Train Accident Lawyer Discusses the Federal Employers’ Liability Act
Train accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm discuss FELA. Railroad workers that work for a railroad that travels interstate have special rights under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). This law protects injured railroad workers who are injured during the course and scope of their employment. The FELA requires railroads to maintain a reasonably safe work environment, to enforce certain safety rules, to adequately train and supervise employees, and to impose reasonable work requirements on employees.
A railroad worker can bring a FELA claim if:
- The railroad was negligent in carrying out the above mentioned requirements; and
- This negligence caused the worker’s injury.
Whether a railroad was negligent depends on the facts of each case, but the element of negligence is likely met if a railroad has not followed industry customs, has violated safety rules, or has by act or omission caused an unreasonably dangerous condition for employees. Causation does not require that the railroad’s negligence was the sole cause of the injury. This element merely requires that the railroad’s negligence contributed in some way to causing the injury.
FELA provides a broad tort remedy to injured railroad workers. The Act abolished traditional defenses of contributory negligence, assumption of risk, and the fellow-servant doctrine, and courts interpret it liberally to provide compensation to injured workers whenever practicable. Metro-North Commuter R.R. Co. v. Buckley, 521 U.S. 424 (1997). Compensation can include medical expenses, lost income, and damages for emotional distress. If a railroad worker is killed while on the job due to a train accident, surviving family members can bring a FELA claim as part of a wrongful death suit.
If you or a loved one was a railroad worker that was injured at work as a result of a railroad accident, it is imperative that you contact a train accident lawyer that is familiar with the FELA and these types of cases. If you have questions about this issue or would like to discuss your case, please contact us today.