The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) gives compensation for railway workers who are injured on the job.
Before compensation laws came into existence, Congress worked to protect the rights of injured railroad workers through enactment of the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. Under FELA injured railway workers can seek damages in court for injuries suffered while on the job.
FELA claims are similar to workers compensation claims in that they are designed to compensate injured workers for injuries suffered while working for employers.
In a workers compensation claim the injured employee does not have to prove that the employer was negligent or at fault for the injury. The injured employee must show only that the injury occurred while in the course and scope of normal employment.
In a FELA claim the injured employee is must show that the employer was not only negligent, but that the negligence was also a cause of the injury. A worker making a FELA claim has to prove more, when compared with a workers compensation claim.
What Damages Can I Recover in a FELA Claim?
In a workers compensation claim the compensation to the injured employee is limited to medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for any resulting disability. The damages recoverable through a FELA claim are more extensive. They can include:
Past and future lost wages.
Past and future medical expenses.
Mental and emotional suffering.
Physical pain and suffering.
Loss of earning capacity.
Permanent partial or full disability.
What Type of Injuries Does FELA Cover?
FELA covers four types of injuries:
Traumatic injuries, joint sprains, broken and fractured bones, pulled muscles.
Repetitive motion injuries, carpal tunnel, tendonitis.
Occupational diseases, asbestosis, hearing loss, lung cancer, or aggravations of previous conditions, where an injury accelerates an existing health problem within the body.
Do I Have to Prove the Railroad Was Negligent?
To win a FELA claim the railway worker must show that the railroad was negligent, and also that the railroad’s negligence played a role in causing the injury.
A railroad is a vast complex organization with employees involved in different roles throughout the organization. A railroad may be negligent in a number of ways that lead to an injury. Negligent acts fall into the following categories:
Failing to properly train employees.
Failing to properly create and maintain workplace safety rules.
Failing to provide adequate manpower.
Failing to provide adequate equipment and tools.
What If I Caused the Accident?
Even if you were negligent and it played a role in causing the accident, that doea not stop us from a claim or collecting damages under FELA. The court may consider your share of fault when it comes to determining the amount of damages you receive for your injury.
Are There Time Limitations On Bringing the Claim?
The statute of limitations for bringing a FELA lawsuit is set by federal law. The time period within which you must bring your lawsuit is three years from the date of your injury. If you do not bring your lawsuit within that time period, your claim could be completely barred and the court will most likely determine that you are not entitled to receive compensation.
Let Our Firm Help.
We are here to help you recover compensation if you or someone you love was injured. Our legal team is here to help protect your rights to the fullest extent under the law. We stand up for you and the community.