Since its approval in 1908, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) has been protecting and compensating railroaders who have suffered injuries while on the job. The act was created to curb the dangers that had been leading to a high number of railroad deaths during the explosion of railroad work during the late 1800s.
Through this law, railroad workers have the ability to receive compensation in order to recover from their losses. While attempts to revise or replace FELA have taken place over the years, the act has stayed in place and led to millions of dollars paid in compensation to injured railroad workers. Being aware of your rights under FELA is vital to recovering and preserving your rights as a worker and a citizen.
How is FELA Different from Workers Compensation?
Should a railroad worker be injured on the job and prove that at least partial legal negligence on the behalf of the railroad was the cause of the accident, he or she can be protected and compensated for losses. As the federal government has power over interstate commerce, accident injuries can be regulated by the government.
However, FELA has several differences from common workers’ compensation, the main alteration being that it is a fault based system. Rather than receive compensation simply based on being injured at work, injured railroad employees must prove that the negligence of railroad employees, agents, or contractors, as well as faulty equipment, was the complete or partial cause of the injury.
If you are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance while employed as a railroad worker, you can pursue FELA compensation. By proving that negligence or recklessness caused the injury accident, you can receive full compensation, which can be equal to or greater than state workers’ compensation. Cases will be held in front of a jury, which will determine “comparative negligence.” This means that the percentage of negligence for which each party is liable will be determined, establishing the amount of compensation that injured workers are given.
Types of physical trauma often covered by FELA include the below:
- Broken bones
- Asbestos exposure
- Toxins and chemicals exposure
- Head and neck injuries
- Repetitive stress injury
- Cumulative trauma
- Lung diseases
Beyond physical injuries, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental distress can also be covered by FELA compensation.
Due to the conditions of railroads, accidents frequently result in serious injuries to those involved. As such, major medical care is often necessary in order to recuperate from trauma and be able to work once again. Often, emergency care can result in steep financial debt and future rehabilitation services will require funding. Finding compensation from those at fault is vital for the physical and financial well being of those who have been injured on the job.
As FELA is based on fault, injured railroad workers must find evidence and witness testimony that will prove how the negligence of others caused an accident to occur. As long as it can be proved that a worker was not 100% at fault for the incident, he or she has the right to sue those responsible. Through this compensation, needed medical care can be acquired and the costs of past and future services can be covered.
FELA Lawyers Dedicated to Recovery
At Page Bradley, our FELA law attorneys are devoted to making sure that injured clients have their rights protected and can move forward from their accidents. With our help, victims do not have to stay victims, but rather people who have found justice and recovered from their losses. Injury-causing accidents can cause trauma and damage that alters the course of a person’s life in a matter of moments. With help from our accident lawyers, you can have the chance to return to a life free from the burdens of an accident.