Railroad workers across the country expose themselves to the perils and hazards of their job every day. Railroad employees who are victims of an accident at work, whether in a railyard, on a track, or in an office, can take recourse in FELA to claim compensation for their injuries.
FELA applies in all cases where the employee works for a railroad involved in interstate business, and suffers injuries in the course of employment. Under FELA, seeking compensation from the railroad may not succeed if the accident resulting in the employee’s injuries occurs during non-working hours or while traveling to or from the workplace.
But a railroad worker injured on the job, even if their primary work does not involve being in and around trains, can seek damages from the railroad. An injured employee can make a direct claim under FELA to the railroad, or file a lawsuit against it in the state or federal court.
If you or someone you love is a victim of an accident while working as a railroad employee, you must take note of a few crucial points to know where you stand legally if you wish to recover damages under FELA.
Duties of Railroad Companies Towards Their Employees
FELA regulations stipulate that the railroad companies must fulfill certain responsibilities towards the railroad workers, failing which, they can be liable for violations. Some of these duties are:
FELA not only provides a legal remedy for the injured railroad employees, but also acts as a protocol for railroad workers safety code. It spells out in detail, the duties and obligations of the railroad companies in conforming to the safety standards.
For example, if a railroad contravenes federal guidelines relating to workplace safety as laid out in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the Safety Appliance Act, or the Boiler Inspection Act, an injured railroad employee and their attorney can establish their compensation claim much more easily.
Steps to Take if You Sustain a Workplace Injury
If you are a victim of work-related injury, you must take the following steps immediately:
What is the Extent of Damages I Can Recover?
Under FELA, the compensation claim and its recovery depend on the nature of injuries and the extent of negligence proven in court. The damages that you can potentially recover include:
Do the FELA Laws Apply After I Have Clocked Out?
The FELA laws extend to protecting even those employees who sustain injuries while traveling or when staying in hotels, if the service providers are under contract with the railroads. Under FELA, the responsibility to ensure the safety of the workers at third-party sites lies squarely with the railroads, even if the time spent by the workers at such sites was insignificant or infrequent.
Competent Railroad Accident Injury Lawyers in Virginia
Often, railroad injury cases under FELA find a resolution through a court ordered settlement conference, and do not involve a court trial. If you or a loved one is a railroad employee but not sure if you have a viable compensation claim under FELA, our railroad accident attorneys can provide free and confidential consultation to evaluate your claim.
The lawyers at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn are highly skilled and are committed to helping victims of railroad accidents get justice. If you or any of your loved ones have been injured in a railroad accident, call us today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online to find out if you have a case against your employer and whether you are eligible to recover damages.
References:fela claim, fela lawyer, railroad worker injury