Wrongful Death Caused by Railroad Accidents and Illness

March 28, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Railroad workers are tasked with ensuring the safe transport of people and goods across a variety of terrain. This often means operating heavy machinery, being in close proximity to dangerous materials, and navigating slip-and-fall hazards. The risk of a fatal accident increases when railroad companies are negligent and fail to protect their employees. 

If you have lost a loved one in a railroad accident who was working as a railroad employee, you may be able to recover compensation for damages such as funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of services. The railroad worker injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group are available to provide free consultations to help you understand the process of filing a FELA wrongful death claim, estimate what your claim may be worth, and answer any questions you may have.

Unsafe Conditions Contribute to Railroad Workers’ Wrongful Deaths

When a railroad worker is killed on the job due to unsafe conditions created or allowed by the railroad company, their family may choose to pursue a railroad worker injury lawsuit. In order for a family to recover compensation in a wrongful death claim, they must be able to demonstrate that the railroad company was negligent. This can take many forms. Railroad employees may be fatally injured due to:

  • Lack of training or necessary supervision
  • Lack of proper tools or equipment 
  • Injured by defective or damaged equipment
  • Inadequate company safety policy
  • Lack of protective equipment
  • Exposure to dangerous substances
  • Reckless operation of heavy machinery 
  • Messy work conditions that create slip-and-fall hazards

Railroad workers may sustain life-threatening injuries or develop deadly illnesses as a result of exposure to toxins. For example: 

Families of Railroad Workers Can File FELA Claims to Recover Compensation

After a fatal workplace accident, such as a slip-and-fall, the family of the deceased is typically able to recover some degree of financial relief through a workers’ compensation claim. However, railroad workers have a separate and distinctly different system for pursuing compensation, which also applies to families pursuing wrongful death claims on behalf of a deceased railroad employee.

This type of claim is known as a FELA, or Federal Employer Liability Act, claim. As railroads were being constructed across the U.S., there became a growing need for a way for families to receive compensation when their provider was killed in a railroad accident. To address this need, Congress created the Federal Employer Liability Act explicitly designed for railroad workers and their families to provide them with a path for financial relief for their losses.

FELA claims have a different set of criteria required to recover compensation, as compared to a typical workers’ compensation claim. The railroad worker’s family would have to prove that the fatal accident was a result of the railroad company’s negligence, at least in part. The tradeoff is that they are potentially eligible to collect a larger range of damages, specifically full reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages.

Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Tragic workplace accidents on trains and in railyards can leave employees with catastrophic injuries and incapacitating illnesses. Not all railroad work accidents result in immediate fatality. In some cases, the illness may take years of exposure to manifest or the injury may claim their life days or weeks later. During that time, they may accumulate significant medical bills while receiving care.

In addition to medical bills, losing an income, paying for a funeral, and managing a household can have significant financial consequences. You may pursue compensation for these losses in the form of non-economic damages, which have a set monetary value. Your family can also pursue compensation for the emotional damages related to losing a loved one. These are referred to as non-economic damages.

Examples of Damages in a FELA Lawsuit:

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me?

In the midst of grieving your loved one, the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether or not you can trust your wrongful death attorney to get you the compensation you need. At Dolman Law Group, we have a reputation for maximizing our clients’ compensation.

As an established personal injury law firm, we have handled a variety of complex wrongful death claims, with great success. Our team can offer you the attention that a smaller firm would be able to provide, but with the benefits of our extensive resources. At Dolman Law Group, our clients know that they can expect individualized attention and a results-driven approach. 

The railroad company will undoubtedly have a team of qualified lawyers prepared to leverage evidence to support their claim, and so should you. The wrongful death attorneys of Dolman Law Group can be depended on to advocate on your behalf for a settlement that is reflective of your damages.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your FELA Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If your loved one was killed on the job as a railroad worker, the best way to ensure that you recover fair compensation for your damages is to secure the services of a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the process of filing and negotiating a FELA wrongful death claim. The wrongful death attorneys of Dolman Law Group have the expertise and resources necessary to recover the compensation you need for damages like funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of companionship.

Our team of personal injury lawyers has also garnered experience representing clients in court, which means that you can rest assured our team will see your case through until it is resolved, even if we have to go to trial to obtain a fair settlement. The FELA wrongful death lawyers of Dolman Law Group understand the importance of maximizing your compensation, and we will go above and beyond to accomplish this goal.

You can trust the railroad worker injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group to negotiate with your best interest in mind. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team to discuss the details of your FELA wrongful death claim and learn more about the services we offer. Our team will focus on maximizing your compensation while you take the time to grieve.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More