For both railroad employees and their spouses, it is extremely important to have a general understanding of what is involved if the railroad worker suffers an injury while on the job. If a worker is seriously injured on the railroad, many responsibilities may fall on the spouse. For example, the spouse of the injured worker may suddenly be forced to confront the prospect of having to take care of young children, assume responsibility for paying necessary living expenses, and make important decisions while their injured spouse is recuperating. It can be a very stressful and confusing time. There may be moments when these unexpected burdens can be overwhelming. However, being armed with knowledge about the process and knowing where to look for help can help ease the weight of those burdens. The attorneys and staff with our railroad worker injury law firm are available to answer questions and provide guidance on your legal options.
Overview of the FELA and the Legal Rights to Injured Railroad Workers
When a railroad worker is injured on the job, the right to compensation is governed by a Federal law known as the Federal Employers’ Liability Act commonly called the FELA. The FELA became law in 1908 as a result of public anger over the devastating injuries and loss of life on the rails. The United States Supreme Court observed, “In 1888, the odds against a railroad brakeman dying a natural death were almost four to one; the average life expectancy of a switchman in 1893 was seven years.”
Prior to the FELA, few of these workers or their families received any compensation for the injuries they sustained. The FELA was the first great social legislation of the twentieth century. Before the FELA, when an injured worker attempted to recover damages for the negligence of the railroad, the law was unfairly stacked against the worker. For example, if a worker was at all contributorily negligent, all recovery was denied.
Why It Makes Sense to Hire a Railroad Injury Lawyer
Workers and spouses may be asking themselves, “Why should we talk to, or hire, a railroad injury attorney? Why not let the company take care of things and find out what they might offer before talking to a lawyer?” These are fair questions. In an ideal world, such a scenario may make sense. However, in reality, the moment an injury occurs, the railroad’s claim agents and legal departments start taking statements and photographs, and gathering evidence to blame the injured worker and make the railroad look innocent. Their goal is to minimize the railroad’s financial responsibility to the worker and his family. Railroads often act “two-faced” in injury situations. They will talk about how the railroad is one big “family” and how you need to stick with them at times of crisis. They might offer to pay medical expenses (which is something they are already obligated to do under the insurance contracts) and put the injured worker’s family up at a nice hotel and agree to take care of living expenses. They employ a wide range of tactics, but the key is to gain your trust when you are especially vulnerable. While they are doing this, a team of investigators and defense lawyers are researching all aspects of the claim to deny or lower compensation. It is the claim department’s job to keep settlements as low as possible for the financial benefit of the corporation. Who at this crucial time is actually looking out solely for the injured railroad worker? No one, unless you have retain the services of knowledgeable railroad accident counsel.
Track Record in Railroad Accident Litigation is Important
You should make sure, when selecting a FELA lawyer, to find a law firm that has walked the walk and is not just talk. Flashy advertising is nice, but actual, proven results reflecting effective assistance in obtaining financial restitution for clients is way more important. Here is a sampling of our track record of our success:
- $8.6 Million Jury Verdict for Railroad Worker Wrongful Death Case
- $1.5 Million for Railroad Bridge Worker Left With Limp After Leg Was Crushed
- Shoulder Injury requiring surgery for Locomotive Engineer results in $978,000 jury verdict
Speak to an Experienced Railroad Accident Lawyer Today
Experienced railroad injury lawyers work exclusively for you, the injured railroad worker. A top-notch FELA lawyer will work tirelessly to protect and aggressively promote the rights of the injured worker and the worker’s family against a multinational railroad corporation. An effective FELA lawyer will work with you and union officials to develop evidence establishing the railroad’s liability and maximizing the compensation owed by the railroad. Immediate legal advice from trusted FELA attorneys assures knowledge and peace of mind. Contact our railroad accident law firm today to schedule a free, confidential case review.