Injured Railroad Workers Must Prove Negligence to Obtain FELA Compensation
According to the Railroad Workers United, the public has little or no idea what goes on daily on America’s railroads, where chronic fatigue, single-employee crews, excessively long and heavy trains, short staffing, and limited time off create an extremely unsafe work environment.
Between 1889 and 1920, railroads in the U.S. expanded dramatically, along with the dangers to the railroad worker. In specific response to the high number of railroad deaths occurring in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Congress passed the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) in 1908 to protect and compensate railroad workers who are injured in the course of their employment.
FELA Passed Specifically to Protect Railroad Workers
FELA allows injured workers to receive monetary payouts in amounts set by juries instead of workers’ compensation benefit schedules. But unlike workers’ compensation benefits, which are usually awarded automatically, FELA requires that the injured worker prove that his injury was due to negligence on the part of the railroad. If company liability can be established, the worker is entitled to full compensation that is typically much greater than that provided to non-railroad workers by state workers’ compensation programs.
Railroads often take the position that the best defense to a FELA claim is to manipulate the evidence to make it appear as if the employee himself caused the injury and disciplinary investigations following a railroad injury are increasingly common, making it is imperative for the injured employee to retain experienced legal counsel familiar with railroad injuries and compensation under FELA.
If you sustained an injury while on the job as a railroad worker, contact Murray & Murray online or call (419) 664-3711 to schedule your risk-free initial consultation with one of our railroad injury attorneys today.