Your Right to Compensation Under FELA If You Are Injured in a Railroad Workplace Accident

Railroad work is dangerous and physically demanding. Every year, many workers suffer injuries or die in railroad workplace accidents. Others who have been exposed to asbestos, silica, diesel exhaust, and other toxic substances can develop life-threatening cancers years or decades after their exposure. If you are a railroad worker and suffered a workplace injury, you could be entitled to compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

What Is the Federal Employers’ Liability Act?

FELA is a federal law passed in 1908 to provide legal remedies to injured railroad workers and to promote workers’ safety. It is different from state workers’ compensations laws, which are no-fault laws that do not require workers to prove their employer’s fault to obtain benefits. Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, a railroad worker must prove that his employer’s negligence caused his injury. However, railroad workers are entitled to more compensation than what workers receive under workers’ compensation laws. For example, they can recover all their past and future wage losses and compensation for pain and suffering.

FELA applies to railroad companies that engage in interstate commerce, which means that the railroad does business across state lines. This requirement is almost always met. Except for a few in-state commuter railroad companies, all railroads engage in interstate commerce.

In order to win a FELA case, a railroad worker must prove the following:

  • FELA applies to the case.

  • The railroad company was negligent.

  • The railroad company’s negligence caused the worker’s injuries.

How Can a Worker Prove a Railroad Company Was Negligent?

A railroad company can be found negligent when it fails to provide a safe work environment. This can be a negligent action of a supervisor or a co-worker that causes another railroad worker to become injured. Common ways that a railroad could be found negligent includes:

  • Failing to properly train employees.

  • Failing to provide workers with proper safety equipment.

  • Requiring employees to work too long hours or under excessive pressure to perform duties within a time limit.

  • Not adequately supervising workers.

  • Not inspecting work areas to ensure that they are safe and free from hazards.

  • Failing to repair hazardous conditions.

  • Failing to follow or enforce safety rules and regulation.

Are you a railroad worker who suffered injuries in a workplace accident? At Hofmann & Schweitzer, we have been representing railroad accident victims throughout the five boroughs of New York City since 1977. We have a reputation for focus, preparation, and success in all types of injury litigation. Call our office today at 1.800.362.9329 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how our attorneys will fight to obtain the full compensation that you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.

Paul T. Hofmann
Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.