Who Can File a FELA Claim?

FELA Railroad Accident Claims

During the late 1890s and early 1900s, railroad use became more prevalent. The railroad industry was already a very dangerous enterprise for the employees, and railroad workers were frequently injured on the job. Not surprisingly, the numbers of railroad accidents and injuries grew as railroad use increased. Because of this, Congress saw the need for new legislation that would protect these workers, and it passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in 1908.

Who Are the Plaintiffs in FELA Cases?

FELA offers injured railroad workers the possibility of receiving much more than they could obtain from workers' compensation. Under FELA, injured railroad workers are entitled to hire FELA attorneys and take their employers to court for monetary compensation for their injuries, and this is something that they are denied under workers' compensation.

In some cases, injured railroad workers succumb to their injuries. This does not mean that the possibility of a FELA lawsuit dies along with the worker. The injured worker's survivors are also entitled to hire a railroad injury attorney and initiate an FELA lawsuit.

Who Are the Defendants?

Train accident lawyers can file FELA railroad accident lawsuits against anyone who may be liable for a person's injuries in a railroad accident. This means that the defendant does not necessarily have to be the employer. If the railroad, the manufacturer of a part that malfunctioned or another railroad worker can be proven to be responsible for the accident in any way, then FELA attorneys may name them as defendants in a lawsuit.

FELA attorneys do not have to demonstrate that the defendants were 100 percent responsible for the railroad accident, but train accident lawyers do attempt to do that. However, they may only be able to prove that the defendants are 75 percent responsible for the accident that caused the injuries, but injured railroad workers will still be entitled to damages.

Damages for Injured Workers

In the event that injured railroad workers can prove that the defendants were negligent and, therefore, responsible for the workers' injuries, they will be awarded a sum of money for their injuries. The amount may include monetary compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Wages that were lost in the past or will be lost in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Damages for the Injured Railroad Worker's Family

If the lawsuit is brought by the railroad worker's family, the survivors can receive the same type of award as was described above. However, train accident attorneys have also been known to ask for compensation for the contributions that deceased railroad workers would have made to their families. This includes the salary these workers would have earned and the love and support that they would have given to their children had they lived.

The Benefit of Hiring a Railroad Injury Attorney

If you were a victim in a railroad accident or had a loved one die as a railroad worker, it is imperative that you contact a railroad injury attorney rather than a personal injury lawyer. FELA attorneys are extremely knowledgeable in the railroad industry and the laws that govern it. When FELA attorneys arrive in court, they are prepared to demonstrate that the defendants were negligent in some way for the accident and that the railroad accident is what caused the railroad worker's injuries.

Sometimes, people refrain from hiring train accident lawyers because they are wary of filing a lawsuit against their employer and going to court. If this is the case for you, contact a railroad injury attorney anyway. In some cases, FELA attorneys can avoid taking the matter to court. Instead, they negotiate with the other side outside of the courtroom to obtain a settlement. Defendants in these cases can be very amenable to this idea because they prefer not to have personal matters become public.

Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.