Federal Employers Liability Act
Federal legislation gives workers the ability to obtain legal recovery for their injuries
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is a 1908 law that allows railroad workers to file suit and claim compensation for injuries suffered on the job in the railroad industry. The Act is intended to hold railroad companies responsible for not providing their employees with a safe workplace, and covers a wide range of potential harms that workers may have suffered. If you work for a railroad and have been hurt as a result of the actions of the railroad company, you may have grounds for a successful FELA claim.
The law practice of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is dedicated to getting you compensation if you have been hurt due to someone else’s actions. Our attorneys are well versed at FELA claims and fight on behalf of clients to get them the recovery they need from employers like Norfolk Southern and CSX.
What does FELA do?
The FELA law holds that “common carriers by railroad” who engage in interstate commerce are legally responsible to employees for damages that occur from railroad accidents in the course of their employment. It also has several key provisions that strengthen an injured worker’s ability to recover, including:
- A limitation on the contributory negligence doctrine — Some states bar an injured person from receiving compensation if they are even the slightest bit responsible for an accident, even if the railroad company deserved a greater amount of the blame. Instead, FELA grants recovery to workers even if they had partial responsibility for the incident.
- The elimination of the assumption of risk defense — Before FELA was passed, railroad companies escaped responsibility for accidents involving employees by claiming that their work was inherently risky, and employees voluntarily assumed that risk. This legislation barred that defense in cases involving FELA claims.
- A ban on contracting around liability — Railroad companies cannot require employees to waive liability through a contract. A provision in an employment contract that limits a railroad’s responsibility through injuries is invalid.
- A requirement to provide truthful information to investigators — Rules or threats to employees about providing investigators with information related to injuries is strictly prohibited by FELA and can be punishable through fines or imprisonment.
FELA is an important law that is meant to give you a fair opportunity for compensation if you have been injured in a railroad worker accident. If you were injured on duty during railroad work, our FELA attorneys can explain more about the process for legal recovery.
What kind of compensation am I eligible for under FELA?
Although it varies with the nature of the case, typical damages available to successful FELA claimants include:
- The reasonable value of medical care someone received and those he or she is reasonably certain to need in the future
- Wages a plaintiff has lost due to the injury, and future losses a plaintiff would probably have received
- The value of household services that a plaintiff cannot perform
- The physical and mental pain or suffering the plaintiff has experienced
If you have been hurt while working for a railroad carrier in some form, whether as an engineer, a track man, a conductor, a carman, or as a train yard clerk, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, as well as the trauma you have suffered. Our lawyers can help you understand what to expect from the FELA claim process. We know how to deal with the RR claims agents and their tricks.
You receive no fee if you do not receive recovery for your injuries
The attorneys of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers provide legal services to employees injured through railroad negligence. We are available 24/7 for our clients and we receive no fee until you have been compensated for your injuries. To learn more about FELA and your options for recovery, contact us at 757.455.0077 or online for a free consultation.