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What injured rail workers should know about the Federal Employers Liability Act

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | Railroad Accidents & FELA claims |

In 1908, the United States established the Federal Employers Liability Act to protect railroad workers injured on the job. If you suffered a workplace injury in the rail industry, you may be eligible for compensation about the terms of FELA.

Learn more about the types of qualifying injuries and how to apply for financial restitution.

FELA-covered injuries

This law provides compensation for anyone injured while working for a railroad company, even if he or she does not work around trains or tracks. FELA provides a uniform liability standard that the court uses to determine whether the employer held responsibility for the injury. To prove negligence, the claimant must show that the company did not fulfill one or more duties to:

  • Shield employees from unfair production quotas
  • Establish and enforce safety regulations
  • Protect workers from the hazardous actions of others on the job site
  • Provide supervision, training and assistance so that workers can perform their job duties safely
  • Inspect and clear the worksite of dangerous conditions
  • Supply a safe work environment with safe tools, equipment and protective devices

Filing a claim

Under FELA, an injured railroad worker can pursue compensation from his or her employer directly or file a lawsuit in state or federal court. The claim must include evidence of negligence that led to the injury; however, the burden of proof with a FELA claim is lower than for a standard personal injury case. Even if the negligence actions only partially contributed to the injury, the worker can still qualify for compensation.

Available compensation

If you have become disabled by this type of injury, you may be able to collect both economic and non-economic damages. These include all medical costs associated with the accident, including past, present and future treatment bills; compensation for pain and suffering; compensation for emotional distress; and past, current and future lost earnings.

Wrongful death benefits are also available under this law. A railroad worker’s surviving family members can make a claim under FELA.