Railroad employees are covered by their own laws. Those laws follow the Federal Railroad Safety Act, or FELA. FELA laws are designed to keep injuries from occurring in railroad environments. Railroading accidents, which were frequent up until the 1970 law, hold the railroad responsible for placing their workers in harm’s way.
Railroad workers do not have any workers’ compensation laws in the United States because they are covered by FELA laws. The basic premise of the law says that railroads are often liable for any person injury while employed by a railroad. The thinking behind the law was to shift the blame from workers compensation offices at the state and federal levels to the railroads. Under FELA laws, a railroad is liable to its employees for any injuries suffered due to negligence – and the standard is quite strict. The only requirement for the injury to fall under FELA protection is that railroad on which the employee worked must be an entity of interstate commerce; and that that individual was injured while employed; and that there was negligence. And if a railroad worker dies after being injured, his claim survives. The law realizes, of course, that negligence of employees is also a cause of injury or death.
Since Railroad workers do not have workers’ compensation, it’s essential that an attorney representing a railroad employee be versed not only in FELA statues and standards, but that they know railroad litigation. The goals of any lawsuit are simple: an injured person needs to be compensated fully and adequately for their injury. And just like any other personal injury lawsuit, medical issues or aggravation of any pre-existing medical conditions are taken into consideration. Of course, the railroad has the burden to prove that the victim failed to use good judgment to avoid injury. Once a settlement is reached, the victim can ask for damages for pain and suffering, based on the nature, extent and duration of the injuries. This also includes any mental or emotional damage or disorder.
An attorney with a focus in railroad litigation is critical in providing you the financial compensation you deserve. The Doan Law Firm can assist in determining damages owed you for a railroad accident. The Doan Law Firm knows that train accidents don’t wait for daylight hours to happen, so we’re available to answer your phone call any time, day or night, at (800) 349-0000.
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