Railroad workers are subject to a number of dangerous conditions inherent to the industry. When railroad companies fail to provide the proper safeguards, such as protective equipment, training, and well-maintained equipment, railroad workers may sustain serious injuries or develop life-threatening illnesses. While managing a serious injury, railroad workers may struggle to pay unexpected medical bills, be forced to take time off from work, and suffer.
If you were injured during the course of performing your job as a railroad employee, you will need to file a Federal Employers Liability Act claim in order to recover compensation for your damages. The personal injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group can offer you guidance on how to file a FELA claim, insight into what damages can be compensated, and calculate what your claim may be worth in a free consultation.
Types of Injuries in a Railroad Injury Claim
In response to the dangerous conditions that railroad workers endured, particularly in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act to offer workers a way to collect compensation for injuries and wrongful death. Railroad workers can now file a Federal Employers Liability Act railroad worker injury lawsuit if they have been injured or become ill as a result of their employer’s negligence.
Railroad employees may be injured when the train makes an unexpected stop or turn, causing them to slip, be thrown against a hard surface, or be crushed between multiple surfaces. The presence of heavy equipment in railyards and the plentiful opportunities for spills or tripping hazards contribute to unsafe conditions for workers, even when they aren’t working on the train itself.
Another major concern is that railroad workers may be repeatedly exposed to hazards like toxic chemicals that lead to chronic illness. Railroad workers may also develop stress-related injuries from completing the same motion over and over. In 2021, 5,781 people were injured in railroad-related incidents. Over half of those people were employees of the railroad. Unsafe conditions can lead to a variety of serious injuries or illnesses for railroad workers.
Examples of Injuries in a Railroad Accident:
- Crush injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chemical and electrical burns
- Serious sprains and broken bones
- Joint dislocation
- Limb amputations
- Cancer caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
How to Recover Compensation for Railroad Injuries as an Employee
In a workers’ compensation claim, employees who are injured on the job can recover compensation for a portion of their medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Although railroad employees who are injured at work are making a claim related to their jobs, they go through a different process designated specifically for railroad workers. Under the Federal Employee Liability Act, railroad workers can sue their employers
FELA claims are actually more similar to personal injury lawsuits when it comes to what type of compensation is available. FELA claims for railroad employees offer a greater scope of damages to claim, but the onus is on the employee to prove that the railroad company or a third party was negligent and effectively caused their injuries.
In a FELA claim, a railroad employee can still recover some compensation even if they were partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries due to comparative negligence. For example, if a railroad worker sustained an injury in a slip-and-fall accident at work and was judged to be 40% at fault, they could still recover the value of 60% of their damages.
Types of Damages Railroad Workers Can Recover in a FELA Claim
Similarly to a personal injury claim, a FELA claim allows the injured party to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Plaintiffs can receive compensation for financial losses related to their injuries, which are categorized as economic damages. In a FELA claim, plaintiffs can also pursue compensation for their emotional ad intangible losses, or non-economic damages.
Examples of Damages in a FELA Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Lab tests
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Mobility aids
- Home healthcare aides
- Home modifications
- Home medical equipment
- Job-related losses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of parental guidance and support
Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me?
The personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group have been representing injured clients for over a decade, during which time we have garnered a reputation for attentive, effective service. Our team has earned the respect of our peers and former clients alike by consistently negotiating fair settlements for our clients.
At Dolman Law Group, we understand that your injuries or illness has likely impacted your financial stability, mental health, and career. That’s why we will unapologetically pursue a fair settlement that accounts for your past and future expenses related to your injuries.
Our team will conduct an investigation, collect documentation of your damages, establish a strong case for liability, and relentlessly negotiate for the settlement you deserve. We have the necessary expertise and resources to handle the complexities of a FELA claim to ensure that your compensation is maximized.
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your FELA Claim
As a railroad worker, you should reasonably be able to expect that your employer has taken the appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of serious illness or injury. If you have been injured on the job as a result of your employer’s failure to adhere to safety protocols or other negligent behavior, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a FELA claim.
Our team of personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure that negligent railroad companies are held accountable for their failure to mitigate the risk of serious injury while on the job. If necessary, we will represent your FELA claim in court to ensure that your settlement is a fair reflection of the damages you have sustained.
Railroad workers who have been injured on the job should speak to a personal injury lawyer about filing a FELA claim to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, future lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our team is available to schedule your free consultation to help you determine the viability of your railroad injury claim and review the FELA claims process with you.