even slightly responsible for causing the injury.

...And Isn't

A common assumption is that the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) is simply workers' compensation for workers injured in railroad accidents. This is not true.

Workers' compensation is a set of no-fault insurance programs run by states. Most claims are honored without event. FELA, by contrast, is a fault-based mechanism created by the federal government for workers to sue for damages when they suffer railroad injuries or are killed.

In every suit that is filed, the injured party or surviving family members must show that compensation is owed. The FELA allows for a jury trial, and the jury determines the amount of the award for full and fair damages.

Contact Our Railroad Injury Claims Attorneys Today

If you are a railroad employee and have suffered a work-related injury, call or email us right away. We will explain the FELA process and help you file your claim efficiently and effectively.